Royal Enfield is set to increase its range of bikes offered in India starting 2016. In an interview to a leading business publication, Siddhartha Lal, managing director and CEO of Eicher Motors (which owns Royal Enfield) has revealed that the company will significantly expand operations, improve product quality and introduce all-new products.
Currently limited to making bikes with engine capacities ranging from 346cc to 535cc, Royal Enfield will venture into more categories of bikes. Interestingly, the company claims that there could be new products competing in segments from 250cc to 750cc. While Royal Enfield has offered lower capacity bikes in India earlier, it would be the first time that it has offered bikes with engines bigger than 535cc.
The first all-new product from the company will be the adventure tourer which is currently tentatively being called the ‘Himalayan’, after the company got the name trademarked for commercial use. The Himalayan is expected to come with a larger engine than what is used on RE bikes now, with rumours that it will be a 390cc unit. We know that the engine will be a single-cylinder unit, thanks to spy shots. It is also clear that the bike will be unlike any other bike the company has in its current lineup. The Himalayan is jacked up, features an upswept exhaust, gets a high-profile, fatter rear tyre while also sharing bits with the Thunderbird and Continental GT to keep costs low, looks like it will be a formidable dual-purpose motorcycle. It can also be priced very well and straddle the huge gap between the Bajaj Pulsar 200AS and the Triumph Tiger series, offering long distance traversing capabilities with the added advantage of being able to tackle off-road and non-road conditions.
Offering bikes in lower categories will certainly help the company attract more customers; Royal Enfield has invested heavily to develop new products, set up a new R&D centre and improve production capacity. In 2015, Eicher has a planned investment of around Rs. 500 crores in the Royal Enfield brand. Improved production capacity at the manufacturer’s Chennai plant to 30,000 units per annum has helped the company to reduce waiting times to 5 months, the capacity will be increased to 50,000 units per annum by the start of 2016.
We do not have much information about the RE bike that will compete in the 250cc-300cc space for now. It will be interesting to see what the company has in store for us, and it is refreshing to hear that it is actively looking at expanding its range. Stay tuned for more news from Royal Enfield.
(News courtesy: ET Auto)