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DUCATI REVS UP RECOVERY

Along with every other motorcycle manufacturer, Volkswagen Group’s Ducati subsidiary has endured a torrid time in 2020, due to the Covid pandemic. But its nine-monthly results were nevertheless surprisingly resilient and showed signs of rapid improvement in the third quarter. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Revenue over the January-September span was a relatively modest 10.2% down at £458.7m, set against an 11.5% decline in global retail sales volume to 38,789 bikes. But within that, the brand enjoyed a powerful 21.4% surge in deliveries to customers during Q3, regaining a lot of lost ground.

All the same, operating profit for the year to date took a severe hit, plunging by 48.2% to £26.1m. As usual, this figure had been corrected for purchase price allocation purposes.

Ducati’s Naked range, covering Diavel, Monster and Streetfighter models, completely bucked an otherwise negative retail trend, rising by 15.4% to 13,035 bikes sold. The new Streetfighter V4, reaching dealers in March and subsequently joined by its S version, played a role in that.

Sports bikes did well too, sales falling by just 5.3% to 8330. Uprated Panigale V2 and V4 models, plus a limited-edition Superleggera V4 reaching dealers from June onwards, received honourable mentions.

In both these cases, a boost came from availability, given production levels matching or close to 2019 output. Ducati assembled 13,029 samples of the former, a mere 0.2% short of the previous year, and 7251 of the latter, 9.3% lower.

Multistrada and Hypermotard models weren’t so lucky. Production volume halved to 7643 and sales sank by 29.8% to 9889. These included the new Multistrada 1260S Grand Tour, a new Multistrada 950 GP White introduced since July and the new Hypermotard 950 RVE in showrooms from June.

Despite two new Icon Dark models, the Scrambler sub-brand suffered as well, sales dropping by 22% to 7535 and production 23.4% down at 6185.

Overall, Ducati’s production in the past nine months has shrunk by 23.2% to 34,108.

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