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DUCATI Australia and New Zealand in partnership with Preston Motors Group last week opened its newest – and Australia’s largest – dealership at the Essendon Fields site north of Melbourne.

Dubbed Ducati Melbourne West, the 360 square metre facility and former Volkswagen dealership, was bathed in red light for the gala opening, the event attended by some 200 guests who were provided with a glimpse of the flagship facility and were immersed in Italian style and culture.

The facility will offer sales and service facilities for the entire range of Ducati motorcycles and well as some assembly and accessories installation. It incorporates a café which encourages Ducatisti to “visit and enjoy the atmosphere” alongside a range of Ducati riding gear, merchandise and apparel.

Speaking to guests at the event, Ducati Australia and New Zealand managing director Sergi Canovas said the experience Preston Motors Group was able to bring to the brand was a key factor in the latest partnership.

“Preston Motors Group is already part of our Volkswagen family with their long association with Porsche, said Mr Canovas.

“Their existing legacy with customer experience and performance aligns with the global Ducati dealer network. I am excited to see the dealership open with such a passionate team and to see the Ducati community continue to grow with this atet-0of-the-art facility.”

The hand-selected staff Preston Motors Group has installed at the site include experienced team members from elsewhere in the network.

Darco Superba takes on the role of Dealer Principal alongside Derek Apparicio (Service Manager), Marina Sirakovski (Business Manager), Verrpal Bhangu (Financial Controller) and Leo Hakim (Valuer).

With Porsche Brighton and Doncaster dealerships already part of the network, and with one-in-three Porsche owners also riding a Ducati, Preston Motors Group CEO Robert Gattereder said the collaboration is a natural fit.

“I am a motorcyclist myself and of European heritage, so to bring the iconic brand of Ducati into our portfolio is as exciting for me as it is for our business,” said Mr Gattereder, whose collection of classic Ducatis was on display at the gala opening.

“With our rich history and driven culture, we’re committed to defining a new benchmark for customer satisfaction in Victoria.

“Ducatisti who visit our flagship dealership will experience a new engaging destination concept and will feel a warm welcome from the first moment they enter. We look forward to bringing the Italian pride of Ducati to our flagship store and delivering a premium customer experience.”

The first Ducati Melbourne West customer to receive the keys to a Ducati Supperleggera V4 was presented with his bike during the dealership’s opening ceremony, the $150,000-plus track-only machine taking pride of place in the showroom among a collection of new and classic models.

Sergi Canovas told GoAuto Premium that the motorcycle is a masterpiece of engineering and design and was a fitting centrepiece for the dealership’s launch.

Mr Canovas said the facility is the first of its kind in Australia, and one that will pave the way for similar outlets in capital-city locations.

“We are currently in talks with a number of dealers to open dealerships similar to this one, but also we are working with our current partners to upgrade existing showrooms and the services they offer accordingly,” said Mr Canovas.

“Ducati is just setting records in terms of sales, despite all the recent disruptions that we are suffering in terms of components and in terms of logistics especially – and that’s been particularly relevant for us in Australia and New Zealand because we are very far away from the headquarters. Despite the issues in availability of our bikes, we are set to break the record by a long way in Australia and New Zealand this year.

“But despite the challenges, we remain in one of the best positions among the industry to keep on delivering to our customers, and I think that working with groups like the Preston Motors Group that already have experience in dealing with premium cars means they understand how to treat the customer, how to treat the brand the right way – they have an instant understanding of what has to be done.

“I think customers are going to be impressed to see how much this new dealership will have in common with the premium car buying experience,” he added.

Located close to Melbourne Airport and only 15 minutes from the centre of Melbourne, the Ducati Melbourne West facility opens to the public this Saturday at 295 Wirraway Rd, Essendon Fields.

By Matt Brogan

AdTorque Edge