Ducati turns 90 this year, but the company wasn’t always about producing motorcycles. Ducati was founded in 1926 by three brothers – Adriano, Marcello and Bruno Cavalieri Ducati, who received financial backing from their father Antonio.Ducati was far from the performance-based motorcycle producer it is today; rather, the “Societa Scientific Radio Brevetti Ducati” was founded to make radio parts, such as condensers and vacuum tubes. The product base expanded to other unique luxury items like electric shavers and cameras.
In the 1930s, the Borgo Panigale-based Ducati employed over 11,000 people, becoming the second-largest employer in Italy. But things changed drastically during World War II – especially after the Ducati factory suffered major destruction due to allied bombing.Following World War II, Ducati began building a small pushrod-engine called the “Cucciolo” (puppy in Italian) that bolted to pedal bikes. Small transportation was necessary as it eased traveling for many during a torn Post-WWII Italy. The success of the Cucciolo split Ducati into two divisions in the early 1950s – the motorcycle-based Ducati Meccanica SpA, and the electronics-based Ducati Energia SpA.After some key players help turn Ducati into a motorcycle empire, such as Fabio Taglioni of Desmodromic valve fame and Pierre Terblance, Ducati eventually morphed into what it is today (known as Ducati Motor Holding).In Italy, it still stands as the go-to company for work. Once again, Ducati was recognized for this by earning a declaration as Top Employers for Italy in 2016. This is the second-straight year Ducati earned this award from the Top Employers Institute, which certifies the best companies worldwide in terms of human resources.Ducati says the Top Employers certification is awarded to companies offering excellent working conditions that train and develop talents at every level throughout the company and which strive continuously to improve and optimize best practices in the field of human resources.Ducati says “The key point of the procedures followed by Top Employers is a far-reaching and serious research process – the HR Best Practices Survey – and the high standards required must be met. In order to safeguard the validity of the research procedures, each answer undergoes revision by audit. This demonstrates that the working conditions adopted by Ducati have been carefully checked, permitting the motorcycle manufacturer to join a selected group of companies certified as Top Employers.”Alessio Tanganelli, Regional Director for Italy, Spain and Brazil at the Top Employers Institute explained the reasons behind Ducati’s certification: “An excellent working environment capable of encouraging not only the professional but also the personal and human growth of staff.“The research carried out by Top Employers found and certified the excellent conditions in the HR field at Ducati and were able to ascertain the wide range of benefits and proactive initiatives the company offered its employees. These range from working conditions to non-monetary benefits and structured training and development policies, all coherently in line with the company culture.”“At Ducati we endeavour to make the professional experience both motivating and full of satisfaction. The Top Employers certification we’ve earned once again in 2016 underlines the results of this effort”, says Claudio Domenicali, CEO at Ducati Motor Holding.“We consider the Ducati employees to be our number one fans and enthusiasts, and we strive to build a strong sense of belonging between them and the company and this is vital for a brand whose strategy hinges on the passion and strength of its community.”Full information on the Top Employers Institute and on the Top Employers Certification are available on the following website: www.top-employers.com
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!