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India: Royal Enfield's new Bullet pays off

India's classic motorcycle posts record sales growth on the back of a new engine and new CEO
Royal enfield bulletEnlarge
Shown here with Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, the Royal Enfield Bullet notched up 44 percent sales growth last year, thanks to a new engine and a new CEO. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

India's classic motorcycle maker, Royal Enfield, has always struggled to make a profit. But as I reported for GlobalPost last year, the company took a big gamble on a Detroit-bred CEO and a new, modern engine to try to take advantage of the beloved brand and finally start making money.

It's beginning to pay off, according to the Hindustan Times.

This year, Enfield posted record sales growth of 44 percent, thanks to the lighter, smoother-running engine that die-hards once said would kill the brand altogether, notching sales of some 78,000 bikes.

"There is a deep latent demand for Royal Enfield in India, almost like people want us to win," the HT quoted Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, Royal Enfield, as saying. "Enfield has a long story in India and is embedded in the psyche of the people. We are finally delivering products that are smart, savvy and reliable... which is where people have at times been disappointed in the past. But now it is all falling in place."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/india/india-royal-enfield-bullet