Ducati is the equivalent of Ferrari on 2-wheels. The Italian automaker is very famous worldwide for its range of exquisite motorcycles which not only look the part but also go like stink. Ducati entered India in 2008, selling its bikes through an importer, Shreyans. Some how this tie-up did not work as many complained about poor sales support and dealers not having bikes to deliver, although Ducati Italy was exporting them. The Indian arm of Ducati was being run by the importer, who also handles Ferrari, Maserati and until sometime ago even Porsche.
Now Ducati under the aegis of Audi has decided to take things in its own hands. The Italian automaker has announced it will officially enter India, letting go of Precision Motors (Shreyans’ sister concern and the arm under which Ducati India was being handled by the importer). Precision Motors will however continue to sell and support Ducati bikes till Ducati sets up its own dealership network across the sub-continent. We can expect the first dealer to come up in early-2014 while the company also has the option of retailing their bikes through the Audi network but that seems highly unlikely.
Ducati will take time to setup a good distribution network but the company doesn’t have reason to worry as no one really has a good reach in the premium motorcycle segment. The arrival of Triumph in India and Kawasaki going solo could have prompted this step as performance bikes are seeing an increase in demand. Ducati doesn’t want to be left out as the future is bright for the Indian motorcycle industry. Ducati hopes to give its Indian customers the same level of service which it has been offering in global markets.
So how can Ducati become competitive. Triumph is betting big on local assembly and so is Harley-Davidson (not a direct competitor to Ducati). Kawasaki is currently importing bikes via the CBU route but has plans to go CKD in the near future. BMW is planning to churn out affordable performance motorcycles with the help of an alliance with TVS Motor. Maybe the next step for Ducati could be to locally assemble bikes using Audi’s facility in Aurangabad. After all, the company finds India as an important part of their future global strategy.