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Bob
8th July 2004, 23:37
Ducati has made an offer to buy the majority shareholding of the crisis-hit Aprilia Group.

"Ours is a long-term industrial project," said Federico Minoli, Ducati Chairman and CEO. "We are not financial investors. We are moved by passion and we are dedicated to the success of Italian bikes worldwide. We are conscious that this success depends on respecting and enhancing the different identities of each single brand.

Technological competencies could be better used in an integrated and coherent development plan that avoids duplication and concentrates on technology and innovation.

Our Ducati turn-around experience leaves us confident of the possibility of success and conscious of the responsabilities we are assuming versus an industry sector that has always proudly brought the Italian geniality and passion for the two-wheel industry to the world."

Coldkiwi
9th July 2004, 10:20
that'll be interesting to watch. Saw a PR release from Aprilia the other week that sounded relatively rosey (surprise surprise) that said Ivano Baggio (President of Aprilia) was taking some of his shares and redistributing them to financial institutes around Italy

James Deuce
9th July 2004, 10:44
Hmmm. I'd see that as the Aprilia brand vanishing, and Guzzi staying on and becoming the Cruiser/Sport Touring brand for Ducati.

Paul in NZ
9th July 2004, 10:57
Hmmm. I'd see that as the Aprilia brand vanishing, and Guzzi staying on and becoming the Cruiser/Sport Touring brand for Ducati.

Hack cough splutter gasp! :shit:

And you had the cheek to call me an illiterate buffoon? You bastard! :Oi:

Ducati buying Guzzi will be like BSA buying Triumph (and eventually thinking they could run it when Edward Turner left). Both brands will be worse off...

Italian business is not like any other. Hopefully, Moto Guzzi will splutter on making unpopular old shitters to the die hards that know there is a damn good real world motorbike hiding in there while Ducati go broke tring to be Ferrari.... ;)

If ANYONE has a claim to be the pre eminent sport bike maker of Italy it is Moto Guzzi. Ducati is just a johnnie come lately. Personally I think Ducati should become the gay pink Barbie bike branch of Moto Guzzi (sorry Mooch, no offence)

Paul N

Moto Guzzi MkII LeMans - The Gentlemans Express...

Bob
9th July 2004, 18:48
My view on this, for what it is worth? The US market could be what Ducati want Guzzi for. The US is a significant money-spinner for Ducati (when the exchange rates went, well, 'wonky', it hit Ducati's bottom-line hard).

Now at the moment, Ducati are effectively sportsbikes - OK they do a couple of sports-tourers, but these don't really count for a significant proportion of their sales. And they don't do any cruisers at all.

What are a couple of big classes in the US? Cruisers and tourers.

Ducati really can't move into those two markets using their own name - total loss of image, it would affect sales badly. But Guzzi? Not really a brand that well known in the US (as far as I am aware). And a brand with a history of making the very bikes that Ducati do not.

So... introduce the Guzzi brand, use Ducati's marketing techniques and you get a foot in the door.

Another angle? Get 'em on Ducati's when they are young - but as they get older? Tourers and cruisers get more appealing... so 'keep it Italian' is the theme. Get 'em young and you've hopefully got 'em for life.

Harley-Davidson do the same thing with Buell. Buell actually loses H-D a couple of hundred thousand a year, but what the brand does, they hope, is to get younger riders who aren't into the cruiser/touring thing.... yet. Then as they get older, onto H-D.

The US bike market is a good one to start attacking now, if you've got the right bikes. The 'Baby Boomer' set are all getting older now and from what I've read, the younger ones aren't into the 'culture' thing that Harley so carefully cultivated.

So buy a brand name that has the right kind of history, market it... and if it works, wonderful. If it doesn't? Well the main brand isn't affected.

Mind you, what happens to the Aprilia brand, I don't know - but maybe this:

Ducati - out and out sportsbikes
Aprilia - takes over the sports-tourer, all-rounder role
Guzzi - becomes the cruiser marque of the company

As someone said, can't see the point in putting out sportsbikes from two/three companies owned by the same group, so maybe 'specialisation' is the key?

