I want to be where the farkles are.
If you’re a motorcycle manufacturer and sales start to slide, you naturally begin to consider not just what you can change, but also what you should change. The two things might not always be the same for any number of reasons, so it’s important to be clear about each category’s scope. What if you changed … everything? That’s what Royal Enfield CEO Vinod Dasari says is the plan going forward for his company.
In 2020, most OEMs offer a full line of accessories that you, the new bike buyer, can have installed straight from the factory. Sure, they might cost a little more than aftermarket parts, but the clear upsides they push are that you don’t have to deal with any installation hassles, and the parts are typically covered by the factory warranty. Depending on who you are and how much you like farkling your bike yourself, those can be seen as significant pluses.
As Dasari exclusively revealed in an interview with CarAndBike, RE used the COVID-19 crisis to take a hard look at itself and how it was operating. Since this virus is still active all around the globe, with no effective vaccines available and no immunity in the current human population, most people have to rethink how we go about living our daily lives. In India, ridesharing, particularly on motorbikes, was commonplace. By necessity, due to the virus, a lot of people are rethinking what was once a common concept.
“Three things will change. One will be significant amount of digitization in the buying process. We will have to figure out how to involve the buyer or the customer into the buying process, a differentiated buying experience. Because of people not wanting to share rides or shared mobility and all, they will want their own bike,” Dasari said.
“When I go on to a traffic light, I want to have something different. A motorcycle is a display of a person's personality, so it has to have uniqueness and differentiation. So, how do we involve them in the design of a motorcycle? So we have revamped our entire business process from ‘made to stock’ to ‘made to order’. We want to move to a point completely where 100 percent of our bikes will be mass-customized. You can then choose, whichever bike you want, with this kind of label, with that kind of colour, with this kind of accessory and that kind of apparel, all of this will be built in. That significantly changes the entire buying process,” he added.
It’s an ambitious plan, but one that sounds like it has potential. Dasari didn’t elaborate on how RE plans to go about this shift, nor did he give an exact timeframe. We’ll have to see how this all plays out, as well as whether Enfield adapts this plan for its international customers down the line.