MBZ plans to by Ducati - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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MBZ plans to by Ducati

Dear Dr. Z,
One would have thought your foray into Chrysler Motor would have taught MBZ some hard lessons. Fortunately you were able to jettison that albatross before it devalued the entire MBZ brand. However your recent announcement that you plan to purchase Ducati indicates that you’re intent on attending another course at the school of hard knocks one more time. Here’s the course outline:

MBZ will pay in excess of 35 time revenue for mature company. These types of multipliers are only paid for high tech and bio tech gazelles that have the potential for massive earnings increases. As an investment you be better off buying T-Bills. If your intention is to greatly increase revenue by increasing production of the brand you’re faced with two more problems. Ducati is ultra premium brand (much like Maybach) with a small target market of rather wealthy individuals that appreciates the quality and exclusivity of the brand. Increasing production and market share will require a lower price point which will sacrifice the brand premium and quality. The real world example was AMF’s purchase of Harley Davidson (which was in dire straights due to competition from Japanese manufacturers who targeted a much broader lower price point market) that built its marketing effort around a hard core loyal following. After AMF took over the attempted to compete with the Japanese, Harley sacrifice quality, embarked on a fatal “family” oriented market plan which alienated there loyal target market and eventually caused the bankruptcy of the company. Used Harleys built during the AMF ownership period (if there are any left running) sell at extreme discounts compared to other used Harleys.

BMW envy appears to be another driver of this misguided adventure. BMW has been making ultra premium motorcycles for generations. They have strong brand loyalty and do not attempt to complete with the Japanese manufacturers. They know their business and their market. MBZ does not have this depth of background in the motorcycle industry. The unfortunately ill fated Maybach, although an extremely well built and attractive car which I would love to own, appeared more to be of sibling rivalry “me too” after BMW and VW acquired the rights to Rolls Royce and Bentley. The Smart cars appears as an attempt to out Mini the Mini, although with it’s anemic performance and plastic body panels it reminds me more of a Tribant.

Lastly the name change. BERTHA. This must be an April fool’s day joke. I think you’re taking the naming of products after relatives of the founders of Daimler Benz a bit far. I would never want to say I ride a Bertha unless she looked like Giselle Bunchen.

If you must buy Ducati, just buy it as a trophy and leave current management in control of this renowned brand.

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