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Ducati Cucciolo

Ducati Motor Holding SpA

(39 051) 406-580


Employees: 1,134

Sales: million (2005)

Stock New York

Ticker Symbol: DMH

336991 Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Manufacturing; 423110 Automobile and Motor Vehicle Merchant 423120 Motor Vehicle and New Parts Merchant Wholesalers; Offices of Other Holding

Ducati Motor Holding SpA a range of motorcycles known for groundbreaking designs and technical From its earliest years motorcycles, Ducati has been for its achievements in racing; Ducati among many other 13 manufacturers #x2019; titles at the Superbike Championship between and 2006. Ducati motorcycles become prized collectors items and coveted possessions for fans.

In an effort to capture of the marketing flair of rival Ducati has also entered the business, producing clothing and motorcycling accessories, which the sells in its own expanding chain of clothing and accessories stores in New York, London, Capetown, and While Ducati #x2019; s have ebbed and flowed the decades, its reputation for an exceptional of form and function has never


The Ducati name eventually synonymous with high-performance motorcycles, but the company #x2019; s were in another industry In 1926, Adriano Ducati, with his brother, other members, and other local founded Societe Radio Ducati in Bologna, Italy. As the #x2019; s name suggests, its products were based on held by Ducati and destined for the market for radio equipment and

Ducati #x2019; s first the Manens condenser, gave the company instant worldwide A string of other successful followed, making Ducati an recognized name.

By the mid-1930s, the despite the worldwide recession, had out of its existing facilities. In 1935, the began construction of its Borgo factory, on the outskirts of Bologna, a production facility that was designed to attract further and technological investment in Bologna an early example of the #x201C; #x201D; found in California s Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

construction continued on the Borgo plant, Ducati also developing an international network of and service facilities, allowing the to offer its customers faster and direct distribution and support By the end of the decade, the company had opened and subsidiaries in Caracas, New York, Paris, and Sydney.

World War II put an end to #x2019; s glowing radio Extensive Allied bombing completely destroyed the Borgo factory. By 1944, nothing of the Ducati site.

While crushing the Ducati #x2019; s business, the destruction of the Panigale plant would give rise to a new opportunity and a new era for the Ducati brand name.


As Italy fought, lost, and technically at least, won World War II, Ducati and his brother began plans for the company #x2019; s future. Reviewing a number of new with which the brothers to regain their company s international position, the Ducati made the rather radical of switching product focus Instead of building radio the Ducatis began designing for a market entirely #x2014; and by the first new Ducati product the Cucciolo.

The Cucciolo was a small designed to be fitted to bicycles. The was a quick success, and the Cucciolo became one of the biggest-selling motors of its in the world. While sold as a kit at Ducati soon began its own motorized bike, based on a frame patent and constructed by in Trente.

By the beginning of the 1950s, the had graduated from a motorized to full-fledged status as a motorcycle. this Cucciolo, the company more than 50 years of motorcycling fame.

The Cucciolo was joined by other motorcycle In 1952, the company unveiled its featuring a 175cc engine, ignition, and automatic transmission. The year saw a more conventional with a small 98cc increased to 125cc) engine, as an affordable, if stripped-down, motorbike.

with the Cucciolo, these brought Ducati back to the of the international manufacturing scene and make the company a leading in cycling.

Yet the company #x2019; s successes would come the arrival of the legendary Fabio as the company #x2019; s chief engineer in 1955. Taglioni an avant garde approach to design, seeking revolutionary for both technical excellence and performance. Taglioni also the need to demonstrate the excellence of his and he led the company onto the racing particularly long-distance competitions the Giro d #x2019; Italia.

#x2019; s influence quickly a new generation of Ducati motorbikes. In the company debuted a four-…, engine, available in touring and versions, that could speeds of up to 135 kilometers (approximately 70 per hour. These models, the Special, and Sport models, joined by the America model the year.

By 1958 Ducati had begun the 200cc-powered Elite model, also featured, for the first the Taglioni-designed #x201C; desmodromic valve gear system. The system would remain an feature of the Ducati design the 1990s, and would provide the pad for the company #x2019; s great successes.


The desmodromic system the way for a new 250cc model, a twin-cylinder specially ordered by racing Mike Hailwood in 1960. The engine was soon adapted as a powerhouse for such models as the Monza, Aurea, and the later GP providing speeds up to 170 kilometers miles) per hour.

