India just cannot have enough of the Royal Enfield Classic. The motorcycle, which is available with 350cc and 500cc engines, continues to ve a very strong seller for the retro brand. Royal Enfield just registered its highest-ever sales with 8.2 lakh motorcycles sold between April 2017 and March 2018. This is a whopping 23 % year on year growth, which is something massive in the automotive industry. What this shows is India is buying retro-styled motorcycles in a big way and almost all of the market is dominated by Royal Enfield.
The company sold 8.01 lakh motorcycles over the last 12 months in India while exports contributed to just 19,000 units. Exports have also grown by nearly a third. What this also means is India is still the biggest market for the motorcycle brand, and that Royal Enfield has a huge potential to expand globally with its upcoming twin cylinder models. By the middle of this year, Royal Enfield will launch the Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 internationally, and then bring it to India maybe a month or two down the line.
These bikes could dramatically boost Royal Enfield’s global sales as the current range of bikes are not really fast enough for most international markets, which demand a lot more performance even from retro styled motorcycles. So, the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT650 could help boost numbers for the brand internationally. Even in India, the bikes are expected to do very well if Royal Enfield gets quality right, and of course, prices them affordably. While these are challenges that the company says it’s quite confident of meeting, we shall know soon.
Royal Enfield has been steadily strengthening quality and manufacturing design – both factors that are make or break in demanding international markets. The company can no longer afford to put out bikes like the BS3 Himalayan that had a lot of quality issues. We hope that the new 650cc twins are of much better quality.