Can Himalayan accelerate Royal Enfield’s market share? | Mint

Can Himalayan accelerate Royal Enfield’s market share?

The new Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 is priced at a premium to other vehicles in teh above-250cc segment.  (Royal Enfield)
The new Royal Enfield Himalayan 450 is priced at a premium to other vehicles in teh above-250cc segment. (Royal Enfield)

Summary

  • The new Himalayan could help drive up volumes for Eicher Motors. While investors are optimistic, concerns around competition in the above-250cc segment persist

The launch of Himalayan 452cc by Eicher Motors Ltd, the listed parent of Royal Enfield (RE), is captivating everyone. The vehicle is a significant upgrade from the old version with better features, attractive design, and improved performance. As such, the strong initial response for the vehicle is encouraging.

Given that the automobile industry is currently seeing good demand in the premium segment, Eicher could well capitalise on the trend with the launch of Himalayan. The new Himalayan comes in three variants–Base, Pass and Summit. The pricing starts at Rs2.69 lakh (ex-showroom); and the top-end model is tagged Rs2.84 lakh. This is an introductory pricing, valid till 31 December.

These prices are at a premium to some other vehicles in the above-250cc segment. The price of the Harley-Davidson X440, which was launched in collaboration with Hero MotoCorp Ltd, starts at about Rs2.4 lakh and goes up to about Rs2.8 lakh, ex-showroom.

“With about 25% higher pricing than the old Himalayan, the focus (of RE) seems to be to retain exclusivity rather than sell in large numbers," said analysts at Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) in a 27 November report.

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So far, so good. But the new Himalayan may do little in shielding from market share loss given the competitive intensity. Besides Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto Ltd also launched a premium vehicle earlier this year, in collaboration with Triumph Motorcycles. Both the companies plan to scale up their respective launches in the coming months.

Nomura estimates RE’s market share in the above-250cc segment to drop to 82% in FY24 from 88% in FY23.

RE’s new launch would aid an uptick in volumes. The old Himalayan had clocked roughly 3,000 units per month in FY23. Eicher’s earnings could get a boost if the monthly average doubles.

Also, RE is expected to launch its recently unveiled Shotgun 650 model next year. For now, investors are capturing the optimism adequately, with the shares of Eicher Motors flirting with their 52-week highs of Rs3,920 apiece on Friday. However, due to concerns about competition, the one-year performance of the stock lags the Nifty Auto index by a wide margin.

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