Royal Enfield,the premium motorcycle maker and part of the Eicher Motors Group,today rolled out its first bike from its second manufacturing facility in the country at Oragada near here. The company has invested Rs 150 crore for first phase of the facility spread on a 50 acre land,situated 45 km from here. Its first facility is located at Thiruvottiyur near Chennai,which is spread over 10 acres.
After rolling out the first motorcycle from the plant,Eicher Motors Managing Director and CEO Siddhartha Lal told reporters that the first commercial production commenced today.”The plant was in trial production for few months. We have completed the construction of the plant in a record time of 11 months…,” he said.
Stating that the plant would initially produce 1.50 lakh motorcycles,he said the capacity will be ramped up to 1.75 lakh motorcycles towards the end of this year. Terming this facility’s inauguration as a “nucleus of our global ambitions”,in second phase,the company plans to produce 2.50 lakh motorcycles in 2014,he said,adding,it produced 1.13 lakh units last year. The new facility would initially produce the Desert Storm and Thunder 350 and 500 cc models.
The company would be able to see some decline on the waiting period of some of its models from eight months to six months with the inauguration of new plant,he said. Despite the company experiencing a difficult period during 1990s,”we stuck to our guns and pursued our goals. Now,over a decade,we have been able to become the largest two-wheeler brand in India and globally,registering a 50 per cent growth year-on-year”,he said.
Besides serving the domestic market,the company also exports to 40 countries,Lal said. The US was the largest export market for Royal Enfield, with 600 motorcycles being shipped every month,he said, adding,the company last year shipped about 3,500 units to the country from the total of 1,13,000 units.
Stating that the new plant would be utilised for production of motorcycles,Lal said the existing Thiruvottiyur plant would be used to produce engines along with some models.
The Thiruvottiyur plant produced 12,000 units last month. At present,the company employs 200 people with 20 per cent constituting women workforce at the new plant. The employee base would be increased to 500 towards this year end,he said. On expansion of retail networks,he said they were planning to increase it this year adding that Tamil Nadu alone would have an addition of nine outlets to the existing 20.