(Yicai Global) April 21 -- Despite the Chinese motorcycle market being seriously affected by the coronavirus pandemic last year, the marketing director of Ducati China, an arm of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, said the company is very optimistic about the market’s recovery this year.
“China’s economy has very strong foundations, so the Chinese motorcycle market will recover soon,” Zoe Fu told Yicai Global in an interview on April 19 during the ongoing 20th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.
Production and sales of motorbikes in China fell 16.1 percent and 15.6 percent to 21.3 million and 21.4 million units, respectively, last year from 2021, according to data released by the China Chamber of Commerce for Motorcycle in January. Despite the market’s shrinkage, Ducati’s sales jumped 6 percent, as the company notched up its best-ever performance in the country.
“2022 was a historical year for Ducati,” Fu said. “It achieved record sales both at the global and Chinese level."
“We have a very competitive portfolio for this year,” he added, noting that the company has been holding a series of experience-driven events to continue to improve its positioning in the Chinese market.
“This is the first large-scale automotive show Ducati has attended since the pandemic,” Fu told Yicai Global. “Our main goal is not to find more dealers or distributors but to show people the unique Italian motorcycle culture.”
Two Ducati motorcycles made their Chinese market debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, the Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini and the Moster SP.
The Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini is the second model released by Ducati in collaboration with Lamborghini after the Diavel Lamborghini two years ago. Only 630 units of the Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini will be produced as an homage to the Italian luxury sports car manufacturer’s founding year, 1963.
At the Shanghai Auto Show, Ducati also brought out its Desmosedici GP, the racing motorcycle that won all three of last year’s MotoGP championship titles. The bike was placed in the front area of the booth, enticing many visitors to take pictures.
The Beijing Motor Show will be held next month. Ducati will attend and showcase its new Diavel V4 and other models.
China ‘Experience Strategy’
“Experience is the keyword of Ducati’s strategy in the Chinese market this year,” Fu said. “Many believe that Ducati’s products are only racing bikes, but with a series of riding events, we want to prove that our long-distance motorcycles are also premium made-in-Italy products.”
At the beginning of the year, Ducati held a series of launch and riding events for the Multistrada, a long-distance riding series. Fu explained to Yicai Global that the launch was actually a more than one-month riding event that brought media and customers on a unique trip around China’s southern Hainan province.
In March, Ducati launched another bike, the Desert X, its first off-road-oriented Ducati motorcycle. For that occasion, it invited 80 people to try the new model with a 230-kilometer test ride in the desert of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. “People have to experience the bike,” Fu noted.
Before the Beijing Motor Show, Ducati will also organize a two-day racing event on the Zhuhai International Circuit in China’s southern Guangdong province. Clients with proper racing experience will be able to take lessons from professional instructors certified by Ducati’s headquarters.
The company also plans to organize other long-distance riding experiences like the one in Hainan in Xinjiang or Yunnan province, to let clients and the media try its new Multistrada model.
Editor: Peter Thomas