TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2005 12:54:25 AM]
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CHANDIGARH: Famed for their spunk and the urge to beat men at their own game, Punjabi girls have ventured into yet another hitherto men’s only domain. More and more of them are driving Royal Enfields, the ultimate symbol of masculine bravado.
One indication of this is the increasing number of women in motorcycle clubs. Say for instance, the Bullet Road Club, that organises an annual mobike trip to Khardungla, the highest motorable pass in the world. This year, one sixth of the total members who successfully completed this treacherous journey were women. This enthusiasm has encouraged Eicher — the makers of Enfield — to keep the fairer sex in mind while designing their bikes.
An upbeat S Vaitheeswaran, director sales and marketing, Royal Enfield, says, “Our bikes aren’t meant for thanedars and thekedars alone.” So would Royal Enfield introduce smaller bikes? No way, on the contrary the new bikes would get all the more powerful. But, these super machines would come with an electric button start, so that the beautiful ladies don’t have to waste their energies kicking off the machine. Also, the Enfield showrooms would now be refurbished and wear a snazzy look to make them aesthetically appealing to young women.
Including women in its customer base is yet another step in Eicher’s current scheme of things where it is striving to portray Enfield as an Indian equivalent of America’s Harley Davidson. Being targeted as an aspirational brand, the new strategy involves capturing the adults who are young at heart, adventure bikers and institutional buyers (10% of the total sales are accounted by government, army etc). "