Ducati has endured a roller coaster ride in India, having entered our big bike market early in 2008, but making the mistake of choosing an errant distributor, Precision Motors, as their partner. Poor and unethical business practices from the Indian partner, along with the Bologna-based company taking a long time to step in, address and rectify the situation, has saddled Ducati with a legacy of heartbroken Indian customers, apart from damaging the premium Italian firm's reputation. Ducati’s India sales have remained at a standstill for over a year now, while the firm continued work to get their Indian wing in order, getting set to fight on and make good with a second innings in the country. And this time, Ducati is completely on its own, with a new found backing from Audi, its new owners.
Ducati is now nearly ready to enter India again - its service technicians are ready and trained by the factory, and all its operations will be directly managed by the parent company. Two dealerships will be operational in the beginning - first, at the massive Gurgaon premises and second, in the financial capital of Mumbai.
While a date isn’t fixed yet, Ducati aims to commence sales from around March or April 2015, and will come back to India with virtually its entire range, barring the Streetfighter which is out production and the Multistrada for the time being. It’s acknowledged that Ducati’s present superbikes rank among the best - this Italian badge is looked up to by avid bikers worldwide.
We’ve tested Ducati’s diverse model lineup, coming away impressed by the famous Monster range of naked-bikes, the supersports 1199 and 899 Panigale. There’s also the Hyperstrada range apart from the just launched Scrambler, a practical superbike, which should make a really attractive proposition for the prospective Ducati buyers here.
Ducati's India comeback comes at a good time, coinciding with its Scrambler launch worldwide. Although the Scrambler might not reach the two new Indian showrooms as soon as operations commence, you can safely expect to see it here within the first half of 2015. The good news here will be the attractive price tag of around an estimated Rs 7 lakh, thanks to healthy trade agreements between India and Thailand. For India, Ducati will import the bikes from Thailand.
However, existing Ducati owners won’t be left in a lurch. Ducati will make service and spares support available from the factory in India. This will only improve as Ducati sets up and grows its dealership network across India with time.