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May 13, 2013

Rode the Cafe Racer – jealous yet?

Random Notes

Getting ready to ride the Royal Enfield Cafe Racer at the new Royal Enfield factory

I stopped in at the new factory last week to preview and ride the final version of the Cafe Racer on the test track at the new Royal Enfield factory. The Cafe Racer is the worst kept secret in the industry. I cannot reveal much about the final form other than it was a lot of fun and you will note my picture is not that revealing (drat!). I will say that we are on track for 2013 deliveries and we will reveal more about the technical aspects of the bikes soon.

The new factory was fabulous! It is a wonderful 50 acre, mix of absolute state of the art manufacturing and where it counts traditional hand craftsmanship . The environment was also much better for the workers – quiet, clean, safe,good temperature control, ergonomic assembly positions etc. It is amazing what you can do with a brand new clean sheet of paper facility. For the first time I noticed women in the good paying assembly line jobs. The owner has a goal of having 50% women in the new factory which would be great. Not as easy as it sounds in India but a good goal for certain.

For 2013 we will manufacture 175,000 units, up from 25,000 units just a few years ago then 250,000 in 2014. Virtually all of these units are presold already with some small exceptions in the export market where dealers carry inventory. (In India there is at least an 8 month waiting list). By way of comparison Triumph is said to have a current capacity of 50,000 units per year.

The addition of the Cafe Racer this year will now give us 4 distinct Royal Enfield products to sell.

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