Ducati Expands E-Commerce Effort
6 March 2000
Management Commits to Building Best Site in Motorcycling BOLOGNA, Italy - Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., a leading manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, today announced that it has established a new Internet division to fully explore and develop its rapidly-growing Internet site http://www.ducati.com. The new division, which will have a team of dedicated Internet and e-commerce professionals separate from Ducati Motor S.p.A., will serve Ducati enthusiasts, suppliers and dealers and will be based in Bologna and London. The new venture has plans to initially hire up to 15 professionals during its start-up phase. The site will provide a complete "World of Ducati" experience by enhancing the current offering of news, entertainment, special events, auctions and business-to-business commerce as well as adding new functions such as business-to-consumer and consumer-to- consumer activities. "We believe, thanks to the wild success of the MH900e, the first bike ever to be launched on and sold over the Internet, that the Internet will become a strategic tool in the future growth of the Ducati businesses," said Federico Minoli, Ducati Chairman and CEO of the new venture. The MH900e was launched on the Internet on January 1, 2000. The first year's production sold out in 31 minutes. The full two thousand units (the next two years' production) were subsequently sold in the following few weeks, making Ducati one of Italy's largest e-tailers. The current "www.ducati.com" site presently receives up to 150,000 hits a day and has more than 30,000 unique users each month. The company's auction site, "Desmobid" ("www.memorabilia.ducati.com"), currently auctions burnt-out racing parts consumed by our racing teams during Superbike Championships around the world. Last year, Ducati auctioned more than 50 items from the racing season and donated the proceeds to charity. In addition, "www.ducatidoc.com", the company's owners club, has 20,000 unique users after just three months of operation. "www.ducaticorse.com", a racing site, currently possesses 17,000 subscribers -- fans who receive timely press releases and racing results. Ducati also has an established business-to-business network called Desmonet that connects Ducati Stores in Italy with the factory and to each other. The plans for the new Ducati.com are even more ambitious. "We are convinced that the new Ducati.com will become the Internet vertical portal (vortal) for the entire motorcycle community by providing an ever-stronger combination of content, entertainment, community and commerce," said Minoli. On the content/community side, Ducati will create the most exciting vortal in motorcycling, with club activities, chat lines, email capabilities, message boards and the possibility to set up personal home pages. The site will offer the most elaborate content in the motorcycle world with Ducati newsletters, racing briefs, interviews, pricing information, online games and contests, technical and maintenance assistance, and a full press and investor relations site. On the business front, the Company envisions the full complement of business-to-consumer, business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer functions. Customers will be able to order specialty bikes, accessories, apparel and parts online as well as participate in schools, tours and rentals. B2B efforts will include similar services for dealers, importers and distributors. Eventually, procurement services with the Ducati supplier network will be included on the site. Finally, customers will be able to use the site to trade second-hand bikes, accessories, spares and apparel amongst themselves and/or through dealers. Ducati.com complements the existing dealer network, by further developing the Ducati brand and attracting traffic to local dealerships and Ducati Stores. The site will also increase customer convenience and product availability by providing better contact among dealers, customers and the Factory. "We hope to imbue the new Ducati.com business with all of the passion we have demonstrated during the last three years," said Minoli. "Thanks to the passionate support of Ducatisti the world over, the Ducati brand has consolidated its position as the best in the world of sports motorcycling. We see our investment in Ducati.com, as the next step in the development of the global Ducati performance lifestyle." Founded in 1926, Ducati builds racing-inspired motorcycles characterized by unique engine features, innovative design, advanced engineering and overall technical excellence. Ducati has won eight of the last ten World Superbike Championship titles and more individual victories than the competition put together. The Company produces motorcycles in four market segments which vary in their technical and design features and intended customers: Superbike, Supersport, Monster and SportTouring. The Company's motorcycles are sold in more than 40 countries worldwide, with a primary focus in the Western European and North American markets.