Ducati announced the start of a new wholly-owned subsidiary for the Brazilian market after its former importing partner, the Izzo Group, ceased operations.

The Izzo Group shut itself down earlier this month following a slow decline. At one point, the Izzo Group was one of Brazil’s largest motorcycle importers, with a list of manufacturers including Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Husqvarna, MV Agusta, Triumph and Zero. Business soured in 2010 after Harley-Davidson ended its distribution agreement over dissastisfaction from the Izzo Group’s level of customer service and the decision to offer multiple brands in its dealerships.

With Brazil representing the world’s third largest motorcycle market, Ducati wasted little time to establish its own subsidiary weeks after the dissolution of the Izzo Group. Headquartered in Sao Paolo, “Ducati do Brasil Indústria e Comércio de Motocicletas”, will take over both the distribution and service of Ducati products in Brazil. Ducati has appointed Ricardo Susini as the managing director of its Brazilian operations, with Marco Truzzi named service and after-sales manager.

The new subsidary will import complete knock-down (CKD) kits to Brazil for final assembly at a plant in Manaus. Production is expected to begin within the next few weeks.

“The Brazilian motorcycle market is one of the most interesting and the third biggest in the world,” says Gabriele Del Torchio, chief executive officer of Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. during the press conference announcing the creation of Ducati do Brasil. “Ducati has a very strong image in this country and we have the enthusiastic support of many Ducatisti, motorcyclists and fans in general. The opening of this new subsidiary and the fact that our motorcycles will be assembled in the Manaus plant is evidence of our focus on the Brazilian market. We wish to offer our customers here the best possible sale and after-sales service, and confirm the strategic importance assigned to this market by Ducati.”

[Source: Ducati]