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Old 03-20-2004, 11:03 AM   #82
seruzawa
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Default Re: Gratuitous assertions

Of the people I motor with not one, even the ones who own sportbikes, cares who wins races. You're right that many people do.



Have a nice day anyhow.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:53 PM   #83
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Default Re: Ducati Profits........Or Not

I find it interesting that the earlier piece of the announcement, indicating a strengthening of sales occured in the last quarter, compared to last year, and overall, sales are improving after a really bad first quarter.



For the fourth quarter, unofficial Ducati worldwide registrations, a measure of retail sales, were up 2% versus the fourth quarter of last year, in a market which grew 7%. In particular, there was growth in Germany (up 53%), in Italy (up 18%), in Japan (up 9%), in non-subsidiary importer countries (up 1%) and declines in the Benelux Countries (down 8%), in the US (down 12%), in France (down 12%) and in the UK (down 37%).



"The fourth quarter of 2003 saw increasing registrations and an improved EBITDA margin, bringing to a close on a positive note a tough year," said Federico Minoli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ducati. "After a very difficult first quarter, we experienced a recovery during the remaining nine months. Indeed, excluding the first quarter, 2003 unit sales were up 5% versus last year."



I think while many, many people - especially hard-core Ducatisti - were dismayed with the dramatically different styling of the 999 vs. the much-loved 916, the styling is the kind that grows on you, and this is being reflected in recent sales increases.



I think the 999 is fresh, modern, dramatic, and BEST OF ALL - UNIQUE. It is instantly recognizable, unlike many of the newer, homogenous sports bikes. Anyone care for the bland looks of the new 955i models?



Ducati took a major risk, it's true, in changing the looks from the 916 so dramatically, and despite what anyone who loves the old bike thinks, there was need for a change, IMO. The 916, while gorgeous, was starting to look just a little bit jaded. (and this from a person who takes delivery of a very nice 748S this coming Monday!).



I think Ducati needed Terblanche to bring the modern functionality and usability back to Ducati, and to take that dramatic step away from the 916.



Remember, Ducati will NEVER compete in any "price/performance" comparison against the Japs. It can survive ONLY by being exclusive and different. Good performance helps, but is not the final key factor. It's the exclusivity that counts for Ducati - although it helps that they are dominant in the WSB and making a stunningly competitive MotoGP racer- from such a tiny manufacturer, and thrashing a Jap giant like Suzuki in this world competition, and competing with Yamaha - the world's number 2 Jap bike giant.



Only Honda, with all it's awesome engineering resources and racing budget is able to beat Ducati convincingly on the track, in MotoGP - but until this year, they could not do so on the street.



A Ducati is designed and built with such passion and engineering elegance, right down to the last nut and bolt, that it manages to build passionate and enthusiatic owners, not only for it's level of actual performance, but also for simply it's own design & engineering beauty. A Ducati does not "age" as quickly as the Jap bikes, which, while all stunningly competent, reliable, fast, comfortable, smooth, quiet, well-built and cheap to purchase - are more like hyper-performance digital robots, built to have the best specs for the money, with the cheapest materials possible to accomplish the financial and performance goals. They generally become instantly devalued and unwanted as soon as the next, "new and improved" model hits the street, with better performance and new "styling" to render the old model instantly obsolete. This does not happen with a Ducati.



So...discussions about price/performance and value and even performance specs are relatively minor factors in Ducati's success. Their character, styling, engineering elegance, racing pedigree, exclusivity, "feel" and "price-be-damned" design approach is what counts to most Ducatisti. They are the true Ferrari's of the biking world.



Bean-counters and value-for-money'ers need not apply.

None of us NEEDS any of these bikes - and provided enough people are willing to pay for what Ducati offers, and continues to offer, they will be just fine!



Old Baldy.
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Old 03-20-2004, 01:06 PM   #84
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Default Ducati is alive and well...with MV Agusta

I totally agree. If I may add an additional .005 cent--



1) Ducati should do whatever it takes to get Tamburini and Galluzi back.



2) Performance wise, they should start looking at possible street versions of their V4 GP motor and start putting out 160+ hp bikes. That way, they could retain the spirit, sound, and performance characteristics of a twin, but with the power whallop of a 4.



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Old 03-20-2004, 02:32 PM   #85
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Default Re: Ducati Profits........Or Not

Gotta love those $850 services due about every 10k on the older beamer cars. I'm 1100 miles passed my 24k service on my bmw bike as I wanted to burn off whats left of my tires, but dreading the $600+ pay out (for tires and service)...
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:40 PM   #86
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Default Re: Ducati Profits........Or Not

Hell they have their own racing series, the Ducati cup. Oh my bad, thats WSB...
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:07 PM   #87
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Default Re: We need some new ground rules I think

If I'd been up at 9am, let alone at work, on a saturday, I'd want a drink, too.



-Kawazuki
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:25 PM   #88
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Default Re: Ducati Profits........Or Not

I'm 56 but can't understand your practical approach to motorcycling. I got back into motorcycles two years ago with a BMW R1100 R and although it was very well made and reliable, it didn't set my emotions aflutter like the Duc 900ss I traded it for. All my earlier bikes were Japanese and none of them was particularly reliable. I don't buy bikes for practicality and don't understand why anyone would do so. Do you really need a motorcycle? I doubt it. I think you are missing the boat here. Makes more sense where cars are concerned but my Subaru was the most expensive car I've ever owned to maintain. Also the Honda Civic we bought for our college age daughter has been reliable but nothing else. She doesn't like it and neither do I or my wife. Will trade for a Jetta as soon as the lease runs out. To each his own.
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:35 PM   #89
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Default Re: Ducati Profits........Or Not

Well, the reality is THERE ARE UGLY DUCATIS, according to MANY PEOPLE!



As Kpaul mentioned, the UGLY 999 and the ST are proof that just the NAME Ducati is not enough to sell the bikes. Its like an UGLY Ferrari!



Just because its a Ferrari doesnt mean its pretty unless it really is by public majority even though quite subjective.



Myself a Ducati owner would have bought the 999 if it wasnt as ugly as it is!



Test rode one and looked at it over and over, finally realizing i cannot get used to the ugly Duckling -999.



Ducati should have Terbalanche either killed or fired. and beg Tamburini(who now works for MV) to come back and save its rear end before its too late.



Ducati BTW, is owned by:



TEXAS PACIFIC GROUP.....



and no, its not Italian, its Texan. Pre 97 Duck's were mostly hand built. Post 97 mass produced to insure profit and off course - LOWER QUALITY!



Get the picture ?!
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Old 03-21-2004, 12:07 AM   #90
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Default Re: Ducati Profits........Or Not

"Those who like this sort of thing will find that this is the sort of thing they like."



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