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Ducati announced the D16 at a time when the FIM was being difficult about upping the allowable twin capacity to 1200. My take is the D16 was a shot across the bow to the FIM and the four cylinder marques, saying either let me take my twin to 1200, or I'll bring this baby to the party. I think that's why Ducati produced such an unheard of number (1500) of a limited edition machine. At the time 1500 was the required homologation (I believe). Ducati certainly did not earn much profit on those bikes.

Once the 1098 was approved for WSBK, the D16 approach was no longer needed. Now here we are over 5 years later and Aprilias essentially got their own D16. Make no mistake, the folks in Noale pay attention to Ducati's moves.

Kudos to Ducati though, for sticking with a twin, and now developing it to amazing levels with the 1199. It will be interesting to see how the Pani fares against that rocketship Aprilia in Superstock this year (and WSBK in 2013).
Ducati built the Desmo road bike to make money. They increased production from the original 500 units because of demand (they also upped the price). 1500 units @$50,000 generates a gross revenue of $75 million dollars the bulk of the development had been done in building the race bike, so the development costs would be far less than say building the new Panigale. So there was a very good margin on those bikes, which they didn't even have to market.

Ducati would never have raced the Desmo in superbikes because of the embarrassment it would have caused when their "GP Bike" got beat by a lowly streetbike. Ducati's political leverage in superbikes has always been to prop up the series with customer bikes and using the threat of leaving for leverage. That is why it's latest maneuver failed, because they no longer prop up the series since it is now supported by multiple manufacturers.
 

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Ducati built the Desmo road bike to make money. They increased production from the original 500 units because of demand (they also upped the price). 1500 units @$50,000 generates a gross revenue of $75 million dollars the bulk of the development had been done in building the race bike, so the development costs would be far less than say building the new Panigale. So there was a very good margin on those bikes, which they didn't even have to market.

Ducati would never have raced the Desmo in superbikes because of the embarrassment it would have caused when their "GP Bike" got beat by a lowly streetbike. Ducati's political leverage in superbikes has always been to prop up the series with customer bikes and using the threat of leaving for leverage. That is why it's latest maneuver failed, because they no longer prop up the series since it is now supported by multiple manufacturers.

Hey, Rob, get real. You don't think making that 'GP bike' streetable and warranty reliable wasn't costly? Do you really think 1500 examples can recoup all of the costs? AND you think desmosedici-based superbikes would have been embarrassed by 'lowly streetbikes'? Based on what evidence?

If you have inside information on Ducati's strategic planning and bottom line, out with it, otherwise ... get real
 

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Discussion Starter #64
1500 units @$50,000 generates a gross revenue of $75 million dollars the bulk of the development had been done
I don't think it's that simple, race bikes were one off prototypes, to convert that in to production some changes had to be made, tooling etc. that was not cheap.

Take a top of the line SPS and add all the trick carbon, magnesium and unobtainium parts and suddenly the D16 seems like a bargain and you begin to wonder if they made any money on it at all.

I don't know for a fact if they lost money on D16, if anyone can provide credible numbers proving otherwise I will be the first one to eat crow, however my position is reinforced by the example of Veyron, at $1,700,000 (yeah, $1.7 MILLION!) they still lost money on each one that rolled off the assembly line.
 
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