Editorial Royal Enfield: The First True 'Global' Indian Brand?

Parthu

Gessler
Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
993
2,038
25
Vizag, India
re2.JPG


Ever since their new-generation 650cc twins released in 2018, Royal Enfield (RE)'s reputation & sales figures has taken off in the international markets. So much so that even a platform which was never 'meant' for an international customer base like the preceding Himalayan ADV is racking up respectable sales & a well-earned reputation for ruggedness & affordability.


So much so that the Interceptor even climbed to the top of the sales charts in the UK:


And recently in New Zealand as well:


While it would be imprudent to say RE has surpassed the likes of BMW Motorrad or the Japanese giants when it comes to dominating sales charts overall (each year RE only barely manages to stay in the Top 10 brands in UK over cumulative sales of all models; to be expected though considering RE caters to only a small section of the market unlike the companies mentioned above) - what CAN be stated quite assuredly is that RE has for sure learnt how to tap into market niches, use them to expand their foothold to make a name for themselves, and emerge as a mainstream international brand in doing so.


The current RE management certainly has their sights set on the same:


Even the smaller-displacement models which otherwise were not expected to get that much of a response in developed markets (like the new Meteor) are outperforming in bookings & sales.


We can comfortably say that the days of RE being nothing but a cult favourite that manufactures classic designs like the Bullet using the same tooling & machinery from their British days back in the 50s, are effectively over...and they were over for a long time, the replacement of the old 350UCE machines with the new 350 J-platform across the board would be the last nail in the coffin of old RE, and the last brick in finishing the construction of new RE. An RE that stands for quality & immense value.


With a slew of new models around the corner (including expansion of the 650 twin family to include cruiser & ADV members) and an expanding international dealer network, this bull run of RE is not going to stop any time soon. I would say with confidence that RE may be the first true global brand that India has produced - that too in a highly competitive and established industry like automobiles. At the very least - this is a story that deserves to be followed.


@Milspec @suryakiran @randomradio @Ashwin @Gautam
 

Parthu

Gessler
Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
993
2,038
25
Vizag, India
British brand.

OTOH TVS and Mahindra are Indian brands

It was still a "British brand" pre-2018 when they were making old Bullets and nobody outside India gave a damn (except old collectors & enthusiasts).

It was Indian management & money that scripted the turnaround, that made the brand what it is today.
 
  • Agree
  • Informative
Reactions: Gautam and Lolwa

AbRaj

Senior member
Dec 6, 2017
1,770
1,326
Republic of Wadiya
It was still a "British brand" pre-2018 when they were making old Bullets and nobody outside India gave a damn (except old collectors & enthusiasts).
It still is considered British heritage brand and thats what its main selling point like MG. Otherwise its just another thirld world manufacturer selling cheap and mainly WW2 era british models.
That said, recently after Siddharth taking over the top position of RE, they are doing what should have done decades earlier. And if they somhow can beat triumph in higher capacity segment like street twin and street triple, Ill be the happiest man.
It was Indian management & money that scripted the turnaround, that made the brand what it is today.
True but RE brand is known for Thumpers aka Bullet which is a WW2 design. Only Himalayan (and now 600 twins) is the product designed post british era that is getting good reviews globally.
British lineage is what have kept them alive among their fans
 

Milspec

सर्वदा शक्तिशाली; सर्वत्र विजय
Moderator
Dec 2, 2017
2,176
2,799
United States
I love my Continental GT. it looks great and drives quite well. I have written quite a lot about RE, and how it is the only Auto maker I have high hopes from. Sid Lal is absolutely the best, Eicher Motors have big things coming it's way both at RE and VE CV.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Parthu

jetray

Well-Known member
Mar 15, 2018
1,484
953
India
It was still a "British brand" pre-2018 when they were making old Bullets and nobody outside India gave a damn (except old collectors & enthusiasts).

It was Indian management & money that scripted the turnaround, that made the brand what it is today.
True , but you are talking of brand recognition. Then why not give it a different name and prove it. Why did they stick to the same name?

This more or less looks like pakistanis claiming basmati name as theirs just because they grow basmati rice.
 

