Italian bike maker Ducati is looking for partners in India to build small capacity engine bikes for global markets.
The company is looking at Hero Moto Corp and Royal Enfield to form a partnership to build bikes; however, there is no formal proposal has been made yet. With India's campaign of ‘Make in India', many such companies have formed a partnership to manufacture small engine bikes in the country.
Talking to ET Auto, Andrea Buzzoni, global sales & marketing director for Ducati was of the view that "these thoughts could become a reality in the medium to long term."
He added that "in India, you have robust two-wheeler players, who have competence in terms of engineering, production capacity." Ducati is owned by Volkswagen Group and is now looking to play a larger role in key western markets such as Europe and the US and large-volume emerging markets like India, China and Brazil.
With the focus on the small engine bikes with capacity in the range of 250cc - 500cc, which could drive volumes in high numbers in its current global sales close to 50,000 units. Currently, Ducati enjoys dominance in motorcycles with engines between 800cc and 1,200cc.
As for the initiation of talks with Hero MotoCorp and Royal Enfield for a possible alliance, Buzzoni said, "Once we take this decision, why not... But for sure, if we decide for the small cc motorcycle segment, I think we will have to evaluate on a very competent Indian manufacturer."
India has been at the focal point when it comes to manufacturing small capacity engine bikes. BMW Motorrad has partnered with TVS to manufacture the BMW G 310R. The BMW G 310R is a 310cc engine naked sports bike and will be exported globally.
Bajaj Auto in partnership with Austrian bike maker KTM in India and manufactures the KTM bikes in the country. Here, Bajaj Auto is not just a partner to manufacture bikes but has bigger say in KTM as it holds a sizable equity in the partner.
In India, Ducati ships bikes from Thailand to be sold in the country that is priced in the range of Rs 7 lakh to 1.12 crore. With the 250cc to 500cc segment forming the volume market, Ducati can make use of the partnership to enter the much-coveted segment.
Below are the images of the upcoming next-generation KTM Duke 390. The new KTM Duke 390 is a lot more sharper and sportier as well, click to view.
ADDENDUM: Ducati India have released an official statement about their plans for India: We would like to clarify that Ducati currently has no plans to partner with any Indian two-wheeler manufacturers and/or to build small capacity engine motorcycles in India.