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Author Topic: 1000cc Royal Enfield?  (Read 959 times)

Leonard

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1000cc Royal Enfield?
« on: November 05, 2009, 05:04:45 PM »
Lal said the company has plans to move up in bigger engine categories like 800 cc and 1000 cc but not immediately.  See rest of article at http://www.livemint.com/2009/11/04183555/Royal-Enfield-to-invest-over-R.html?h=B
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UncleErnie

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 05:39:29 PM »
Well, they have a prototype being made in Australia....

It would be interesting to see what their research says about other countries.  For the United States, they need a better dealer network.  Americans are too flighty and don't want to work on their own bikes.  Plus, they need to go faster.  If Yamaha and Honda can make a 500 that does it, I imagine Americans wonder why India can't.

I also think They ned to come up with some kind of program that won't scare off potential dealers.  Dealers need to be able to get just 2 bikes to put on the floor, with less rick to them.  As I understand it, dealers are required to take 5 bikes and sell that many a month?  Maybe I got that wrong, but if true- who's willing to take that chance? 

I wonder what would happen if RE (CMW?)  put time and money into advertising / marketing?  Aside from some nice magazine articles, I've never seen any.  I'm convinced that's why the GB500 and W650 didn't sell here- zero marketing.
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ace.cafe

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2009, 06:26:26 PM »
I personally think that a vertical twin would be the right choice.
That's real British style, and would be in keeping with the Royal Enfield heritage.
I know they made a V-twin too, way back when, but the vertical twin is a real British hallmark.
It fits the frame without stretching it or making a twin-spar downtube.
Just like the Interceptor engine fits into the Bullet frame. They could do that at minimal expense, and use alot of existing rolling chassis parts.

It's important to keep the cost down to be competitive. Any method that they can use to keep cost minimal would help, and using the same rolling chassis would keep expense down.
They could individualize it with some different paint and trim.

I'd like to see them come out with something to compete with the Triumph Bonneville, at around the same price. It would be cool to call it the Interceptor Series 3, or something like that, too.
I think that would be popular.
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Vince

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2009, 06:57:23 PM »
     Ernie, I don't do much advertising myself. It is EXPENSIVE !!!! Kevin/CMW actually does more advertising than I would think necessary. He has a truly long term outlook. He is really committed to this line.
     There are many kinds of advertising, but they generally fall into one of two major categories.
     Recognition advertising is a long term saturation program. You are trying to build recognition and familiarity for your product, logo, or company. Logos on sports arena's walls and product placement in movies are examples, but any constantly repeated ad can fall into this category. How many people walk around with cola logos, Orange County Choppers, or other sport logos and products on their T-shirts?This is an incredibly expensive long term program that runs all year, every year, in many venues. Done well, we get institutions such as McDonalds. Done poorly, well, who remembers the phone company MCI?
     Directed, or niche, advertising is a little different. In this you are trying to market a specific product, service, or feature. The return of the Dodge Hemi is an example. While this type of advertising can be part of a saturation program, it is usually seasonal or regional in scope. It also is narrowly focused on a target audience. How many swimsuit ads do see this time of year?
     Kevin's ad program makes great use of available funds. He puts display ads in cycle magazines, but the ads are timed for the part of the season that people are in an active purchasing mode,  I.E. spring time. Even getting bikes to the magazines is part of this plan. A road test is a 2 to 4 page display ad for much less money than a magazine advertising department would charge. Hormel may advertise in Home & Garden, but an Enfield ad would be wasted there.
     Dealer flooring requirements are a type of saturation advertising. Several units on the floor are more attractive and noticeable. It is easier to sell when the customer knows that you are committed to the product. Dealer requirements are not quite so onerous as you describe, but there has to be some level of demonstrable commitment from the dealer.  There are enough horror stories on just this forum to drive home the need to have committed dealers.
     In the most basic sense, this web site with this forum is saturation advertising. The magazine ads are directed/niche ads.
     Advertising vs. sales is a chicken or egg question. Will more advertising net enough additional sales fast enough to pay for the ad program? If Kevin had a product line like Yamaha, probably. With the Enfield line, probably not.
     Don't forget to take into account factors such as the state of the economy when you budget and plan your campaign.
     This is a difficult and  complex subject. There is no hard and fast guide. After a certain level of  knowledge in attained you have to make a judgment call as to when and how to advertise. Advertising does include dealer commitment and involvement.
     
