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Ducati to focus marketing on less costly service plan – September 25, 2006

September 25, 2006
Filed under Features

Ducati’s marketing for 2007 will not only focus on new models, which have yet to be unveiled, but also a less costly service plan.
Ducati North America (DNA) officials said service costs to the consumer will be approximately 50 percent less on its 2007 models thanks to quality improvements.
“For years, it (high-service costs) has prevented people from getting interested in purchasing our motorcycles,” said Greg Zanghi, DNA’s national aftersales director.
Zanghi led a discussion on the upcoming change in the service maintenance schedule on ’07 models during DNA’s annual dealer meeting, which was held in August in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the changes will be the consumer’s first scheduled maintenance. Previously, it was called for after 6,000 miles. For the ’07 models, it won’t be necessary until 7,500 miles.
“We are able to take out some services that normally were required before and in some cases, delay them because they’re not required as much,” Zanghi said.
He used Ducati’s fuel tanks as an example of the quality improvements.
“We had a poor internal finish on some of our fuel tanks,” he said, noting that sometimes led to corrosion. “Corrosion in turn would clog the fuel filter. So we’d have to correct the symptom.”
That meant getting inside the fuel tank — a timely project — and replacing the fuel filter.
“Now that we’ve improved the internal finish of our fuel tank, we can in turn delay the replacement of the fuel filter,” Zanghi said.
The less costly service plan now has to be communicated to the consumer, which Ducati plans to do this fall.
Zanghi said it’s key dealers take advantage of the service cost savings, directing consumers to “channel that back into accessories or apparel or performance upgrades you want to do the motorcycles.”
Longtime Ducati dealer Bill Nation certainly sees the advantages of the improved service plan.
“That really is a positive,” said Nation, part owner of two Pro Italia dealerships in California. “That is one thing we battle constantly on the sales floor is, ‘Oh, I heard they’re so expensive to maintain.’
Nation also does not expect the expected lower service costs to consumers coming back to bite dealers’ service department revenues. Nation said his service departments are often backed up two to three weeks. “It might actually free us up to do some things we want to do,” Nation said, including more customizing.
Ducati will reveal its 2007 motorcycle lineup in November in Milan, Italy.

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