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Alexander Mitin: Sales up 4-fold from pre-crisis 2007

Alexander Mitin, Commercial Director at Rusmotoimport, the official distributor of Italy’s Ducati, fills in the Motonews.ru correspondent on motorcycle sales in Russia, and the prospects for the brand’s expansion into Russia's regions.

How many Ducati motorcycles are sold across Russia?
This year, we expect sales to reach some 200 vehicles. The segment we operate in has been hit the hardest by the economic shocks of the recent years. Obviously, many potential buyers have pushed back – some even far back – into the background the cherished idea of buying this expensive Italian toy, while others have decided to have a closer look at the used motorcycle market. Some even resorted to “belt-tightening.” As a further complication, the range of Ducati motorcycles does not cover all classes that are in high demand, with the cross, cruiser and scooter models missing. I am nevertheless pleased to announce that retail sales quadrupled compared to the pre-crisis 2007 level driven by a few factors:
-the brand’s sustained popularity worldwide. It is difficult to find a modern Hollywood blockbuster where the hero would not be carried away from his hardships on a motorbike, it is even more difficult to find movies with any motorcycles other than Ducati. Meanwhile, Ducati is positioned as purely Italian: “Made in Italy” has remained the main slogan as far as design, promotion, and even the choice of riders for the Ducati MotoGP team are concerned.
- ongoing expansion of the model range. For four years now, Ducati has been presenting one or more models each fall – and here I mean only brand new and not just upgraded models…
- the ever improving quality of the products. Ducati motorbikes currently boast the longest service intervals on the market – 12,000 kilometers, with the maintenance interval for adjusting the desmodromic valve gear extended to 24,000 kilometers for the latest models. Additionally, Ducati provides a two-year unlimited mileage warranty on all new motorcycles.

What model tops the sales this season?
The latest masterpiece from Bologna engineers – the muscle bike Ducati Diavel – has set new a global sales record. With its aggressive design, innovative technology and the combination of easy driving and high potential, the bike has won over even the most indifferent customer groups. You can see for yourself: with its 162 horsepower, the bike is as easy to control as a feather, and often wins races. The Diavel model this year accounted for over a quarter of all sales in Russia.

How many official Ducati dealers are there in Russia?
I am pleased to praise the efforts of the official Ducati dealer in Russia, Rusmotoimport. Since we came to the market, six authorized dealerships have been opened in Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Krasnodar, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk), each fully equipped to sell and provide maintenance for Ducati bikes. Next year, the dealership network will be extended to include a couple more cities with a population of over 1 million people. We are also doing our best to support and promote the Ducati fan club in Russia we have created. We also have set up a test drive fleet to provide our potential customers with an opportunity to test drive the bikes not only in Moscow, but also in other cities across Russia.

Do you keep tabs on motorsport events, and if so, which of them?
I support Ducati during MoroGP championships, and I must say I usually keep track of not only MotoGP events, but also WSBK. I often meet with my friends and partners to watch the races together…

How do you attract customers – do you make any special offers or events? If so, what kind of offers?
As far as retail sales in Moscow at the company’s proprietary showroom are concerned, I must say we are always on the lookout for the best possible offers and interesting programs for our clients that would dispel any doubts about purchasing a bike. This season, buyers of Ducati sport motorcycles were granted invitations to attend the worldwide known motorcycle driving courses Ducati Riding Experience held along rivers in Italy. Currently, a special, particularly hot, offer is up and running: if you buy certain Ducati models, you are entitled to a free racing straight-through Termignoni exhaust system – the very system without which a Ducati is not really a Ducati. Apart from that, our retail showroom is the official dealer for Berik and Arlen Ness – globally recognized leaders in protective motorcycle clothing, and what could be more enticing for a biker than a sale of textile and leather motorcycle gear in high season? Speaking of Berik and Arlen Ness, by the way, we are now searching for partners, especially in the regions. We offer good deals for both retail clients (extremely attractive retail prices) and dealers, and we would be pleased to consider any cooperation proposals from regional partners.

Do you ride a bike?)
Personally, I spent the previous season riding a Ducati, but this year I thought I might just as well try myself as a scooter rider – I live outside Moscow, and carrying a considerable amount of things is essential. However, you can never be absolutely free from Ducati, and I am planning to start the next season with Ducati Hyprmotard.

What do you think a motorcycle will be like in 10 years?
A motorcycle in 10 years?... It’s simple: red and desmodromic:)

Founded in 1926, Ducati Motor Holding SpA produces upscale sport motorcycles notable for their unique engine specifications, innovative design and cutting-edge engineering and design solutions. The company is headquartered in Bologna. The Ducati product range includes Superbike, Desmosecidi RR, Monster, Multistrada, SportClassic, Hypermotard, Diavel and other motorcycle series. The motorcycles are sold in over 60 countries worldwide, with Western Europe, Japan and North America regarded as the main markets. Since 2003, Ducati has been taking part in the MotoGP championship, and in 2007, the company actually won the individual world championship (thanks to Casey Stoner from Australia) and the Constructors’ Cup. Since 2011, Valentino Rossi, the legendary Italian and many times world champion, has been on the Ducati team for MotoGP.

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