One and half decade ago Royal Enfield was on the verge of extinction like Ambassador, and it looked like a natural obliteration. However, Siddhartha Lal had other plans; then 26, Lal was made the CEO of Elcher Motors and his first task was to revive Royal Enfield among the racing Indian hearts. What looked like to be a suicidal attempt is now considered to be one of the best revival stories in Automobile industry.
Lal deserves a lot of credit for his endeavours, and it was his constant 4 years of nagging along at the Chennai headquarters that catapulted Royal Enfield into the limelight. Siddhartha Lal is the son of Vikram Lal, former executive of Elcher Motors, and like father Siddhartha completed his secondary education from Doon School before completing his Bachelor in Arts, Economics degree from St. Stephen’s College Delhi. Interestingly he has a post graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science degree in Automotive Engineering from Cranfield University and University of Leeds respectively. Such was Lal’s obsession with Enfield that he rode a red coloured bullet to his wedding.
Elcher Motors had given up on the sales of Royal Enfield as per month sales plunged down to 2000 units from estimated 6000. This was coupled with constant warranty appeals as customers faced engine seizures and other problems. Lal was bold enough to ask for a chance to revive, but he faced a mighty task as remodelling would hamper the aesthetic and traditional value of Royal Enfield, and the loyal fans strictly opposed such thoughts. To attract new users Lal and team had to make few makeshift changes at least to curb the loss as much as they could. The signature bullet sound has always made Royal Enfield a different kettle of fish, and tampering with it would have doomed them for lifetime. With the help of International experts and sound mapping, 70% of the noise was retained and a rigorous 1000 hour meant maximum rhythmic vibrations. The new engine had almost shrugged off the entirety of the old engine, but managed to increase the fuel efficiency. Now, Royal Enfield is looking to hit the 1.5 lakhs mark in the near future.
The dim and dull part of Elcher Motors, Royal Enfield that was once set to be disabled has now surged up 7716% as of July 31, 2017 from May 26, 2008 where it was marked at Rs 384.30. Such has been Royal Enfield’s impact it ambushed any kind of competition from peers Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp. Royal Enfield is an important mid-range motorcycle player in the global arena, and its meteoric rise in the last five years has been astonishing.
The new 650CC twin bike will be rejuvenating the twin cylinder concept that has been long lost since bullet’s revival. The twin engine despite its name is lighter and elegant looking than most of its counterpart. Lal has assured the interested ones that despite it being a 650 cc bullet, the price will be capped at a moderate level so that people aren’t discouraged by it. 650cc is a new and intimidating concept in India, but Enfield’s confidence and affordable pricing will certainly make an affirmative impact. They may have taken a dive in the past, but came up with a futuristic monster.
Article by Sushmoy.