Ducati Appoints New Interim Head of U.S. Operations
BOLOGNA, Italy, Dec. 12 -- Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. , a leading manufacturer of high performance motorcycles, announced today that it has appointed Nicola Greco, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, as interim General Manager of its New Jersey-based US operations. Mr Greco, 45, will assume the responsibilities of General Manager effective immediately, and he will also continue to serve in his current capacity as Global VP of Sales and Marketing.
Mr. Greco's appointment follows the resignation of Michael McMahon, who left to pursue other interests.
Mr. Greco will focus on establishing a strong management team to enhance US marketing activities and to strengthen the Company's distribution network. He brings extensive experience in market development in the automotive sector, having worked for Fiat in various positions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Portugal over the last decade.
North America is a market of great strategic importance for Ducati, and US registrations, a measure of retail sales, have grown around 36% per year from 1996 to 2000. The US represented about 25% of the Company's total revenues in 2000.
``The US market is key for Ducati and offers the Company tremendous potential for future growth in all of our product categories,'' said Carlo Di Biagio, Ducati Chief Executive Officer. ``Nicola's mandate is to establish the right US management team that can build on our successes in this market in recent years. He is perfectly suited to fill this vital role thanks to his broad experience as well as his deep understanding of the Company, acquired since his arrival at Ducati seven months ago. He will be an invaluable source of support for the Company, as we look to the future.
``While US sales are lagging our 2001 growth targets, we are excited about many recent developments in this market,'' added Mr. Di Biagio. ``Our new 998 Superbike has been awaited with great anticipation in the US and will be available from January 2002. Furthermore, we have recently introduced the fuel-injected Monster 620 -- a bike with a cult following in Europe -- which is the only bike in the sub-750cc 'naked' category that offers riders the benefits of a fuel-injected engine. This entry-level Monster is available in California for the first time this year. Under Nicola's leadership, we look forward to benefiting from these and other opportunities.''
Ducati has recently organized a number of high profile marketing activities in the US including the hugely successful Ducati Revs America event in October in Las Vegas which attracted 5000 fans, exceeding company expectations. The Company's racing activities have been boosted by the performance of a new up-and-coming superstar from California, Ben Bostrom, who won a spectacular double victory in the Laguna Seca round of the World Superbike Championship in July 2001. A Bostrom Replica Superbike has been put up for sale and the 155 bikes -- recalling the 27-year old rider's race number -- were sold out in a single day.
Founded in 1926, Ducati builds racing-inspired motorcycles characterized by unique engine features, innovative design, advanced engineering and overall technical excellence. Ducati has won ten of the last twelve 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. For more information about the Company, please visit our web site at http://www.Ducati.com.