Despite the launch of the Ducati Stradale V-four engine, Ducati Motor Holding posted a 5% drop in sales for 2018, with 53,004 machines delivered to customers worldwide. However, this is represented against an overall drop in the global above 500 cc motorcycle market which shrank by 3%.

Of this figure, Ducati sold 9,700 bikes in the Panigale range, an increase of 70% over 2017 which it says makes it the leader in the superbike segment with over 26% market share. Of this, the new Ducati Panigale V4 made up 6,100 of the total number of Ducati superbikes sold.

The adventure-touring Multistrada range also saw an increase in sales for 2018, with 6,569 Multistradas sold. This is a 25% increase over the 2017 figure.

“2018 was challenging for the big motorcycles market, with slowdowns in important countries like the US, Ducati had, by the end of the year, delivered over 53,000 bikes,” said Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding. “We’re working to make our sales network more efficient than ever. For 2019 we’ve also overhauled the Scrambler 800 range and launched new products such as the Diavel 1260 and Hypermotard 950,” Ducati global sales director Francesco Milicia added.

Home market Italy remains Ducati’s largest customer with 9,200 bikes sold, up 4.5% over the previous year. This was followed by Spain (2,444 sold, up 8%), Japan (1,941 sold, up 2%) and Switzerland (1,276 sold, up 2.2%).

However, US Ducati sales, which has traditionally been its largest market, dropped against a 9% US domestic market downturn for motorcycles above 500 cc, with 7,843 motorcycles sold. In China, market demand for Ducati rose by 29%, with the establishment of a direct outlet and expansion of the dealer network from 19 to 23 locations.