Italy has been one of the first countries outside of China that were hit hard by the pandemic, both in the number of cases and death toll. The country was prompted to order a nationwide lockdown to try to limit the spread of the virus, and quickly contain the crisis. Since the first week of March, the country’s economy has been put to a halt and after more than five weeks or so, Italy is preparing to gradually reopen and restart its economy.
As “Non-essential” companies expect to resume their operations with appropriate safety measures in place, Italian motorcycle companies such as Ducati, Piaggio, MV Agusta, and Energica have been eager to kickstart their production operations. March has been considered as a catastrophic month on the sales front for these companies and now, they are set to restart their operations — all they are waiting for is the green light from the government. As the situation is now slowly but finally stabilizing, Italy is now gradually relaxing its lockdown regulations.
MV Agusta CEO Timur Sardarov and Energica CEO Livia Cevolini confirmed that their companies are ready to put their companies into the ground running with stringent internal safety measures and recovery plans in place. They want to ensure that their workforce returns to a safe and efficient working environment.
On the other hand, the Piaggio Group, the company that owns motorcycle brands such as Vespa, Moto Guzzi, and Aprilia, has recently signed an understanding protocol with its Pontedera workers’ trade union that will allow production to resume. Among other provisions that the agreement stated, it stressed the importance of sanitation and cleaning activities to be organized in all workplaces which would be performed before work resumes, and once operations are underway. Factory workers will report to work at regular intervals and will be provided with a special personal protection equipment kit which would include masks, gloves, and goggles. Sanitizing gel dispensers will be installed throughout the premises. Special solutions will also be introduced to ensure social distancing during work hours at the factory entrances and exits, the canteen, and the other common areas.
As for Ducati, part of their strategy for reopening focuses on its dealers with the launch of the “Ducati Cares” campaign program. The campaign is meant to entice customers to return to their showrooms but at the same time ensure to make them feel safe in doing so. This program will provide dealers with clear guidelines on how to ensure the safety of both their respective dealerships and their visitors.
With all these safety protocols Italian manufacturers have been putting in place, it is clear that after a month of catastrophe, they’re itching to start making bikes again. While no official date has been confirmed yet, the media has said that non-essential companies including the motorcycle manufacturers could be allowed to reopen as early as any time starting today.