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After a few years of significant growth, the motorcycle industry faced a considerable slump in 2019. Most companies ended the year either in the red or on par with 2018, but expectations for 2020 to pick back up were high with a slew of new emission standards-compliant models landing in the showrooms.
Any potential for growth during the year’s first quarter screeched to a halt when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded. Not even the Indian market was immune to the drop, and local manufacturers were hit hard, including Royal Enfield that recorded a dramatic 44-percent drop in sales in March. That being said, not all the numbers are sad and gloomy. Some RE models performed really well, in fact, starting with the popular Continental GT and Interceptor 650 Twins.
I recently shared an opinion about how much sense a Royal Enfield Himalayan 650 would make on the market at the moment—not that we’ve heard any rumors from the company, let’s just call it wishful thinking. I stated that part of the reason such a model has so much potential is because the 650 Twins are already extremely popular worldwide.
Royal Enfield’s sales numbers are in and the Twins are leading the brand’s global assault once again. Despite the manufacturer losing steam in March, the 650 Twins saw a 25-percent increase in sales between March 2019 and March 2020 with 1,664 units exported versus 1,328 last year.
In the local market, the 650s sales have slumped. However, despite the lower year over year sales, Royal Enfield has managed to move more than 20,000 Twins since the beginning of 2020—20,188 to be specific. In comparison, for the same three-month period in 2019, only 5,168 units of either models rolled out of the Indian showrooms.
Overall, while Royal Enfield’s domestic sales dropped significantly, exports increased, an offense led by the Twins. Other popular models abroad include the Classic 500 and the Himalayan. In India, the brand’s best-selling model remains the Classic 350—recently updated to meet the new BS6 emission standards.