Ducati has announced it’s extended its plant closure in Milan, which was supposed to end early this week.
Now, Ducati’s closure will run through March 25, or at least that is the current plan. The reason? It’s because of the COVID-19 coronavirus, of course, but Ducati isn’t sitting around doing nothing. Instead, the press release says the plant is being re-organized to meet new safety regulations. In theory, this means that even if the coronavirus outbreak takes a while to go away, the Ducati factory can continue to produce motorcycles. Although most of the company’s production is now built in Thailand, there’s still bikes built in the Milan facility, and thousands of employees are stationed there.
Already, Ducati’s been working on disease prevention since February, with employees encouraged to work from home if possible, and other measures, including taking the temperature of every person entering the plant. The March 13-18 shutdown was intended to bring in new safety measures and streamline production, but now, with the Italian government updating the rules, Ducati had to keep the plant closed longer to make sure it was in compliance.
However, Ducati management is stressing that it wants to keep customers supplied with spare parts, and to continue developing new products. While this setback may be a frustration for the company and for Ducatista, it seems it’s only a temporary bump in the road, and it will soon be more-or-less business as usual in Milan.
“I am proud of how Ducati’s workers are facing this difficult moment for our country,” said Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali in the company’s press release. “My thanks go to all those who, on a daily basis and even in a difficult situation like this, are confirming the great value of a united, cohesive but also sensitive and attentive workforce. For them, for their safety and for their security, measures and choices like the ones we are making are necessary and owed. However, all the support services for our customers are guaranteed, first and foremost the supply of spare parts. We want to reassure Ducatisti and our dealers all over the world: we are organising ourselves to be ready for the restart and, even in this period of downtime we will not fail to provide support.”