Royal Enfield under the leadership of Siddhartha Lal, gets most things right, be it launching the right models at the right time or knowing what to market to whom.
Now, RE is planning to move beyond 500cc engines and develop and sell motorcycles up to 750cc, in a bid to attract buyers looking for a bit more powerful engine, without breaking the bank.
Reason RE plans to restrict itself to 750cc engines is to do with the sales volume. At the moment they are selling 5,000, 500cc motorcycles each month. With the launch of 750cc models, they hope to sell even more. Developing an even larger capacity motorcycle would put it out of the reach of most RE buyers, making it a low volume product, something RE does not want to do.
While RE isn’t planning to offer higher capacity engines on all its models, it is planning to introduce it in the case of motorcycles like the Himalayan, which has been selling like hot cakes for the company.
In a very candid interview with Motorcycle Magazine, Siddhartha Lal, not only confirmed Royal Enfield’s plans to come out with a higher capacity Himalayan, but also the limitation of the current RE products in India and abroad.
“Yes, we won’t go beyond that, and we won’t go below 250cc either, though I don’t expect to go below our current 350cc capacity – that’s the playing field we have set for ourselves for many different reasons. One is because we don’t see any genuine volume scale in India or other emerging markets for a motorcycle above 750cc, and our economics only work when we can sell on a large scale basis. Take our 500cc franchise, which is already 5,000 bikes a month with a very good product – yet in an Indian customers’ eyes there’s not much difference between a 350 and 500. Now if you give them something which is a bit larger in capacity above that, I think we could do much more than 5,000 units a month, and then that same product I believe can have strong legs in Western markets, and also in other developing markets like Malaysia, because it will be truly highway worthy. I believe today there’s a large section of people who really like to ride our Royal Enfields on Western highways where the traffic is going at 70-75mph, but you’re struggling at that speed on our motorcycle, and for some people it’s not the most pleasant experience because you’re going at full throttle all the time, and you can’t do that for too long without getting frazzled.”
You can read the complete interview of Siddhartha Lal at Motorcycle Magazine.
Now, this is the sort of news, which would be music to the ears of Royal Enfield fans and also those, who are looking to buy an adventure touring motorcycle, which isn’t going to cost them tens of lakhs and be too heavy and large to handle.