Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Royal Enfield stops the American invasion!

This article is from the Motor Cycle Trader, December 21st 1923 and it was penned by Ernest H. Godbold, a French engineer that was general manager at Royal Enfield in the very early years and coined the motto "Made like a gun".

The relevant portion reads:

"Then we had an invasion from the United States. The  American makers, hearing of our demand, had come over in strong force. They started big sales organisations here and even supported a weekly paper to boost the American bicycle. But they overlooked the fact that in the business here were brains as well as money. The first to go out for the American's blood were the Pughs, of Rudge-Whitworth, Ltd. They had among their co-directors the late J. S. Taylor, of Taylor and Challen, an expert in press work and machines for press-work. I don't know, but I can imagine that they held inquest after inquest on American bicycles, found out how they were made, and set out to produce British bicycles by better methods at lower costs. Others who were working to the same end were R. W. Smith, at the Enfield Works at Redditch, who had paid a visit to the States, and the Raleigh people at Nottingham. In a few years the British cycle manufacturer had beaten the American out for ever."

1 comment:

  1. Great find. Interesting how the British industrialists seem to have instinctively reacted to compete in a way that would, in passing, improve quality and save British jobs. Today they might just as logically look for a way to import cheaper products that would beat the Americans on price alone, while laying off their own workers. Far easier, in the short term, and profitable until your now unemployed former workers run out of the money to purchase bicycles at any price.



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