    

Leonard

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2009, 08:51:23 PM »
Motorcycle Classics magazine has carried a full page ad on the inside front cover every month for the three years I've subscribed. 
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UncleErnie

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2009, 11:30:34 PM »
I got to thinking -wondering, actually- if RE could even keep up if demand suddenly took off?  Maybe everyone is better off if it stayed sort of a cult bike?

Just from talking to people, I think the Bullet's reputation is the biggest stumbling block- and it's a huge one.  Not too long ago, I would have thought only crazy people and sadists bought Royal Enfields.  (Turns out I'm sort of right about that, but that's another story...)  The other, albeit smaller one, is the lack of top-end.  As I said, if the GB500 and SR500 can win people over through dependability and a higher speed, I would think RE could, too.  Maybe the UCE is there to step in there?  I haven't ridden one, so I don't know.

I've wondered if the recent spate of favorable articles have done anything for sales.  Is there any stats on that?

I like the idea of product placement.  Maybe get House to ride one on TV while his Triumph is in the shop.   ::)
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Geirskogul

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 05:24:47 AM »
Ah, you see, House has a bad leg, and he never bets on something unreliable like electric start, to work, so an Enfield is a bad choice.
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Kevin Mahoney

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 05:33:14 AM »
RE announced this week that they are doubling production. Toward that end Sid Lal is investing  14 million dollars into that plan. That falls on the heels of a similar amount recently invested. You may not realize that RE has already taken off. They cannot make enough bikes to meet demand. While Harley and the Jap brands are announcing sales declines of 30%-70%, RE is up about 18% (don't hold me to this number but it is a big number). Even here our year to year sales increases out pace most other brands. We are still small to be sure, but the new models have done very well for us.
  
Advertising/marketing is a funny thing. I have done it all and it is funny what works and what doesn't. An full page ad in Cycle World runs about $15,000 for one month. You can get it below $10,000 with a multiple month buy. For the cost of bringing the executive editor and a photographer to the factory we have gotten about 14 pages of coverage. They are the largest motorcycle mag in the world, The prices go down from there. An ad in Walnecks is about $700 and yet is a very effective ad. The internet does more for us than anything. It is a very cost effective way for us to market. We have done lots of movie/tv placements and it usually amounts to nothing but a pain in the a**. We have gotten coverage in high end publications such as Maxim recently, the NY Times, Forbes etc. What that produces is a small spike in web traffic and almost no sales. On the other hand it does widen recognition. We get pitches all of the time from people who have one idea or another for how giving them an Enfield will increase our sales by huge amounts. Never works.
 
What works one year may not work the next. For example in some years we have spend 15% of our gross income on advertising and shows. (this is a huge percentage), another year we may do very little. I have found that there is very little correlation between my advertising budget and sales.
  
What does make a difference is good dealers and an improving product. A good dealer amounts to someone who knows how to run a business and is not in this as a hobby. The hobbyists are nice people but many of them are in business in spite of themselves. I don't want to demean any dealers here, but this is a serious and very difficult  business. I think Vince can attest to that. A serious dealer has money invested in tools equipment, inventory, training etc. A good dealer systematically takes care of his customers and leaves nothing to chance. A good dealer fully understands the product and knows how to teach customers about it.

