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WOW! It is absolutely amazing to me that such information is entirely public. I've never seen anything like that for any of the Japanese competition. As a degreed marketing professional and someone who has been involved in planning and conducting operations of multi-million dollar corporations (not that I'm anything special, just that I'm not entirely ingorant), I found a couple of things very intersting.

1) They plan to all but completely cease to offer entry level options. The way I read it, by 2008, the only smaller displacement, entry priced option will be the M695 or MDark or some model variation. So, say goodbye to the smaller SS, MTS620 and the like. Also a drastic reduction in the number of available models. While I do think they could stand to clean up their product line offerings (too many models that aren't that different from each other or offer no distinct advantage), I'm really surprised that they would try to force all entry Ducati buyers into one mold. Doesn't seem on the surface to be a good way to encourage long term brand loyal buyers. That is, today's SS800 buyer is tomorrow's 749S buyer, but the naked M695 might likely appeal to a totally different crowd. They want to focus on high end/exlusive models, but are they really going to count on ALL of their buyers to be impetuous spenders who go whole hog on their very first foray into the Desmo world?

2) They are going to intentionally inflate demand by selling more bikes than they produce over the next couple of years. Probably wise for profitability, both at the factory and dealer level. Good for current owners too since prices of new bikes will go up due to S/D, and therefore used models will become more attractive to buyers. Same for fewer entry level bikes. If someone gets the Ducati bug and mostly R and S models are being made, with fewer choices at the dealer, the prices in a less expensive and more plentiful used market will get driven up. MORE FOR US! In the short run at least.

3) The new model list is really REALLY intersting. Desmosedici already in the works! And four yet to be named new models by 2008! Intersting times!

So, IMO, good news for those of us already in the Ducati family, at least over the next couple of years. But, I have some reservations about the long term vision.
 

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It has a couple of interesting items.

1. A reductionist strategy - sounds like a more focused, higher end bike with no (fewer) compromises.
2. Only one entry - guess they'll let people learn on other brands.
 

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Styling was not related to that of its predecessor. Ergo, no continuity in look or in sales success.
 

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Also interesting is that they refer to the relocation of the US subsidiary (to California) as an "internal error"...
 

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MikeM said:
Also interesting is that they refer to the relocation of the US subsidiary (to California) as an "internal error"...
At the time I was wondering, "WTH are they thinking?!!" Okay, so maybe moving the headquarters to Cali made sense from the perspective that DNA has a dense population of dealers here as well as the largest segment of its customers. But Cupertino? Okay, nothing against the South Bay, but there are so many less expensive places they could have gone, spent the same money, still been in touch with San Francisco, and had a much larger and more visible presence.

Then there was also the matter of a huge segment (I think it was over 60%) of their work force choosing not to relocate, which meant a costly hiring cycle and general loss of their base of experience.
 

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nathanTX said:
That is, today's SS800 buyer is tomorrow's 749S buyer, but the naked M695 might likely appeal to a totally different crowd. They want to focus on high end/exlusive models, but are they really going to count on ALL of their buyers to be impetuous spenders who go whole hog on their very first foray into the Desmo world?
One flaw in that logic. There *aren't* many buyers of the 800SS. TOTAL sales for all bikes in the SS line is only 1,000 units per year and certainly less than jhalf of those are the smaller bike. Certainly not all 800SS buyers migrate to pricier Ducatis, or even buy a second Ducati of any kind, so we're not talking about many lost sales here. Not nearly enough units to justify keeping such a low-margin bike in the lineup.
 

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"The CEO of Ducati Corse (Claudio Domenicali) has been appointed as R&D director to accelerate the transfer of technology from race bikes to production bikes."
This is cool. :cool:
 

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Great, now I can shop it against Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda!
 

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I found it interesting to see all the comparisons to the H-D brand. Independant of how one feels about those bikes, H-D made an amazing turnaround from which many lessons can be learned.

It seems Ducati has been paying atention.
 

