Ducati CEO looks to maintain brand exclusivity after record sales

Ducati CEO, Claudio Domenicali, has vowed to keep the Italian sports bike maker as a premium brand, by not flooding the market with its bikes despite the company's recent record sales.

Domenicali is focused on protecting the aura of exclusivity associated with Ducati – best known for its success on global racing circuits.

The CEO said in a recent interview with Associated Press that ‘we will stay a premium brand’, despite a 60% increase in motorcycles sold in June compared to the same month last year.

Despite a record June, Domenicali said Ducati is not looking to increase sales volume to a specific number, and “not targeting to go 100,000 motorcycles.”

Ducati will not look to flood the market with its brand, but rather maintain an aura associated with their product shared by fellow luxury automakers such as Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz.

Part of this ‘brand aura’ is Ducati’s racing heritage, something which Domenicali said “is as fundamental to the brand as it is to the iconic sports cars built 25 miles to the west”.

Ducati has enjoyed an era of record sales since its surprise takeover by German automaker Volkswagen in 2012.

Through June this year it had sold a record 32,600 motorcycles – an increase of 22% on the first half of 2014.

Claudio Domenicali, CEO Ducati Motor Holding - image courtesy of Ducati.
Claudio Domenicali, CEO Ducati Motor Holding – image courtesy of Ducati.

Domenicali said the takeover was fundamental in not only boosting Ducati sales, but also increasing its focus on customer satisfaction.

“That changes the world, you know?” he said.

“Because you are not just reporting to either just the stock exchange or the banks and trying to keep them happy, but trying to keep the customer happy.”

Domenicali was named Ducati CEO in 2013 after having numerous roles with the company, including running its racing division, directing research and development and serving as general manager for operations and product development.

The future for Ducati lies heavily in the US which is its largest market, with the company working on ways to cater to US tastes which tend to favour large-displacement bikes know as cruisers and baggers.

Domenicali was up in the air about Ducati’s future US plans.

“Will it be a cruiser, or a bagger, or a tourer, or a scooter, or a four wheel ATV or a snow mobile?” he said.

“As long it’s a sports snow mobile, we can make even the snow mobile.”