Dealer size is not as important as commitment and business skills. I would rather have a small dealer that was a professional than a big dealer who didn't do well by the customer. I am not going to deal with dealers who are not committed to the product. It is bad for the customer first and bad for the product second. We have had some of those through the years (actually all brands have some of them) and there is no reason for us to take someone at this juncture that is not serious. We know when a customer is not treated well and we know the profile of dealers who give good service.
  This economy has created a very interesting opportunity for us. All of a sudden consumers are focused on value and not size and flash. We are getting calls from dealers all over the country who are established dealers looking for a product in our size and price range. With the introduction of the UCE we are not nervous  any longer about selling these bikes to larger dealers who have higher expectations of us and the product. That is good for us and for the customers. We have no interest in the super stores and many of them have folded in on themselves. We think we will see significant brand building this year as interest has increased.

This should provide plenty of grist for the mill.

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 05:52:53 PM »
Interesting read, Kevin.
    Print advertising is dying. It is expensive, and doesn't give the return on investment it used to. I don't remember the last time I bought a newpaper, and rarely read the MC mags because they are so crotch rocket oriented.
   It would be nice to see the RE at bike shows, but to be honest the costs are enourmous and I doubt it is worth it.
   Ural rarely advertises, and pulled out of the bike show circuit a few years back, and they sell every bike they make.
   Ural's strongest sales force is their owners. When we get stopped, we talk up the bike and hand out a brochure. The ADV forum, which is huge, has a section dedicated to hacks. The Uralistas dominate that section and I know of several people who have bought Urals based on that forum. More of us Bulleteers need to post over there, as sometimes it's only Uncle Ernie and I defending the name.
     RE's dealer network is weak. There are some great dealers, and a few not so good. It seems like those paired with Ural dealers are pretty good, and those who carry major brands treat it as the red headed stepchild.
     One thing I find interesting: while a strong dealer network is necessary for sales, so buyers can see the bikes, you don't need a dealer on every corner. I learned from the Ural that, like the RE, help is but a keystroke or phone call away. I get parts on line in 2 days, and call for any help I need. In the case of the Ural, there is always an independant BMW shop around, and in the case of the RE, most towns have a vintage Britbike shop that can handle anything that comes up. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a RE or Ural from a good shop several thousand miles away.
     
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UncleErnie

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 02:11:00 AM »
There's a lot to think about...
On advrider, Royal Enfield pops up once in a blue moon and goes away again.  I don't know if I would recommend a Pellet to anyone.  Earl and I went to check them out together, and since he knows me pretty well, he figured I would get along with it.  In general, though, I get the feeling not many people would want to put up with one.  I'm used to old bikes, so really I don't get what the big deal is.  I was scared to death of the reputation more than anything.

Anyway- our closest dealer quit RE.  He said he wasn't making any money, and people just bought parts from CMW so it didn't pay to stock parts- especially when he had to add HIS cost of shipping to him.
There's a small shop here who tells me they have been talking to CMW a little.  I wonder how a decent shop would do with the brand here in Asheville, but to tell the truth- we don't have any decent shops.  Only a couple of good mechanics who work out of their own garage- or mine (house calls).

I would think RE would be a popular bike around here, but I think I may be the only guy in Asheville with one.  Go figure.
Maybe you guys should send me a UCE in trials trim so I could show it off and build sales around here.
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UncleErnie

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2009, 02:21:47 AM »
I'm often surprised to learn how many people have no idea RE's are still made- anywhere.  Might someone explain to me how "the web" helps?
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2009, 02:26:04 AM »
If you remember Unk, I first convinced you to check out the Royal Enfields and told you about the dealer in Marion. That was back on ADV forum, and when you trusted me. Hey, maybe that's why every time we are supposed to meet, YOU NEVER SHOW UP! :o
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The Garbone

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2009, 02:34:04 AM »
Um,, I was going to say that you can tell the weather is cooling a bit as there are more well thought out threads about.   

I like ADV,  the problem is that it is so large you can get lost for days over there...  For example this thread....

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=499369&page=32
Gary
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GreenMachine

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Re: 1000cc Royal Enfield?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2009, 02:42:18 AM »
sounds like blue ridge convinced unk to get a enfield (good luck convincing unk on that) ..now unk is trying to scam a trial for a little show n tell down in ole ashville.....you southern boys will never learn...heeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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