Parthu

Gessler
Team StratFront
Dec 1, 2017
993
2,038
25
Vizag, India
True , but you are talking of brand recognition. Then why not give it a different name and prove it. Why did they stick to the same name?

The brand recognition is in India, that's why retaining the name - why change name when the make is one of the most recognizable & popular brands in the country continuously since 1950s?

But the only Western customers that know the RE brand are 70+ demographic i.e. the same ones who used to collect Classics & Bullets imported from India because they were familiar with these models in their teens and wanted to re-live the experience after retirement.

When they came out with the 650 twins, RE was pretty much a new entrant in the West. Yes, their legacy & history would garner an additional paragraph in automobile reviews, but other than that RE had nothing that the mainstream customer in the West could want.

They built that up with strategic acquisitions, hiring, building up great QA/QC in production, and spending on R&D for a brand new platform. Without that, the RE brand wouldn't have any relevance to the mainstream customer.

It was very much like the revival of Norton in 2008 from the ground-up...except for a far less known brand which until then was known for poor-ish quality.

This more or less looks like pakistanis claiming basmati name as theirs just because they grow basmati rice.

You're joking right? :ROFLMAO:
 

jetray

Well-Known member
Mar 15, 2018
1,484
953
India
The brand recognition is in India, that's why retaining the name - why change name when the make is one of the most recognizable & popular brands in the country continuously since 1950s?

But the only Western customers that know the RE brand are 70+ demographic i.e. the same ones who used to collect Classics & Bullets imported from India because they were familiar with these models in their teens and wanted to re-live the experience after retirement.

When they came out with the 650 twins, RE was pretty much a new entrant in the West. Yes, their legacy & history would garner an additional paragraph in automobile reviews, but other than that RE had nothing that the mainstream customer in the West could want.

They built that up with strategic acquisitions, hiring, building up great QA/QC in production, and spending on R&D for a brand new platform. Without that, the RE brand wouldn't have any relevance to the mainstream customer.

It was very much like the revival of Norton in 2008 from the ground-up...except for a far less known brand which until then was known for poor-ish quality.
rose is a rose by any name, they should go for change of name if they have so loyal customers who will recognize by quality instead just by name. Quality is a product of company, any product from that company should be good. Instead of Royal Field let them say product of Eicher Motors.
Right now they are sticking to Royal Enfield as they see they can see sell only using that brand name. Quality is just a a by product.

You're joking right? :ROFLMAO:
oh yeah those bozos did try that, but India did move quickly to assert itself.
 

Milspec

सर्वदा शक्तिशाली; सर्वत्र विजय
Moderator
Dec 2, 2017
2,176
2,799
United States
True , but you are talking of brand recognition. Then why not give it a different name and prove it. Why did they stick to the same name?

This more or less looks like pakistanis claiming basmati name as theirs just because they grow basmati rice.
Because they bought the British brand's rights when its parent company went bust.
In the riding community, everyone knows what RE is, and where it's made. And true to their pedigree they are building classic British parallel twins. The original Interceptor was a 750 twin, the current interceptor is an homage/resurrection of the same bike. Similarly, the GT goes back to all the twin cup bikes that RE was famous for.

Current RE draws its lineage from the original RE, it's set up its vision and its styling is drawn from that lineage, it's a brand that stays true to it's humongous following in India and around the world.

As far as the name or the way Eicher runs its business, I don't think anyone in India is in a position to lecture Sid Lal on how to run his massively successful turnaround story. While bajaj's, hero, and others are riding on coattails of others, RE has truly become an independent success story. One of the main reasons for me buying a RE as soon as I could get my hands on it, was because we finally had a global product in the US from an Indian powerhouse of an Auto company.

... And hopefully will get the next Norton that comes out of Tvs too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Parthu

Milspec

सर्वदा शक्तिशाली; सर्वत्र विजय
Moderator
Dec 2, 2017
2,176
2,799
United States
My wish list from RE is to up upbore the 650 twin to 800/900 class and kick triumph in the nuts.
Put a lighter newer engine in the Himalayan,
Create an 800/900 triple 12v dohc and run it in the same way that Yamaha runs it's ‎Tracer 900/FJ-09/MT-09/XSR900/tenere common engine platforms.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AbRaj