Ducati Motor Holding SpA wants to strengthen its position in the international premium sportbike segment through a number of initiatives revealed after the company's board-of-directors meeting, held last month in Milan, Italy.
Ducati's specific objectives include:
- Focusing on the development and management of a product's life cycle;
- Increasing sales 10 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to 54,000 units in 2010 from 40,761 bikes sold in 2007;
- Increasing annual revenues by about 10 percent through 2010;
- Increasing EBITDA to as much as 20 percent of revenues by 2010, compared to 13 percent of revenue in 2007;
- Altering the ratio of debt to equity from 5 percent in 2007 to positive cash in 2010; and
- Achieving a 15 percent return on equity by 2010.
Ducati has rebounded in the past few years, capped by brand sales that have nearly doubled in North America since 2003. Much of this may be attributed to a Back to Basics program instituted by Ducati's product general manager, Claudio Domenicali. "It means putting the key brand characteristics (design, quality of finish, performance, riding enjoyment, braking, etc.) right at the center of new product development," he wrote in his Web blog in January.
"Riding enjoyment means lightweight motorcycles. Weight is something of an obsession for us. ... Product design must comply with certain characteristics. It must be authentic; only real details must be present. So, for example, imitation carbon fiber is out. Anything unnecessary is banned. The bike should even look light," he noted. "When you take a close-up look at a 1098 Tricolore with its rich paintwork, forged aluminum rims, Monobloc brake calipers, digital instrument panel — identical to the one on the GP7 — a fabricated single-sided aluminum rear swingarm that looks like a sculpture, 160 hp and weighing 171 kg, it's evident that it's a well-thought-out piece of machinery, designed, built and assembled in a factory where the personnel love nothing more than great-looking, simple, prestige motorcycles." — Guido Ebert