CEO hopes to introduce a new machine quarterly, for the next 3-4 years.
Royal Enfield may have hit some turbulence, but it’s not giving up on its plans of world dominance. In an interview with Car and Bike, company CEO Vinod Dasari says the company plans to release a new motorcycle every quarter over the next few years.
Dasari, who replaced outgoing CEO Siddhartha Lal in 2019, said that Royal Enfield is launching a new platform soon, as soon as the coronavirus lockdown is over. As far as everyone can tell, this new machine will be the Meteor 350. The Meteor was supposed to be revealed earlier this year, but thanks to COVID-19, the launch was pushed back. It’s said to be replacing the older Thunderbird 350 design, which is being pushed out by tightening emissions regulations.
Along with the expected 350 launch, we’re probably going to see other machines in the 250cc-750cc range in the near future, judging by Dasari’s comments. In particular, we’ve seen gossip about a 250 engine for a while. Dasari indicated we’d see three or four years of these new bikes coming out every quarter; that suggests we’d see at least 10 new Royal Enfields over that time.
It’s all part of Royal Enfield’s ultimate goal of dominating the world’s middleweight motorcycle manufacturing. After making the same basic design in the same basic factories for decades, Royal Enfield revolutionized its line with the new 650cc Interceptor and Continental GT models in 2018. Although these bikes have retro styling, they’re a modern mechanical design, and they sold very well upon introduction.
Things have changed, though. Thanks to coronavirus closures, Royal Enfield only sold 91 motorcycles in its Indian home market in April of 2020; in May, it sold 18,429 bikes. That’s an improvement over the previous month, but falls far short of May, 2019, when Royal Enfield sold 60,211 motorcycles in India. Even 2019’s numbers weren’t great, when compared to previous growth years.
Some industry insiders think this points to a tougher future for Royal Enfield, when compared to the booming sales of the mid-2010s. Maybe so, but if the company does push ahead with its new designs, it should maintain a strong point in its domestic industry.