In the News
Mumbai: Eicher Motors Ltd plans to export vehicles to Southeast Asia and Latin America as it builds on record sales at home.
The Indian maker of Royal Enfield, the World War II-era British motorcycle owned by stars including Brad Pitt, is predicting more demand in emerging markets for mid-sized bikes with an engine capacity of 250cc to 650cc as people become more affluent, managing director Siddhartha Lal said in an interview. Eicher, which acquired control of Enfield India in 1993 and revived the almost-bankrupt unit, is seeking to increase the share of revenue from two-wheelers from 16% of the $1.2 billion it reported in the year to 31 December 2012, he said.
“Mid-sized bikes are ideal for these markets as they are reasonably fuel-efficient, maneuverable and not too much more expensive,” Lal said in his office located in Eicher headquarters in Gurgaon near New Delhi. “There are markets that aren’t conducive to big bikes and the mid-sized market is underserved.”
The company is planning to expand the motorcycle business after reporting the best quarter at its Enfield unit, where sales rose 45% in the three months ended March. Eicher, which earns the remaining 84% of its revenue from trucks it makes in partnership with Volvo AB, said a key gauge of its profitability beat all local rivals in 2012 amid the slowest pace of economic growth in a decade.
The former Tonight Show host Jay Leno and musician Billy Joel are also among the owners of Royal Enfield, according to their official websites. The British military used the bikes, including the ‘Flying Flea’ designed for parachute drops with airborne troops during the Second World War.
Royal Enfield, which makes the Rs.1.5 lakh 500cc Classic and the 350cc Thunderbird, saw sales jump 52% year fueled by demand from a rising middle class in India’s biggest cities.
Exports, catering to custom orders from buyers seeking to own a piece of history in countries such as the US, UK and Australia, accounted for 2.9% of the motorcycle maker’s 124,270 unit sales in the year ended 31 March, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
“There’s a gap in this segment as vehicles like BMW and Harley Davidson are all above 600cc,” said Mukesh Saraf, an analyst at Spark Capital Advisors in Chennai. “If other Indian manufacturers like Bajaj are able to export, then Royal Enfield can do as well. There’s no way to gauge the potential of the mid-size segment both abroad and in India.”
‘Like a gun’
Bajaj Auto Ltd, India’s second-biggest maker of motorcycles exported 1.29 million motorcycles, or more than 33% of the 4.78 million it produced in the year ended March. The Pune-based company sells motorcycles ranging from the 100cc Discover to the 220cc Pulsar.
With its heritage as a weapons maker and ‘Made like a gun’ as tag line, Royal Enfield started in the 1890s making bicycles, lawn mowers and motorcycles in England. Since the 1940s, the company hasn’t much altered the technology in the single- cylinder engined two-wheelers except for modern features such as direct fuel injection and switch ignition.
The bike maker will introduce a new model, a 535cc ‘cafe racer’ called the Continental GT this year, while planning two more platforms for future variants, Lal said, without elaborating.
The company last month opened its first new motorcycle factory in almost six decades, that can build 150,000 units annually. That capacity will be expanded to 250,000 in 2014, as Eicher looks to pare waiting lists that average 8 months, Lal said. Lal expects deliveries to jump 39% to 175,000 units in 2013.
The Enfield motorcycles are more for enthusiasts than for people who need vehicles to do their daily chores, which means Harley-Davidson Inc.’s lower-end bikes could pose a challenge for the Indian maker in these markets, said Mahantesh Sabarad, an analyst at Fortune Financial Services India Ltd in Mumbai.
“There’s a potential in these markets, but it will take a long time for them to build their brand,” he said.
Royal Enfield, whose Classic fitted with a sidecar featured in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, says its master plan involves eventually building 500,000 motorcycles annually.
The company has its products planned for the next 10 years, Lal said without elaborating, as Eicher targets more customers beyond Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
“Now, we’re firing on all cylinders,” says Lal. “To me, what’s relevant is that in the top 10-15-20 mid-size motorcycle markets in the world, we must be No. 1 or No. 2.”
First Published: Mon, May 20 2013. 08 44 AM IST in the “Live Mint & The Wall Street Journal 5/20/2013 http://www.livemint.com/Companies/Dt2jA34Gsdum7hR5OP6HzN/Royal-Enfieldmaker-Eicher-Motors-in-overseas-sales-push.html
Royal Enfield To Showcase Cafe Racer Motorcycle At Long Beach Motorcycle Show 2012
Original Source: Royal Enfield To Showcase Cafe Racer Motorcycle At Long Beach Motorcycle Show 2012 from BikeAdvice.in (India based biker email publication.
Royal Enfield, the name synonymous with iconic retro looking motorcycles of the Eicher group will be showcasing its Cafe Racer motorcycle at the upcoming Long Beach Motorcycle Show December 7-9 2012. This motor show will take place from 7th to 9th December 2012. You all might remember that Royal Enfield had showcased a prototype version of the Cafe Racer motorcycle back at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo held in January. Although, at that time no plans of whether to actually make it into a production unit were revealed by the company officials, it was very much understood that they might be bringing out one soon.
Recently, according to a recent forum chat on Royal Enfield Motorcycle website, one of the members claims to have seen the motorcycle in flesh. According to his post, it seems the production version is nearly ready. The production model however seems to have done away with the Ohlins suspension at the rear in favor of Paoli and adjustable rear seats. That was expected going by the fact that the company has to keep the price value low to make it appealing to the customers. The front suspension seems to have been kept intact.
Underneath, it is rumored to get a 535cc power unit. Apparently, this number was etched on the tappet cover. The 535cc engine would be a Unit Construction Engine (UCE) developed by Royal Enfield. The last motorcycle to be powered by a 535cc engine in the Royal Enfield product line-up was the Lightning 535 whose 535cc engine churned out 25 BHP of peak power and 38 NM of torque. (older style of engine) The 535cc unit might be a perfect engine being employed by the company however, with some extra tuning to bump up the power and torque figures to make it properly appealing like a Cafe Racer.
Note from Classic Motorworks – The Cafe Racer was shown at the Dallas IMS show recently . It will next be seen at the LA show on December 7-9 2012. VP of Classic Motorworks and Industry veteran Ron Greene will be at the show to answer all of your questions The bike is stunning and what is shown is a pre-production unit but pretty much as it will be in it’s final form. The silencer may have to be adapted to the US market but the design team has worked out something that will be pleasing.
It will be a 535 cc Unit Construction Engine. The 535 mentioned in the article was a variant of the old iron barrel engine and was produced for a short while in the early part of this century. (2000 – 2002 or so)
This month’s RoadBike Magazine issue takes a limited edition Chrome C5 Bullet for a classic ride.
One of the most famous classic automobile collectors in the world now counts Royal Enfield among the classics in his Garage. Jay Leno recently ordered a Royal Enfield G5 Deluxe from Mike Frankovich of Royal Enfield Los Angeles and NoHo Scooters in North Hollywood, California.
Today, Royal Enfield was featured on Jay Leno’s Garage, an online program dedicated to the famous comedian’s world-class collection of classic cars and bikes.
Stills from the visit:
Royal Enfield Motors launched a new advertising campaign in India designed to attract the younger spectrum of riders in the Indian market. The campaign features a hero-themed comic strip that appeals to younger rider’s sense of adventure by encouraging them to “Leave Home”.