Iconic bike-maker Royal Enfield on Thursday opened a boutique store for its bikes and new apparel range in the New Delhi’s posh Khan Market.
The company also unveiled a limited-edition variant of its Classic, styled in the World War despatch rider looks in desert storm and classic blue colour, with a third colour, military green, for international markets. The camouflage pattern is imprinted on the bike using a film transfer technique, and no two bikes will have the same pattern, said Royal Enfield managing director and CEO Siddhartha Lal. Only 200 bikes will be produced in each colour scheme worldwide.
The bikes will be available for booking on the company’s website on July 15, when the pricing will also be revealed. It is modelled on the Classic 500, which retails at Rs 1.78 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, and will be priced “a bit higher” according to a company official.
Speaking to HT, Lal said Royal Enfield is looking to scale up the experience of the customer. “It will no longer be the old-style store where you walk in and book/buy a bike,” he said. “This is about experience. We would be more than happy if a person walks in, looks around the store -- even if they don’t buy anything – and go away with an experience that will be etched in their mind.”
Added Rudratej Singh, president, Royal Enfield, “All our 500-odd stores across the country will be have this look by next year.”
About its future plans, Lal said the mid-size bike space is yet vastly under-exploited. “We are looking to consolidate and become a leader in the 250cc-750cc segment, not just in India, but across the world. Even in India, the space is huge,” he said. Royal Enfield has seen a steady 50% growth in the last few years at a time when motorcycle sales have been struggling in the country. “Even then, we occupy just 3.5% of the market,” said Lal. “There is so much more scope, even in India.”
The company also unveiled an entire biking apparel range from boots to gloves, T-shirts to jackets and trousers, with the despatch rider motif. Royal Enfield had started its apparel range in 2013 when it launched the Continental GT bike. “In India there is a dearth of apparel,” said Singh. “For many reasons, apparel suited to Indian climactic conditions are not easily available. We will fill that gap.”
What about new launches? “Any new product has to make business sense,” said Lal. “You can’t just say, this particular engine size is not there, let us make something. The mid-size segment is where we are, and where we want to lead.
“In the old days, we had three engine blocks, that were giving us monthly sales of 2,000 units. Today there is only one block (three sizes, but essentially one block) that is giving us 35,000 units a month. That said, we are working on two new platforms, but I can’t tell you more.”