January 18, 2013 Yesterday, Ducati North America announced that 2012 was the company's best year in the market, with a 21% increase over 2011 in total sales of motorcycles and a 42% jump in its apparel division.
Chief Executive Cristiano Silei thanked passionate American Ducati fans "Ducatisti," for driving 2012 U.S. sales up 21% over 2011. The US (for the second year in a row) is the Italian motorcycle company's biggest market, where "One out of every four Ducati motorcycles sold [worldwide] is sold in North America," Silei said. "It's a love story."
Silei said he was guardedly optimistic that 2012 might have been the last bad year in the motorcycle sales slump that began with the economic crash of 2008.
"Maybe this is the bottom," he said. "I certainly hope so. The market has been stable for the last two years, so maybe we have reached a plateau. For us, we are posting record numbers now."
Silei is a 17-year Ducati employee who insists he is as passionate a rider as any of his customers, but he no longer rides on the "edge." "I am not the fastest rider out there," he said. "I enjoy the twisty and windy roads more than the track."
He is pictured in a company photo embracing Ducati's flagship superbike, the Panigale. But that isn't necessarily his No. 1 bike.
Pressed to name a favorite model, Silei resisted before saying, "Really, I am a Multistrada guy, in my soul." He said he's eagerly waiting now for delivery of the company's 2013 Multistrada 1200S Pikes Peak Special Edition.