NEW YORK – The Ducati exhibit is traditionally one of the largest and most colorful at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center every year. Ducatisti will be disappointed next month, though, because the high-end Italian brand won’t have a display at this year’s show, which runs Dec. 1 through 3.
Customers of Hudson Valley Motorcycles, the Ducati dealer in Ossining, NY, got the bad news in an email sent out last week, and RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland immediately emailed Ducati for confirmation. The IMS tour’s opening stop in Long Beach, CA over this past weekend delayed a response, but the company has now verified that it won’t be in NYC – or any other upcoming IMS city in 2017-2018.
“We selected IMS Long Beach as our only stop on the IMS tour because Southern California is the largest motorcycle market in North America with a strong concentration of enthusiast(s), journalist(s) and Ducati dealers,” said Nathon Verdugo, public relations manager of Ducati North America.
The absence of Ducati is a huge loss for the IMS because the brand always brought excitement to the show – certainly with its bikes, but other times with fashion shows, factory racers, high-ranking executives and good-looking models.
Ducati’s strategy in skipping the IMS in NYC (and elsewhere) appears to be keeping in line with the brand’s current thrust to reach a younger audience and attract new riders. For instance, in marketing its Scrambler line, the company has avoided all print advertising, concentrating instead on social media and personal outreach.
Instead of letting potential customers come to Ducati at a gathering like the IMS, Ducati is going directly to them.
Verdugo reported, “In place of later IMS shows around the country, Ducati will be launching its own nationwide preview tour in December to integrate the dealer network and fan community.”
In its email, Hudson Valley Motorcycles announced plans for a 2018 Model Viewing in conjunction with a holiday party at the dealership from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9.
Meanwhile, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland is inquiring into whether there are other brand defections from the IMS circuit.
Unlike in years past, the IMS hasn’t released a list of participating brands. A request was made of the IMS last week for such a list, but a response has yet to be received. Suzuki has confirmed it will be in NYC.