Ducati and MV Agusta will ease back into production again from today in “phase 2” restrictions after an almost six-week lockdown due to the coronavirus.
While supply of some models will take some time to meet orders, the good news is that R&D on new models has continued largely unabated by staff working remotely.
The factories join several other manufacturers in gradually returning to full production over the next few weeks in factories that have been disinfected and reorganised to provide more space between workers who will wear masks.
It may take several weeks to wind back up to full production with some delays on new models and spare parts.
UPDATE: Piaggio which makes Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, will resume production on 4 May 2020 when the national lockdown decree expires.
Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali says they have paid close attention to strict rules of compliance.
“It will be an extremely difficult year but starting up again is still a beginning,” he says.
“We have a lot of orders for the Streetfighter V4, for the Multistrada GT and for the Panigale V2.
“The motorbike is a perfect vehicle for ‘phase two’: no parking problems and distancing guaranteed; safety and fun at the same time.”
The gradual improvement in health conditions and a reduction of infections and deaths in Italy has allowed the government to ease restrictions on factories making goods for export.
Phase 2 will allow a gradual return to production.
In Ducati’s case it starts with workshop staff, followed by engine assembly workers and from tomorrow (28 April 2020), motorcycle assembly workers.
The production has been reorganised, going from an eight-hour shift to two seven-hour shifts to reduce the number of people in the plant at the same time.
Employees in the commercial, marketing, IT, personnel management, finance, purchasing and logistics areas will continue to work from home.
Technicians engaged in Research and Development activities who cannot do their work from home had already returned to work.
That includes engineers in the engine test rooms, motorcycle testers and laboratory testers.
All designers, project managers, and those in the calculation department will work remotely. This will ensure the deliveries of Ducati motorcycles and the development of new products.
Public visits to the factory remain closed as is the upstairs museum.
Claudio says the stop in production in March and April has already had “negative effects on sales”.
“The Chinese market is already booming, sales in Korea and Japan are doing well. In Germany, dealers have been open for a week and we already have a major shortage of product.
“I really believe that this restart can allow us to reduce at least in part the negative effects of the lockdown that we were forced to respect, unfortunately at the worst time.”