Ducati promised that it was going back to India after a disastrous first stint in the country. It may have taken longer than we expected, but Ducati finally came through on its word with the launch of Ducati India Private Limited, an Indian subsidiary that will handle the distribution of Ducati models to three of the country’s biggest cities: Mumbai, Delhi, and Gurgaon.

This might not have any effect on us here in the US, but the company’s return to the Indian market is a pretty big deal for the company. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago when Ducati’s first foray into the Indian market fell flat on its face after a disastrous partnership with local distributor Precision Motor that caused Ducati to exit the market after being forced to stop selling its bikes in the country.

But Ducati’s back in India, wiser and more in tune with the demands of the Indian market. The fact that Ducati is now handling every business aspect of its operations in India is a markedly different approach from the distributor route it took the last time. We all know how that ended and it seems that Ducati has learned its lesson.

This time, Ducati’s taking the reigns with an all-encompassing plan to build its brand in India. Part of that plan includes the creation of a highly trained network of qualified dealerships that will be run by the company’s local subsidiary. In addition, Ducati is also setting up after-sales services that will be on par with the company’s existing global network.

No more shortcuts this time around for Ducati. The company tried that before and that didn’t work. With this new approach, the company now has high hopes of penetrating the Indian market with a lineup of bikes that include the Diavel, Hypermotard, Monster, Superbike, and Scrambler models.

Ducati’s particularly excited about offering the Scrambler in India. It’s the cheapest Ducati in the lineup but more importantly, it’s got the style, character, and capability that appeals to the Indian market.

It might be too soon to call Ducati’s return to India a successful one, but with the pieces in place and controlled by Ducati itself, there now appears to be a semblance of stability that was lacking the last time it was in India.

Continue reading to read more about Ducati’s return to India.

Why it matters

Depending on the year, India regularly competes with China, Japan, and the US as the biggest motorcycle markets in the world so establishing a presence there is a big deal for Ducati.

Granted, gaining entry into the Indian market and actually thriving there are two vastly different things. If Ducati wants to be successful in India, it also has to navigate through a handful of manufacturers that are already in the country. It’s not just Yamaha, Honda, or Suzuki that the company has to worry about. Local brands like Bajaj, Indus, TVS, and Royal Enfield all have shares in the market and you can be sure that they’re not just going to give their precious shares to an Italian manufacturer. It helps that Ducati has a name that will instantly catch on to residents of India. Ducati may not be a global brand yet, but it is a global name.

Ducati’s now taking a smarter approach in India than the last time because it’s now in charge of spreading its brand instead of letting an ill-equipped local distributor do it. What it does from here on out will be its responsibility. That won’t necessarily mean success in the long run, but at the very least, the company is now betting on itself to become a big part of India’s motorcycle market.

If it succeeds, it’s because it worked hard to get there. If it doesn’t, then it has nobody to blame but itself.

Source: Indian Autos Blog

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