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I'm guessing that they are dropping the variety of entry level bikes because it costs about the same to make an entry level as a high margin. I'm hoping that that the new SS is one of the models not specifically defined, but it looks like we're going to have to wait for it.

Several of their comparisons are with H-D, yet they have a chart that shows how opposed they are and they really don't compete with many similar models. I would think there would be more comparisons with BMW, since there are more direct product comparisons.

Pretty cool how most of their cards are on the table and their admissions of faults/failures.
 

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very intresting, very brave public disclosure, and in some ways very reassureing. It suggest that Ducati knows what their problems are, and how to fix them.

Also of note their new development and testing plan for bikes is intresting. Their current/old methid is insain! they just made a bunch of prototypes did a track day and called it done! Its amazing their as reliable as they are and arn't far far worse.
 

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1. No direct comparison to BMW because they do not want to emulate the business model of BMW. The Harley model....which they declared when TPG took over.....is really where they want to be. Yep, the good the bad and the ugly, the ugly of which is that accessories ( read T shirt sales ) is to be a major profit center.

2. Re: admissions etc. Well, they are a publicly traded company so.....Nevertheless, it does add some nice balance.

b.

jack said:
Several of their comparisons are with H-D, yet they have a chart that shows how opposed they are and they really don't compete with many similar models. I would think there would be more comparisons with BMW, since there are more direct product comparisons.

Pretty cool how most of their cards are on the table and their admissions of faults/failures.
 

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nathanTX said:
WOW! It is absolutely amazing to me that such information is entirely public. I've never seen anything like that for any of the Japanese competition. As a degreed marketing professional and someone who has been involved in planning and conducting operations of multi-million dollar corporations (not that I'm anything special, just that I'm not entirely ingorant), I found a couple of things very intersting.

1) They plan to all but completely cease to offer entry level options. The way I read it, by 2008, the only smaller displacement, entry priced option will be the M695 or MDark or some model variation. So, say goodbye to the smaller SS, MTS620 and the like. Also a drastic reduction in the number of available models. While I do think they could stand to clean up their product line offerings (too many models that aren't that different from each other or offer no distinct advantage), I'm really surprised that they would try to force all entry Ducati buyers into one mold. Doesn't seem on the surface to be a good way to encourage long term brand loyal buyers. That is, today's SS800 buyer is tomorrow's 749S buyer, but the naked M695 might likely appeal to a totally different crowd. They want to focus on high end/exlusive models, but are they really going to count on ALL of their buyers to be impetuous spenders who go whole hog on their very first foray into the Desmo world?
The Japanese are simply killing them in their "entry-level" segment. That type of buyer tends to be more price-conscious and would rather get the cheaper Japanese brand. OTOH, I don't think this includes the 749 series. That's considered mid-line and will probably still be around, although models like the 749 Dark may go bye-bye.

2) They are going to intentionally inflate demand by selling more bikes than they produce over the next couple of years. Probably wise for profitability, both at the factory and dealer level. Good for current owners too since prices of new bikes will go up due to S/D, and therefore used models will become more attractive to buyers. Same for fewer entry level bikes. If someone gets the Ducati bug and mostly R and S models are being made, with fewer choices at the dealer, the prices in a less expensive and more plentiful used market will get driven up. MORE FOR US! In the short run at least.
Very shrewd move and probably the right one. They can't compete in the high-volume, low price market like the Japanese can. It's better to stay exclusive and demand a higher premium like HD does.
 

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I don't think there is anything "ugly" about t-shirt sales! Personally, I would like to see clothing, mugs, nic nacs, etc... as a cash cow for the company; that way, they could continue to make eclectic motorcycles for the discerning rider.

I think most of us appreciate the idiosyncracies of our Ducati's. While that term should not be a synonym for 'unreliable', I do want membership to the club to be somewhat exclusive. A motorcycle for every man/woman is available elsewhere.

Ducati should continue to make interesting, sexy motorcycles. I think we would all agree on that one. If, like H-D, they will help realize that goal by selling more jackets and t-shirts...so be it! Bully to the naysayers!
 
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