Misano Adriatico (Rimini), 19 July 2014 - The "Marco Simoncelli" Misano World Circuit is hosting, from Friday 18 July to Sunday 20 July, World Ducati Week 2014 (the unique international event that, every two years, attracts Ducatisti from all over the globe). And it has already provided the perfect backdrop for Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, to take stock of the company's progress, illustrate results attained on international markets and highlight the positive sales results achieved by the Bologna-based company in the first six months of 2014.
Despite a difficult economic situation on many world markets, Ducati continues to experience the same trend of growth and improvement that has characterised the company's last six years of operations.
"This is a very special WDW for me", said Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, to the world media attending WDW2014. "I have attended each and every one of the previous editions and being here this year, as the company's CEO, is a unique feeling, very difficult to describe, a powerful reminder of my responsibilities to all the Ducatisti representing us world-wide.
There are so many of us here in Misano, all with the same passion. Riding into the circuit this morning was fantastic; I really felt I was part of the Ducati company team, that community of men and women working towards the same goal - a goal shared with the thousands of Ducatisti who have come to the Adriatic Riviera from far and wide to take part in this fantastic event, people who also take great pride in being part of a historic, legendary brand like Ducati.
We still don't know exactly how many participants this eighth edition of WDW has attracted, but I know one thing: it's a thrill to look across this Misano World Circuit paddock. It's teeming with motorcycles, our motorcycles: a sign of the value of the brand and the deep affection and respect the fans feel for our machines and all things Ducati.
Further evidence of that comes in the form of a 20% rise, compared to 2012, in Desmo Owner Club members attending WDW: a clear demonstration of that special Ducati strength which is capable of achieving success even in toughest times.
The years of hard work carried out by men and women at Ducati has been rewarded with constant growth these past six years, confirming that we have the solidity and resources to face any challenge positively and proactively.
The number of Ducati employees has also grown, from 1,193 at WDW2012 to 1,281 at the end of 2013. Many new employees were taken on by the R&D facility, the company's true 'power unit'.
This has allowed us to continue with significant expansion of the product range and extend our geographical reach: our Brazilian branch is growing fast and a new one is opening in India.
Thanks to all this we managed to sell, in the first six months of 2014, 26,740 motorcycles, +3% over 2013, which was a year of record sales for Ducati.
We therefore have good reason to be optimistic about the second part of 2014: for example, our order portfolio on 30 June was 11% larger than it was in the same period last year.
Results attained in the World MotoGP and SBK championships have also reassured us as to the soundness of the choices we've made in that area. We're not yet ready to win, but the two podium positions in MotoGP and the five in SBK that have so far been achieved represent a remarkable improvement compared to 2013.
On this matter, in fact, I'm delighted to be able to announce here, today, in front of our most loyal supporters, the renewal of our agreement with Andrea Dovizioso, who will continue racing for the Ducati Team for the next two seasons!
I would also like to thank all those, back at the Borgo Panigale factory and in each of the 88 countries where we are present, who work hard every day to ensure the dream we call Ducati is, today, more promising than ever."
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