Story by Sharnelle Kan- Ducati closed its Borgo Panigale factory today after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake struck northern Italy at 9 a.m. local time.
Ducati wrote on its Facebook page, “Today Ducati is closed for the earthquake. People are ok we are verifying the factory. We feel very close to all people and families that live near here for this difficult moment.”
Factories, homes, historic buildings and churches were all reduced to rubble in the latest earthquake to shake Italy. The 5.8-magnitude earthquake has reportedly killed at least 15 individuals and injured another 200.
The initial 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Italy on May 20 resulted in the deaths of half a dozen people, a few of those being workers who were injured when their factories collapsed in the predominantly industrial provinces of Modena, Ferrara and Bologna.
Although Ducati wasn’t directly affected by either of the earthquakes, its production may be disrupted due to nearby suppliers who were forced to close after the first tremor.
Ducati follows a “just in time” (JIT) production strategy, which minimizes in-process inventory and ensures that parts are only introduced to the production process once they are needed. The Scacchetti Foundry and TMM di Finale Emilia, which supply Ducati with materials and parts, suffered extensive damage.
“It’s difficult to predict the real impact of the earthquake, but we are very concerned. However, the pain takes precedence in this great tragedy,” said Ducati’s CEO, Gabriele Del Torchio. “We’re in daily contact with our suppliers who have been affected by the earthquake: we work with a lot of companies in the area that was hit by the earthquake and it will have a major impact.”
The epicenter of today’s earthquake was 40 km north of Bolognia near the city of Modena and the tremors from today’s quake were felt as far as Austria.
Thousands have been left homeless and jobless, and many are taking shelter in tents due to the damage caused by the quakes. According to the Italian government, the number of homeless has increased from 6,000 to 14,000.
At a press conference, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said, “I want to assure everyone that the state will do all that it must do, all that is possible to do, as fast as it can to guarantee the return to normality in a region so special, so important, so productive for Italy.”
Ducati has not yet disclosed when the plant will be reopening.