Friday, February 5, 2010

Selling it...

Someone in a bulletin board once said "as the Japanese expanded the reliability and features of their motorcycles, the British manufacturers responded by expanding their publicity budgets". Here is a remarkable ad for the Royal Enfield interceptor, published in the US in 1969. We need to remember that in 1969 all that was left of Royal Enfield was a handful of workers working in an underground quarry in Wiltshire producing engines that were fitted in Velocette frames. Nevertheless the ad has a section on "The stability and financial strength of Royal Enfield". It claims Royal Enfield was the fourth largest motorcycle manufacturer in the UK. This omitted mention that there were only four motorcycle manufacturers in the UK at the time! (This is probably an exaggeration, apart from BSA, Triumph and Norton there were smaller manufacturers like Cotton, DMW, Greeves, Sprite. Although Royal Enfield was so small at the time it is not so clear to me it was the fourth in the list!). Royal Enfield closed its doors definitively in the UK a few months later after the ad appeared, in July 1970.

Photo credit: The Mighty Interceptor by Andrew Strait.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent find, Jorge. This is a B2B (Business to Business) ad designed to recruit dealers. The copy is barely reality based. Don't worry about having to sell a lot of inventory! Hell, we barely make any! These were desperate times. But the Interceptor was a nice machine... it certainly deserved better. The failure of the British motorcycle industry really is a life lesson. We can thank the peculiar connection to India that Royal Enfield survived the hubris of the West.



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