NEW DELHI, India and MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Royal Enfield has named Rod Copes as president of its North American business, which directs sales for the United States and Canada.
"By naming Copes to a top-level executive position, Royal Enfield has firmly stated its intentions to rapidly expand the brand in the U.S., its top export market," the company announced.
“Rod comes to us with a rich worldwide experience of more than 20 years in the motorcycle industry," said Siddhartha Lal, CEO of parent company Eicher Motors Ltd. "His in-depth understanding of the North American markets and marquee brands will be vital for Royal Enfield.
"U.S.A is an important market for us as we aspire to become the leader in the global midsized motorcycle industry. We realize that the midsized motorcycle market is underserved, and opportunities are immense on this continent,” Lal said.
"We welcome and are encouraged by the appointment of Rod," remarked Kevin Mahoney, president of Royal Enfield importer and distributor Classic Motorworks Ltd., in a separate announcement. "Royal Enfield has made a strong commitment to North America, and the appointment of such a highly qualified, experienced and well-regarded person like Rod is further evidence of that commitment. Royal Enfield intends to be one of the world’s top motorcycle companies in the world for mid-sized motorcycles and this is a step in that direction. Rod will be a welcome addition to our team in the U.S. and we are looking forward to working with him."
Copes previously worked with Harley-Davidson, most recently as head of Global Sales and Customer Service. He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“My association with Royal Enfield goes back to my early days in India when I first met Siddhartha. I have admired Royal Enfield’s classic designs ever since," Copes said in the press announcement. "These are exciting times for the motorcycle industry and I am looking forward to working with the world’s fastest growing motorcycle brand.
"The North American region provides an interesting opportunity for the brand. While lightweight and heavyweight bikes dominate the motorcycle scene in the U.S.A and Canada, Royal Enfield sits right in the middle with classic, fun, approachable designs that appeal to a younger, urban-oriented demographic. The new generation of riders is interested in a more hands-on motorcycling experience that is part of their lifestyle.”
Copes said he sees an opportunity to grow Royal Enfield’s North American presence in the mid-power market, the brand’s "sweet spot" with its predominantly 500cc collection.
Copes is also active in several industry associations and business forums, including the World Trade Center Wisconsin’s International Business Roundtable, India Business Council, and UW-Milwaukee’s International Business Center. He is currently on the Industrial Advisory Boards for University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MBA Operations and Technology Management Program, and the President’s Advisory Council for Carroll University. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Hunger Task Force from 2006-2012.
From a press release