Bob
10th July 2004, 01:52
Just spotted an item that says Piaggio are considering bidding for Aprilia.

Perhaps splitting the resources could be the result?

Piaggio get Aprilia, keep making them. Ducati get Guzzi and use them as their cruiser/tourer arm?

Of course, if they wanted to make a serious assualt on the world, merge the whole lot! That'd create a serious player in the market...

wari
10th July 2004, 02:01
One thing I've wonderd is how Aprillian keeps a GP team running. :wait:

James Deuce
10th July 2004, 09:44
One thing I've wonderd is how Aprillian keeps a GP team running. :wait:

Corporate accounting mate. Separate budget and legal entity.

If Aprilia go to Piaggio then the brand will stay. I reckon if it went with Ducati (assuming they buy it) they'd kill the brand, and rebadge the 250GP machines as Ducatis. Why have two competing sports brands in one company.

Though saying that, Suzuki and Kawasaki spring to mind as one company with two distinct brands that rebadge each others bikes.

Bob
11th July 2004, 22:30
Though saying that, Suzuki and Kawasaki spring to mind as one company with two distinct brands that rebadge each others bikes.

I thought they'd only done that with one bike to date? Otherwise, the agreement was largely based around sharing of common parts (although I reckon if you use part X15 from Suzuki instead of part Y75 on your Kawasaki, it will probably be a technical breach of insurance termss) as far as I know.

Re-badging is nothing new though - AJS and Matchless ran the same bikes with different names and badges for years (I think there may have been minor differences as well, but I don't know much about old Brit bikes). Odd how brand loyalty works though - I'll look at a Matchless and think it is pretty - look at an AJS and I normally think "What an old clunker"!

James Deuce
12th July 2004, 06:09
I thought they'd only done that with one bike to date? Otherwise, the agreement was largely based around sharing of common parts (although I reckon if you use part X15 from Suzuki instead of part Y75 on your Kawasaki, it will probably be a technical breach of insurance termss) as far as I know.

Re-badging is nothing new though - AJS and Matchless ran the same bikes with different names and badges for years (I think there may have been minor differences as well, but I don't know much about old Brit bikes). Odd how brand loyalty works though - I'll look at a Matchless and think it is pretty - look at an AJS and I normally think "What an old clunker"!

Nope, there are 3 Suzuki trailies that have been labelled Kwakas, and the 650 V-Strom is also now a Kawasaki. There is from (an albeit faulty) memory at least one scooter also.

I know what you mean about brand loyalty. One of those brain trick thingamees that marketing people waffle on about.

Coldkiwi
12th July 2004, 11:32
had an interesting conversation with a guy on teh loop ride this w/e who works for Pirelli. I asked him what was happening with Metzeler and Pirelli now that they had merged, frinstance, do they target particularly different market segments?
What i discovered was that it has ALWAYS been Pirelli-Metzeler Moto Company. Tyres for both brands are made off the same machine. Apparently (i'm an engineer not a market analyist) It comes down to simple consumer thinking.
If two bikes stores on the same road stock only pirellis' The consumer will always buy his tyres from the guy with the lowest price. This inevitably drives prices down. But if the two stores stock different brands, the consumer can say to himself 'ahh, well I'm a Metzeler man and I'm happy to pay this higher price for my tyres over those pirellis down there'...or vice versa. End of the day, he buys from the same company but pays more.
So if Ducati bought aprilia, it may not be a bad thing for Aprilia to keep making superbikes. I for one, LOVE the RSV range but find the 999 lacking as I'm sure do lots of other people. So it really makes sense for them both to keep making bikes to appeal to a wider range of buyers rather than concentrate on making ducati superbikes when a lot of people just won't buy them on principle

thoughts?

James Deuce
12th July 2004, 11:35
I always knew marketing people were supremely sociopathic, but that just confirms it for me CK :)