Royal Enfield has been posting robust sales figures, continually rising since 2012, its bestsellers being the Classic models, 350 and 500. The Indian brand, part of Eicher Motors Limited, is committing itself to challenging old ways, reducing growing waiting periods for bikes and evolving into a brand that caters to a wider, younger audience. Royal Enfield has upped its game on many fronts, with a newly derived company logo, and also introduced new colour schemes for most of its motorcycles on sale globally. It has also replaced older engines that had reliability issues with new, more advanced units. Suspension and overall technology has also got a shot in the arm in recent times.
Royal Enfield is piloted by Siddhartha Lal, in the position of MD and CEO, and he is responsible for the bike maker's major turnaround just a decade ago. Since then, he has been making quick strides to compete with global players in the mid-size motorcycle segment. The domestic demand for Royal Enfield has seen significant growth, and the brand is adopting new strategies to boost global sales as well.
Royal Enfield’s progress can be seen in the sales numbers. It has sold just above 3 lakh motorcycles in 2014 globally, increasing from 1,78,121 motorcycles sold in 2013. Harley-Davidson, the globally recognised American heritage brand that competes with Royal Enfield in India sold 2,67,999 motorcycles in 2014 and 2,60,829 motorcycles in 2013.
The question does arise though, why have these two, very different brands been compared? This is to isolate the fact that there is an increase in demand for classic cruiser motorcycles in the mid-size motorcycle segment, but the larger capacity cruisers do not possess such a large and growing demand.
Of interest as well is how this battle will pan out in times to come, with Harley-Davidson having sold 259 units of its smallest capacity cruiser, the Street 750, more than any of RE’s bikes in December 2014 in India; whereas, Royal Enfield’s newly introduced café racer, the Continental GT has only managed to rope in 130 sales units in the same month.