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Enfield takes on rivals, to launch more bikes

With its flagship brand Royal Enfield facing more competition, Eicher Motors will focus on its best-selling classic, modern classic and heritage bikes.

business Updated: Nov 01, 2016 10:35 IST
Sunny Sen
Siddhartha Lal, CEO and managing director of Eicher, said the company has “a lot of new products on the anvil.”
Siddhartha Lal, CEO and managing director of Eicher, said the company has “a lot of new products on the anvil.”(Mint File)

With its flagship brand Royal Enfield facing more competition, Eicher Motors will focus on its best-selling classic, modern classic and heritage bikes.

Siddhartha Lal, CEO and managing director of Eicher, said the company has “a lot of new products on the anvil.” “We will launch one big product this financial year, one next,” said Lal.

Royal Enfield’s last two big launches, Himalayan, an adventure tourer, and Continental GT, the café racer, were sold in small numbers. Lal, however, was satisfied with the sales, though they were negligible compared to the sales of its best-seller Classic.

“We are not yet disclosing the number of Himalayan units sold,” said Lal. However, Continental GT sold 774 units between April and September. The 350cc category, which gets most of its sales from the Classic and Street series, sold 2,77,436 units.

As far as Continental GT is concerned, Lal said the bike was driving Royal Enfield’s sales in the international market, where the brand continues to increase its presence, opening stores in Europe.

Meanwhile, in India, Royal Enfield will face competition from homegrown brands such as Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TVS, who are looking to bring out more premium products. Global brands such as Harley and Triumph are also focussing on the market.

However, Lal dismissed the competition. “The market is not fragmented. We still have more than 60% of the market share in the premium category.... The foreign brands are not making any headway ... they may be selling just a few hundred units a month,” he said.

On local competitors, he said, “They are thinking of launching products at price points closer to ours, but we have enormous differentiation in products, style, performance and looks. Moreover, our riding experience, after-sales are also very different,” Lal said.

Eicher Motors posted its highest-ever income from operations at 1,981 crore during July-September. Revenue grew 35.5% to ₹1,988.6 crore during the quarter. The company said profit from its Royal Enfield business grew 54.2% to ₹396.2 crore.