Ducati’s high performance “Made in Italy” motorcycles, spare parts and apparel targeted the high- and premium-end of the market. Described as “the Ferrari of motorcycles”, Ducati produced some of the fastest motorcycles in the world due to its innovative engine technology. The case looks at how Ducati developed its reputation and how it built its global footprint through organic growth and an aggressive dealership strategy over the years up until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In 2019, the expectation was that the global motorcycle industry would significantly shrink in the years to come. The more risk-averse Millennials were contributing to the trend because they were not replacing ex-riders. Yet, despite the short-term negative implications of the COVID-19 lockdowns, the pandemic had generated new enthusiasm among riders. Still, it was difficult to make predictions for the longer-term evolution of the industry. Ducati’s global footprint included Europe, the US and Asia, but in a shrinking industry, was internationalization going to matter in the same way? In view of these uncertainties as well as the profound impact of global trends such as sustainability and digitalization on consumers and industry dynamics, did Ducati need to (re)configure its global footprint to capture all the opportunities for adding value internationally? If so, how?
- Analyze the extent to which international expansion can be instrumental to Ducati’s growth and success in the marketplace
- Analyze the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the business operations of companies such as Ducati
- Explore how companies such as Ducati can create value via their international presence
- Explore strategy in an environment characterized by a high degree of uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic
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