The motorcycle industry’s miraculous turnaround isn’t just confined to lower-priced street bikes and dirt bikes. It turns out high-end motorcycles are also seeing much-improved sales, with Ducati announcing this year’s third-quarter sales just set a company record.
So far, 2020 has been a wild ride for the motorcycle industry. In January/February, the coronavirus pandemic started spreading out of China and across the rest of Asia and into Europe. By March, many OEMs were forced to shut down factories and dealerships, causing sales to plummet. Many insiders worried for the future, as the world was gripped by uncertainty. Panicky populations don’t make for great motorcycle sales, and even if people did want to buy bikes, they couldn’t do so if the dealerships were closed or unable to source new bikes.
Things started to turn around through the late spring, though, and motorcycle sales have been sky-high ever since. In North America, offroad motorcycles have been particularly hot, but it seems bigger, more expensive bikes are seeing a turnaround in sales as well. Ducati’s announcing it sold 14,694 motorcycles in the third quarter of 2020, it’s best-ever Q3 result. That includes 4,468 motorcycles delivered in September, a month where bike sales are traditionally starting to trail off. Ducati says the Panigale, Ducati Scrambler and Multistrada families were the best-sellers in September.
Ducati’s press release had a bunch of quotes from Claudio Domenicali, the big boss in Bologna, talking about how the company was continuing “to react quickly to market demands and to adapt in a timely and attentive way to the situation that evolves daily.” Ducati’s had to scramble to sell that many bikes, overhauling its sales procedures to allow safe dealership visits, including new online shopping options. Ducati also changed things up at its factories, allowing workers to avoid COVID-19 spread. However, it’s paying off at this point, and even if 2020’s sales aren’t what they could have been, at least public interest in bikes is bouncing back, backed up by sales.