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Old 03-17-2001, 06:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ducati Profits Rise

TPG has only a 30% stake in Ducati, they don't own Ducati. They did rescue Ducati but they also realized that there was something worth saving. Service parts availability is now much better (about as good as for Suzuki). The build quality and reliability of the bikes is also much improved. I've got a '98 916 which I use to commute with and have had very few problems with it.

I'm not saying that Bordi was sole reason that Ducati is in much better shape now, but he was in an executive position during the time that Monster S4 and Testastretta engine (an evolutionary step of Bordi's original design BTW) were in development as well as the sane kick stand (but it is easy to convert the self retracting kickstand to a standard action). Ducati alternators are fine. Batteries go flat as a consequence of being left idle, maybe you need to ride more often.
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Old 03-17-2001, 11:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ducati Profits Rise

And the desingner of the Monstro and 916 now works for Cagiva.

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Old 03-18-2001, 07:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ducati Profits Rise

It was my understanding that when TPG bought Ducati from the Castiglionis, they bought a majority stake. So if TPG owns only 30% now, they must have sold off part of their share to investors.

My point about Bordi was that he was part of Ducati's failures as well as successes. As were the Castiglionis, who I would guees will continue to make a big splash with their new ventures, and probably mismanage them into the ground. (Aprilia will probably be glad to eventually gobble up these margues in a few years.)

It's always easy to romanticize bygone days; my point is that the old management team just weren't good at the nuts-and-bolts stuff. Ducati regulators have been notorious for some time. There were lots of serious quality control issues regarding everything from rocker arms to swing arms. Those kinds of problems are finally being addressed by new management.

As far as the alternator upgrade I mentioned, they must have done it for a reason, don't you think? For the record, I think it was less a matter of failures than it was putting on a beefier unit. ST2/4 riders tend to use electric vests and other accessories more often.

Which is all to say that management seems to be doing a better job of paying attention to its market and refining its products.

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Old 03-18-2001, 02:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ducati Profits Rise

Actually Harley's market share in Europe is rather tiny and they would like to increase it --but not necessarily with their traditional American "hogs" which they have waiting lists for in the American market alone. One reason they're bringing out a new 115-hp Porsche-designed liquid-cooled "sport cruiser" next year is to appeal to more potential European customers. It will be styled differently from any current Harley-badged bike, much like a naked sportbike, but priced higher than a Buell (with the justification of being more technically sophisticated than the Sportster-based Buell). It is seems to be aimed at competing with S4 Monsters and Triumph Speed Triples as well as in the muscle-cruiser class. Should be interesting to see if many Europeans buy it.

In Europe people currently buy Harleys just because they just want something different, expensive and head-turning that is rare enough to be somewhat "exotic" over there. That is, they buy them for much the same reasons many American posers buy Ducatis, posers who don't even come remotely close to having the riding skills necessary to appreciate what they've purchased, they just want an "un-Harley" status symbol.
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