May 17th 2005.
On the eve of motorcycle racing's first-ever grand prix in China, Ducati Motor Holding announced its arrival in the Chinese market. The news was announced in Shanghai, by Federico Minoli, Chairman and CEO of Ducati, during a meeting with the international press at the Chinese round of the World MotoGP championship, in the presence of Ducati Marlboro Team riders, Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa. A delegation from the Emilia-Romagna regional authorities was also in attendance, drawing on the support of Shell Advance, Ducati's technical partner, with the on-site consultancy of 'Nuovo Mondo International'.
For its arrival in China, the Italian manufacturer has reached a long-term partnership agreement with Three on The Bund, represented by Mr Handel Lee, a Ducati fan and successful Chinese entrepreneur in the field of large-scale retail trade.
The marketing strategy, drawn up for Ducati's entry into this market, has been set up in three precise ways. The first concerns the importation of motorbikes, accessories and spare parts into China. This will involve the opening of two stores, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai, which will import Ducati bikes directly from Italy. Sales of high-performance, high-value motorcycles are yet to take off in China, but Ducati is banking on the exclusivity and renown of its products to forge a way ahead.
Ducati is also focussing on clothing distribution and has an agreement in place with Three on The Bund Retail. The company has already opened a store in Shanghai, selling Ducati clothing to strengthen the brand.
The third strategy aspect of the development is through racing. Ducati is the only Italian manufacturer in MotoGP. Accompanying the first-ever Grand Prix of China, Ducati organised two riding schools; one in Beijing and one in Shanghai. Bikes were made available for Chinese fans to experience riding the twin-cylinder Italian machines.
Federico Minoli said: "In China we are certain to start off in the right way. We are starting with racing because all of our activities and products are born on the track. From here, we will create the riding schools because it is only by developing a passion for these esoteric and special bikes that the market can then follow us."