Motorcycle assembly workers will be returning to the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale on Tuesday, April 28. They follow in the footsteps of workshop staff and engine assemblers. The Italian government has deemed Ducati to be an essential business, as a more extended closure of the factory would cause Italy to lose global market share in the motor vehicle sector. Designers, project managers, and financials workers will continue to work from home, with R&D technicians and engineers that must be on-site to do their work will be in the factory.
Ducati and the workers’ union has collaborated for a set of rules and protocols for employees. Everyone at Ducati will be required to wear a mask, no matter how far they are from other workers. Volkswagen Group, which owns Ducati, tapped its experience at its factory in Changchun, China, which was closed for just one week. Sanitizing is also a top priority.
“I really believe that this restart can allow us to reduce at least in part the negative effects of the lockdown that we were forced to respect,” Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali said, “unfortunately at the worst time. We have a splendid order book. The brand-new Streetfighter V4 just launched has obtained unanimous approval from the specialized press and is the undisputed queen of the category. Unfortunately, production was halted just one month after the start. Then there are also many orders for the Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour and for the Panigale V2. We also have the empty warehouses of the Multistrada 950 and Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro.”
“The two-wheel market is highly seasonal, and the stop to production in March and April has already had negative effects on sales,” Domenicali continued. “The Chinese market is already booming. Sales in Korea and Japan are doing well. In Germany, dealers have been open for a week, and we already have a major shortage of product.”
“I am convinced that in this Phase Two, the bike will prove to be an extraordinary means of combining fun, passion, and the possibility of having a vehicle with which to spend the weekend but also to move around quickly and safely in the city, without any problems of parking or social distancing,” Domenicali said optimistically.
Although the factory is open, the Ducati Museum remains closed with no opening date set. There are also no factory tours available to the public.