New Delhi: Royal Enfield, the world’s oldest surviving motorcycle brand, plans to introduce two new motorcycles solely for the export market as it seeks to increase overseas sales even as it battles growing competition at home.
Eicher Motors Ltd, which owns the brand, plans to showcase these vehicles at the Birmingham motorcycle show in November and start selling them next year, according to the company’s managing director Siddhartha Lal.
Royal Enfield, which is the only local maker of bikes with engine capacities greater than 350cc, sold 38,458 units last fiscal, a growth of 18% over a year ago. Eicher Motors, which has hived off its truck and bus division into a different unit that is now a joint venture with Sweden’s Volvo AB, wants to increase its overseas sales of around 3,000 units a year.
“For our future...we expect exports to constitute at least 15% of our overall production and sales,” said Lal. “Margins are better (in exports) and that will help,” he added, without revealing the actual numbers.
Enfield’s main overseas market is the UK and it sells its top-end bikes there for as much as Rs3 lakh, almost three times the price in India. The new motorcycles are expected to be more powerful and sophisticated, and will be priced more than the ones being sold now, Lal said. Enfield currently sells four models—Thunderbird, Bullet Electra, Bullet Machismo and Bullet 350—in India and in overseas markets.
The company plans to raise capacity at its Chennai factory from 42,000 motorcycles now to around 48,000 units by the end of this year with the money received from the stake sale in its truck and bus division.
“By the end of the year, we will have around Rs350 crore” from the sale and redemption of investments and part of this would go into the motorcycle division, Lal said.