Ducati production line restarts

By CARSIFU | 28 April 2020

BOLOGNA: Ducati looks set to return to normal activity with the steady resumption of production in its Borgo Panigale factory, which began on Monday.

The gradual improvement in health conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed the Italian government to let companies deemed strategic to the national economy (mainly exports) to resume production in order to reduce losing market shares.

This is the first phase of return, which at the moment will only involve a part of the workers destined for the production lines.

Workshop staff will begin first, then engine assembly workers and, from April 28 - motorcycle assembly workers.

As for employees, the use of "smart" working will remain mandatory with only those unable to carry out their work from home being allowed to access the factory.

All resources employed in the commercial, marketing, information technology, personnel management, finance, purchasing and logistics areas will be working remotely.

The production has been reorganised, going from an eight-hour shift to two seven-hour shifts to allow the minimum number of people to be inside the plant simultaneously in order to minimise possible contact.

The factory's canteen will be active but with one seat for every four chairs.

The technicians engaged in Research and Development activities who cannot do their work from home were already at work: they include engineers of the engine test rooms, those who carry out motorcycle tests and those who carry out laboratory testing.

All designers, project managers, and those in the calculation department are working remotely to help ensure deliveries of Ducati motorcycles and the development of new products.

All the rules of conduct in force in Ducati comply with the updated shared protocol of April 24, and for some points, they are even more restrictive with the mandated use of masks regardless of distancing.

The entire Ducati protocol is the result of the work of a joint commission between the company and the RSU (unified worker representation body) that was formed on February 23, just two days after the discovery of the first infected person in Italy.

Many of the measures inserted are the result of an  analysis of the protocols used in the Chinese plants of the VW Group, in particular the FAW-VW of Chanchung, where production was suspended only for one week but where strict protection, distancing and sanitising measures are still in force.

"We will have to be extremely cautious and rigorous. The virus is still in circulation and we must, therefore, be careful to combat any possible form of transmission to protect the population from the presence of asymptomatic positives who will not be identified by the mandatory temperature test," said Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali.

He added that the restart will allow the company to reduce at least in part the negative effects of the lockdown that they were forced to respect, unfortunately at the worst time.

The Chinese market is already booming, sales in Korea and Japan are doing well. In Germany, dealers have been open for a week there is a major shortage of product.

At current, the company's order books are filled with the newly launched Streetfighter V4, Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour and for the Panigale V2, Multistrada 950 and Ducati Scrambler 1100 PRO.

Despite the reopening of the production lines, Ducati confirms that visits to the Museum, Factory and Fisica in Moto continue to be suspended until further notice, in addition to entry into the factory being prohibited for suppliers, dealers, external contracted companies, and external staff in general, unless proven and unavoidably required for the continuity of production activities, product development and general services.