Interview: Ducati Continues to Grow in Colombia with New Importer and Expansion Plans for Cali, Bucaramanga
The Colombian motorcycle market is dominated by utilitarian, smaller bikes used by millions of people across the country for general transportation and commuting to work. But increasingly there are more and more luxury brands starting to make inroads and promote their offerings in a country where the per-capita income continues to rise.
Photo: Andrés Jiménez has worked for various global automakers in Colombia and has now become the local Dutaci representative and importer at Ducamotocol S.A.S. (Photo credit: Loren Moss)
High-end Italian motorcycle maker Ducati has begun to see more potential in the nation in recent years and now, through its new local representative and importer Ducamotocol S.A.S., has a presence in both Medellín and Bogotá. Within the next two years, the company plans to branch out even further to establish sites in the western Colombian city of Cali and Bucaramanga in the east.
To learn more about the company’s strategy and growth plans in Colombia, Finance Colombia Executive Editor Loren Moss recently sat down with Andrés Jiménez.
Loren Moss: So, tell me a little about your story. Obviously, Ducamotocol was made especially to represent Ducati, but tell me a little about your story in the automotive sector? How is it that you became the exclusive representative of Ducati here in Colombia?
Andrés Jiménez: I have been working in the automotive sector for 18 years in multinational companies like General Motors and Volkswagen Group. Ducati came to us through a bidding process opened by Ducati in search for a new representative in Colombia. Our partners are foreign investors who already work with the brand in other countries.
“For 2020 our plan is to be present in Cali and Bucaramanga as well. Now we are focused on doing our best here in Medellín and in Bogotá.” – Andrés Jiménez of Ducamotocol
Loren Moss: Each market is different. Something I believe after living some years here is that Colombia’s geography is very different. It has more mountains and curves, and in regards to the market, the profile of the person who purchases motorcycles is very different compared to, say, the United States or Germany. What are the unique characteristics of the Colombian market and how does this affect the brand selection? What is the profile of the Ducati buyer in Colombia?
Andrés Jiménez: Ducati is a renowned brand worldwide. We have identified several profiles of customers. There are some customers that buy Ducatis essentially for recreational purposes, but Ducati‘s portfolio is quite broad and can be applied to many uses.
Touring style is very enjoyable for mountains, and for unpaved roads and off-road we have options like the Scrambler. There is another profile for the more frequent user, the person who uses a motorcycle daily for its mobility.
But for everyone, Ducati is for those people who are searching for a brand that represents style, prestige, and that offers a performance that can not be found anywhere else.
Loren Moss: Some other brands of motorcycles are making changes to adapt to the current market. In the Feria de las Dos Ruedas (Two-Wheel Fair) in Medellín, some said they were going to change the ratio of the gears in Colombia. They said some changes must be made to adapt to this market, basically. What is Ducati’s strategy to be successful in this market?
Andrés Jiménez: I would not be afraid to say that Ducati is the only manufacturer that has one factory worldwide. All the motorcycles seen here — or in the United States or in any other country — have been manufactured in the same factory which is in Bologna, Italy.
For other brands, they all have factories in different places of the world. This always alters the quality levels. It’s not possible to guarantee that one motorcycle will be identical to another.
Our motorcycles are designed so that driving modes can be configured. One, like the 1260, already has seven driving modes configured. So, what a brand must do in the manufacturing level with technology, here can be done with precision.
Loren Moss: Yes, the novel technology of Ducati is very impressive. So, you have a site in Medellín and you are opening one in Bogotá. Are you thinking about other cities?
Andrés Jiménez: Yes. For 2020 our plan is to be present in Cali and Bucaramanga as well. Now we are focused on doing our best here in Medellín and in Bogotá.
Loren Moss: How is the community of Ducati owners? There are some other brands, like Harley, that have a group of users who are very close and always hold events. Does Ducati have something similar among owners or future owners?
Andrés Jiménez: Yes. I can summarize the community in two words: passionate and demanding. They are passionate for the brand — it’s in their veins. And they are demanding in the sense that they must maintain their motorcycle.
Here in Colombia, we have two official clubs approved by the brand. The community oversees strengthening the brand, and it’s constantly active in making events and championing the brand in everything it does.
Loren Moss: I can see that you have a very modern workshop in every aspect that offers excellent services.
Andrés Jiménez: I call the workshop the surgery room — and the technicians are the surgeons. It always needs to be just as it is today. It’s a very clean environment. It’s an environment where some art is made as well. These motorcycles have very advanced technology, and highly trained technicians are required for their maintenance and repair.