The company produce still more models, including the famed 350cc, and 450cc Scrambler which found great in the U.S. market. Meanwhile, was building its reputation among the world, with the Mach 250 a breakthrough in 1964. This was soon followed by the 450 Mark 3D introduced in 1968, which the speed limit beyond 170 per hour.


is motorcycles. Ducati produces motorcycles with unique features, innovative designs, engineering and overall technical Ducati offers a range of the highly sophisticated and sought-after ever created for the road.

The of the Japanese motorcycles, including Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki, challenged the Western market and inaugurated a new category of bikes, the maxi-bike, featuring large-displacement of 750cc and more. While would remain synonymous high-performance, small-capacity motorcycles, the raced to join the maxi-bike producing a twin-cylinder 750cc incorporating the desmodromic valve

The new motorcycle would make its in April 1972, when it first and second place at the 200. This bike give rise to a new Ducati the Supersport, a line that continue for decades. In 1978 the captured world attention Mike Hailwood came out of to capture both the Tourist and the Formula 1 TT on a 900cc Supersport.


In Ducati was purchased by the brothers and Gianfranco Castiglioni, who placed the company under their Cagiva Group conglomerate. as passionate racing fans, the allowed Ducati to remain on the bike track, setting the for the company #x2019; s string of victories.

The Castiglionis also the company #x2019; s line of introducing more models and a wider selection of #x2014; and production volume for #x2014; the displacement motorcycles by then the entire market. One of the architects of new Ducati era was Massimo Bordi, who the company as design engineer in and who quickly made his mark on the #x2019; s racing production.

Inspired by Formula 1 racing, and by the Cosgrove engine design, set to work designing a new series of motorcycles. For this, he incorporated the valve and distribution system to a air-cooled motor based on the engine. The result was the #x201C; #x201D; which debuted as the of the 748 model in the Grand Prix of

Two years later, the 851 model usher in the era of the Ducati dominance of the circuit: after that won its first championship, in 1990, Ducati bikes #x2014; the 888 in the 916 in 1994 #x2014; went on to win six of the eight races, firmly Ducati as the category leader. At the time, Ducati premiered the a legendary entry in the fun bike The Monster was an example of what has described as a #x201C; … motorcycle, one that has been down to just the essentials.

Ducati was winning races, it was losing money. That is, the brothers, in attempts to resuscitate the conglomerate, had been draining #x2019; s revenues. Production in the company #x2019; s now ancient #x2014; had begun to slow, to a low of just 12,500 motorcycles in

Ducati faced financial


The struggling empire caught the attention of Pacific Group (TPG), a buyout specialist. Hiring Minoli as Ducati #x2019; s executive officer, TPG negotiated the of the Ducati business, initially 49 percent of Ducati for some $43 in 1996. Under the terms of the agreement, an additional 2 percent was in a trust held by TPG, gave the company control of

In August 1998, TPG bought out the of Ducati, paying the Castiglionis million.


1926: Radio Brevetti Ducati is in Bologna, Italy, to sell equipment. 1946: Ducati the Cucciolo, a small motor to be fitted to bicycles. 1952: begins selling the Cruiser, its motorized scooter.

1955: design engineer Fabio joins Ducati. 1958: produces its first model Taglioni-designed #x201C; desmodromic valve gear system. Motorcycle racer Mike wins Tourist Trophy and 1 TT on a Ducati 900cc Supersport.

1983: Claudio and Gianfranco purchase Ducati, making it of their Cagiva Group. Texas Pacific Group purchases controlling stake of 1998: TPG buys the rest of 1999: TPG floats Ducati on the New Stock Exchange.

2005: TPG its controlling stake in Ducati to an private equity firm, Holdings.

Meanwhile, Minoli to turn around the famous company. One of his immediate moves was to heavy investments in refitting the #x2019; s production lines, automation, while also with the company #x2019; s to improve efficiency. Not content to increase production levels, greatly expanded the company s range of models, more doubling the number of production and introducing the Ducati name new categories.

Minoli also most of Ducati #x2019; s putting in place a largely team. As production levels Minoli set to work streamlining #x2019; s distributor model. He a two-tiered system of exclusive with some 40 Ducati-only and some 900 store-in-store shops Ducati products in third-party

Minoli also worked on the Ducati image. Following the model, Minoli sought to Ducati a brand as much with a lifestyle as it was with racing. A new line of Ducati-labeled and biking accessories appeared, and the launched a high-fashion ad campaign, the ads to such publications as GQ and For Him magazines. The also hired clothing Donna Karan to create of its biking outfits.

