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Royal Enfield Expects 2018 Sale To Triple In US Market

Royal Enfield Expects 2018 Sale To Triple In US Market
The North American business is expected to be doubled for India-based motorcycle brand Royal Enfield by this year and is also setting its eyes to become a dominant player in the middleweight bikes category in the market. This is a market segment that is also being eyed by Harley-Davidson Inc which has already launched a few models in this category to rejuvenate its US business.
The efforts of Harley to make a mark in the Indian bike market have been thwarted by Royal Enfield which was originally a classic UK brand but since the early 1970s, the brand has been manufactured by Eicher Motors Ltd in south India. The Indian market is the largest market for two wheelers with annual sale of about 17 million units.
While almost unparallel in the middle weight and heavy bike segment in India, both Harley and Royal Enfield lag far behind in the lightweight bike categories by Hero MotoCorp, Japan’s Honda and Bajaj Auto. Enfield so far has entered foreign market primarily with its more specialized medium-sized models and its presence and portfolio for large cruisers is minimum in market outside of India.
It was three years ago that Royal Enfield had entered the North American market which has been seen as an additional headache for Harley, even though the Indian brand has not been able to create much of an impression as the sale of its iconic “Bullet” and “Classic” motorcycles models  have remained stuck in the hundreds.
In the year ended March, between 700 and 800 motorcycles were sold by Royal Enfield which is now based in Milwaukee, which is the home town of Harley. But according to its North America president, Rod Copes, the company is anticipating sale of almost 2,000 bikes in the current fiscal year/.
“Our goal, over the next three to five and 10 years, is to be the largest middleweight motorcycle player, not just globally but also in North America. We want to get up to, where we are selling more than 10,000 to 15,000 motorcycles a year,” Copes told Reuters.
In the US market, Royal Enfield has followed the strategy that had been earlier used by Harley of capitalising on demand by encouraging younger riders to own a cruiser bike but at a lower price.
The starting price of Enfield bikes is $4,000, which is expected to get increased to about the $8,000 range after the company launches some new models early next year. Harley’s entry level bike prices start at $6,899 and go up to $43,889.
“The US motorcycle market is flipped upside down and the only segment that is growing is the middle-weight. I think we are beginning to see a little bit of a trend and a change in the industry itself, away from maybe the bigger, the better to smaller is funner,” Copes added.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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