As the new bike buzz in India continues around Triumph’s introduction of the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X as well as the Harley-Davidson X440, what of Royal Enfield? Both Triumph and Harley teamed up with local Indian manufacturers (Bajaj in Triumph’s case and Hero in Harley’s), but all this time, Indian OEM Royal Enfield has steadily been working on its own new model introduction schedule.
Back in 2020, Royal Enfield first publicly discussed wanting to release a new bike every quarter for the following few years. With that in mind, Indian business news channel CNBC-TV18's reporting on July 12, 2023, regarding Royal Enfield’s own 300 to 450cc plans for the next few months in 2023 completely tracks.
Royal Enfield reportedly plans to launch between two and three new models in the next five months, according to CNBC-TV18's unnamed sources familiar with the matter. One of those is expected to be the long-rumored Himalayan 450. Given everything we’ve seen so far, including a Himalayan 450 teaser that Enfield managing director Siddhartha Lal posted in August 2022, fans interested in seeing a more powerful Himalayan probably couldn’t be more ready for it.
What else could Enfield have up its sleeve for the near future? Besides the Himalayan 450, a new Bullet 350 is also high on the list of anticipated bikes that CNBC’s sources believe are coming soon. It’s not yet clear what a possible third bike could be. However, given that CNBC’s sources believe these releases could be spread out over the next five months, more details and/or speculation will likely appear along the way.
Since its launch in August 2022, the Royal Enfield Hunter 350 is on track to cross the 200,000 sales mark sometime in the next month. Hitting that mark within a year of a model’s rollout is an impressive feat for any new motorcycle model.
According to Enfield parent company Eicher Motors’ monthly sales reports for June 2023, sales numbers continue to be quite good when compared year-on-year to 2022 figures. In June 2023, Royal Enfield reported sales of 68,664 bikes with engine capacity 350cc and under. Contrast that with the 50,405 bikes reported sold in June 2022, and the OEM increased its sales in that segment by 36 percent.
The same isn’t true of sales for bikes over 350cc. In June 2023, Enfield reported sales of just 8,445 bikes in that segment, as compared to the 11,002 bikes sold in June 2022. That represents a 23 percent drop in sales over 350cc for the month of June, year on year.
However, given the growth seen in the sub-350cc segment, the overall number of bikes sold in June 2023 still came out to 77,109 units in total. Compared to the 61,407 bikes reported sold in June 2022, that’s still overall growth of 26 percent year on year—which is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
That said, international business (which was also included in the figures reported above) is still down by 31 percent year on year. Just 20,935 bikes were sold in markets outside India in FY23 to date (and for the record, FY23 began in April). Contrast that with the 29,563 bikes sold outside India in FY22 by the same time of year, and there’s clear room for improvement in that area.