Royal Enfield flying solo for now

Despite the successes seen by its competitors in India, Royal Enfield says it has no plans for a partnership with another manufacturer.

The comment came from the CEO of Royal Enfield’s parent company, Eicher Motors. The Business Standard quotes Siddhartha Lal as saying Royal Enfield had no need of any help from a technology, manufacturing or distribution standpoint.

Royal Enfield’s competitors don’t seem to think that. Bajaj, which already owns a massive chunk of KTM and manufacturers its bikes in India along with Husqvarna models, just announced a deal to work on mid-sized bikes with Triumph. And TVS has a high-profile deal with BMW. Going back a few years, Hero also had a similar deal with Honda.

But with the massive sales it’s seen in the last few years (eclipsing Harley-Davidson on the quest to becoming the world’s biggest mid-sized motorcycle manufacturer), Royal Enfield seems to think it wants to find its own way. Will it succeed? It does have its own Euro R&D centre, and massive manufacturing capacity. It also has sales floors on every continent, and dominates in its own market, selling 99 per cent of India’s mid-sized bikes. In a country of a billion people, those sales are very significant.

The question is, will that be enough? If the other Indian manufacturers are able to offer more exciting motorcycles, especially if they’re perceived as being more reliable, with the Royal Enfield bubble last?

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