Update 08 February: Ducati India spokesperson has clarified to International Business Times, India that the company has no plans to partner with any Indian two-wheeler manufacturers. "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," the company said in a statement.
Original story: Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati is reportedly looking for partner in India to make motorcycles with small-capacity engines for global markets. The Bologna-based automaker under Volkswagen Group is reportedly open to a partnership with Hero MotoCorp and Royal Enfield, though no such proposal has been made yet.
"These thoughts could become a reality in the medium to long term. In India, you have robust two-wheeler players, who have competence in terms of engineering, production capacity," Times of India quoted Andrea Buzzoni, global sales & marketing director for Ducati, as saying.
When asked about a potential tie-up with Hero MotoCorp or Royal Enfield, 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."
Currently, Ducati sells around 55,000 units of bikes in the global markets. The portfolio is dominated by bike with 800cc to 1,200cc engine displacement. The new partnership is for manufacturing a bike in the range of 250cc to 500cc, which essentially will become volume-driving models for the company in the future.
If everything goes as per the plan, Ducati will be the third European bike-maker entering into an alliance with an Indian automaker for manufacturing small-capacity motorcycles. German two-wheeler brand BMW Motorrad has been in coalition with TVS Motor Company for sub-500cc motorcycle since 2013. The BMW G 310 R is manufactured exclusively in the TVS plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu for global market. The G 310 GS adventure version will also join production soon at the same plant.
Similarly, Austrian motorcycle maker KTM is in an agreement with Bajaj Auto to manufacture the former's small-capacity bikes. Bajaj Auto manufactures the 200, 390 Duke models and RC 200, RC 390 models of KTM for global sale.