Lock replaces Piazza at Ducati

Joe Piazza, Jr., has been replaced as head of Ducati Motorcycle’s North American operation one year after he took the position. He’s being replaced by Michael Lock, former head of Ducati UK. Lock is familiar with the U.S. market, since he previously served as CEO of Triumph USA. The move was effective March 3.
Piazza, who battled through a tough year at Ducati, made substantial changes in operations, including significantly changing shipping and warehouse operations and moving the Ducati headquarters from New Jersey to northern California. The moves were expensive, but Piazza told Powersports Business in January that the changes in infrastructure would improve services and training for dealers and allow the company to begin to make “exciting marketing” moves.
Ducati was Piazza’s first management position at an OEM. Most of his motorcycle experience has come on the distributor side with Tucker Rocky and Global Motorsport Group.
Ducati’s financial performance last year was down from 2001 and the company said weak performance by the U.S. operation was one reason for the decline.
North American motorcycle shipments for 2002 were off 25.8%, dropping from 6,801 units to 5,044 units, the company said.
Net earnings for Ducati for the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, were $ 6.2 million, compared to $10.1 million in 2001.
“2002 was a difficult year for Ducati,” said Carlo Di Biagio, Ducati CEO, when he discussed Ducati’s financial performance on Feb. 13. “In particular, we were — and are — burdened by the restructuring of our U.S. subsidiary and the continued devaluation of the dollar versus the Euro.” He said 2003 could be “at least as challenging as 2002,” adding, “In particular, it is essential that we complete the turnaround of our U.S. business.”

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