The Ducati underwent radical design as Phil Patton described in the New Times, #x201C; the company its gritty garage-style shops …-and-span boutiques. #x201D; underwent its image changes at an time, when increasing of motorcycle fans developed a appreciation for well-designed bikes as items. A 1998 show at the Museum, called #x201C; The Art of the #x201D; as well as headline-making of classic motorcycles at tony houses cemented this


Ducati Cucciolo

The revived Ducati continued to win and attract new motorcycling fans to pay up to $25,000 for a Ducati bike. The #x2019; s revenues began to topping $280 million in and approaching $300 million for With Ducati back on TPG cashed in, taking Ducati in March 1999 with a on the New York Stock Exchange. nevertheless, remained Ducati s majority shareholder.

Soon Ducati #x2019; s public industry rumors began to that a merger might be in for the famed Italian manufacturer, Milwaukee #x2019; s Harley-Davidson. The immediately denied the rumors.

Two months after going Ducati opened its first in North America, on New York #x2019; s West Side. the Donna Karan clothing including leather motorcycle with price tags of and higher, the store also Ducati #x2019; s new line of … #x201D; sport

To help promote the image of the lifestyle, the company launched its television commercial in the spring of with a 30-second spot to run on stations during televised races. Ducati motorcycles in high-end catalogs with atop them; glossy featured photographs of celebrities as Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks their Ducatis. Ducati the 21st century by embracing sales, offering its MH900e for exclusively online.

While at the of the 21st century Ducati to enjoy the success engendered by its renewal and overhaul of business by 2004 the company had again to lose money. In the midst of financial struggles, TPG announced, in 2005, that it would its controlling stake in Ducati to an private equity firm, Holdings. While other buyers had offered higher Ducati executives persuaded TPG to the bid from Investindustrial because firm pledged to preserve the brand and to invest capital the company. As CEO Minoli explained to Pascale of Powersports Business, the firm was #x201C; buying the and buying our dream. #x201D;

Two years of losses prompted executives to formulate a new business based on decreasing costs, production efficiency, and increasing of the products with the highest margin. The company focused its efforts on emphasizing the Ducati as a symbol of unparalleled performance in motorcycles. Ducati began to results from its new strategy in with slight increases in and reductions in costs.

In an interview Powersports Business, CEO Minoli that the company expected America to account for much of its future growth, describing the market as Ducati #x2019; s largest behind Italy.

of its financial performance, Ducati to earn praise for its product and unswerving devotion from its Its Hypermotard model was named Best Bike for 2005 by the Motorcycle Design Association, and a among thousands of visitors to the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy, resulted in the Ducati being named #x201C; Beautiful Motorcycle of the Show. The unveiling of a new motorcycle, the Desmosedici RR, at the Grand Prix in June caused a stir among enthusiasts. The 2007 model, a replica of Ducati #x2019; s MotoGP, was priced at $65,000, and a few hours of taking orders, the had fielded enough orders to the forecasted North American for the bike #x2019; s entire year.

M. L. Cohen

Updated, Judy


Ducati America; Ducati France Ducati Motor Deutschland (Germany); Ducati North B.V.; Ducati Japan Ducati U.K. Ltd.; Corse.


David, #x201C; Naked Travel Comeback Trail, Greensboro News Record, 2, 1999.

#x201C; Ducati Three-Year Plan, #x201D; Business, May 15, 2006, p. 8.

#x201C; Plans IPO and Placement, #x201D; Street Journal Europe, 5, 1999, p. 15.

#x201C; Ducati s Hyper Concept, #x201D; Design Production, May 2006, p. 58.

Ducati #x2019; s Race an Early Hit with Public, Powersports Business, July 3, p. 32.

Ebert, Guido, #x201C; Earnings and Motorcycle Revenue in 2005, #x201D; Powersports March 13, 2006, p. 10.

Halliday, #x201C; Italian Motorcycle Breaks First-Ever TV Spot, Advertising Age, May 15, 2000, p. 8.

Richard, #x201C; Vroom-Vroom Potato-Potato, #x201D; Forbes, 26, 1999.

Michaud, Chris, Ducati Peddles Designer in N. American Debut, #x201D; Business Report, May 20, 1999.

Neil, #x201C; QA with #x2019; s CEO, #x201D; Business, September 4, 2006, p. 4.

Phil, #x201C; As Fashion on Two It #x2019; s a Roaring Success, New York Times, June 7, p. F8.

Putter, Eric, #x201C; #x201D; Dealernews, November p. 22.

Tagliabue, John, #x201C; Fashion for 2-Wheel Italian Makers Hope to Carve Out in High End of US Market, #x201D; Worth-Star Telegram, May 25, 1999.

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