Published: Wednesday, 15 June, 2016 10:15 AM
Brand Marquee - Royal Enfield
Management Gurus have always opined that Brand will be born and dying during Brand life cycles and will need push for their sustainability.
Among the many motorcycle brands in the market, Royal Enfield holds a special place in the hearts of bike lovers and commands a loyal customer base. It is one of the oldest bike companies in the world and is known for producing bikes which are known for their power, stability, strength and rugged looks.
In the 1890s, Albert Eadie and R.W. Smith founded the Eadie Manufacturing Company, which later became the Enfield Cycle company at Redditch in England. The Enfield Cycle company manufactured motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines. By 1899, Enfield were producing quadricycles with Dion engines and experimenting with a heavy bicycle frame fitted with a Minerva engine clamped to the front down tube.
2. Indian connection
Royal Enfield motorcycles have been sold in India since 1949. Due to their legacy, reliability and other qualities, in 1955, the Indian government ordered a massive 800 of the Bullet 350 cc motorcycles for the police and army forces for patrolling duties on the country’s borders. The enormous size of the order led the Redditch Company to partner Madras Motors in India to form
‘Enfield India’, to assemble these motorcycles in Madras (now Chennai). The Madras Motors owned the majority of shares in the company. Full-fledged production began in 1957 with the sale of tooling equipment to Enfield India.
Like other motorcycle manufacturers, the Enfield Cycle company began business as a weapons manufacturer, for instance, the Enfield rifle. The logo comprises the canon and the motto ‘Made like a gun,” both reflect the legacy of the company as a weapons manufacturer.
4. Low phase
The company ran into trouble in the United Kingdom. In 1968, it was sold to Norton-Truimph-Villiers (NTV) and in 1970, the company ceased production in the UK. The company was finally dissolved in 1971. In India, Enfield India entered into a strategic alliance with the Eicher Group, one of India’s leading automotive groups and merged with it in 1994. The company’s name also changed to ‘Royal Enfield’ during this period. The phase from 1990 to 2000 turned out to be a dark phase for Royal Enfield, as it shifted focus from its loyal customers to the mass and much younger generation. Which almost killed it. However, Mr Siddhartha Lal, MD and CEO of Eicher Motors and himself an avid biker, turned around the fortunes of Royal Enfield by upgrading the bikes with modern technology yet retaining the vintage and macho appeal of the brand.
Despite going bankrupt in the United Kingdom, Royal Enfield has only grown in stature and repute in India and has been a popular choice for bike lovers. The Royal Enfield has a number of models and variants, all produced in the Chennai plant, such as, Thunderbird 500, Thunderbird 300, Bullet 350, Bullet 500, Continental GT and the recently launched Himalayan. The bikes cost in the range of 1- 2 lakh Indian rupees approximately. Besides being present across India, with more than 390 dealership outlets, Royal Enfield also exports various models in more than 50 countries, such as US, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, France, Russia, Brazil, to name a few.
Despite being a premium brand, Royal Enfield has managed to capture the attention of the people. Royal Enfield is a brand that has survived and gained a cult following over the years.
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