Not so exclusive anymore
When the very limited-production Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus Edition bikes were released in India in July, all 250 units reserved for the market sold in under 3 minutes. Fast forward a few weeks and Royal Enfield released the Classic Signals 350. So far, so good: both models of military inspiration got the crowds excited until the Pegasus owners started noticing some similarities with the Signals. Turns out, Royal Enfield recycled a few ideas from the Pegasus and owners aren’t happy about it.
Royal Enfield did something right with the Pegasus 500: only 1,000 units offered worldwide for this ultra-exclusive, World War II-inspired model meant as an homage to the brand’s affiliation with the British army. The Signals 350 launched a month later, designed as a tribute to the brand’s affiliation to the Indian Air Force. Notice a pattern yet?
Thing is Royal Enfield screwed up. The designers probably got a little too enthusiastic or proud of the Pegasus and they decided to borrow some of the features that made the limited Pegasus so exclusive and added them to the much cheaper and not limited Signals 350 edition.
Turns out, the owners who had rushed to buy the Pegasus and paid the premium price for the exclusivity noticed the similarities in looks and equipment between their “unique” bike and the Signals 350 and they weren’t exactly thrilled about it. They even pointed to the fact that the smaller, more affordable 350 was getting the ABS while the bigger, more expensive 500 didn’t. Owners have gone as far as to literally dump their bikes to show their anger. Others have refused to take delivery of their Pegasus in protest. Oops.
The company is reportedly planning a buyback program for the dissatisfied (angered) customers. Dealers will take the units off the disgruntled owners' hands and resell them to informed customers who know what to expect. According to Business Today, however, the number of angry customers who manifested themselves is overall pretty low, which shouldn’t represent a major expense for the manufacturer.
Lesson learned: the whole exclusivity thing has worked well for Royal Enfield and we are excited to see how many of the 750 Pegasus left the US will get. All the company needs to do is not come out with a similar and cheaper option a few weeks later. It’s only logical.
Source: Business Today