Siddhartha Lal, managing director of Eicher Motors Ltd. said that the Royal Enfield motorcycles are equivalent to Japanese and German offerings. He said this while referring to the 650 twins that were launched back in 2018 and were an instant hit in the whole world. He also considered their latest new motorcycle, the Meteor 350.
“We follow extremely rigorous processes, we do not take any shortcuts in product development and testing. Our motorcycles are world-class, they are equivalent to the Japanese and German offerings,” He said.
He said that they need to work harder because Royal Enfield entered this segment late. Due to which they are behind the German and Japanese manufacturers. But he thinks that in some terms the Royal Enfield motorcycles are better than them which is why they are outselling them in the international market.
In fact, in a video that conducted laboratory tests on the engines of numerous motorcycle, it was Royal Enfields engines that had the least impurities from the production line.
The 650 twins which include the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 are selling like hotcakes everywhere. In the last two fiscal years, the Chennai based manufacturer sold less than 31,000 units of the 650 twins in our country whereas they exported more than 34,000 units of 650 twins to the international markets.
Mr. Lal said, “We are long-term players, we are improving. We have a strong order book and as you saw with the Himalayan, we started slow but the volumes picked up over years gradually as we continued to make improvements on the product. That said, the 650 Twins do not require improvements (in quality). But it takes time for the consumers to rise up to the bigger (more premium) brands,”
The manufacturer recently announced a recall of 2.73 lakh motorcycles that were affected by a faulty ignition coil in the engine. The motorcycles consisted of Meteor, Bullet and the Classic. The motorcycles were manufactured between December 2020 and April 2021.
“While we are going to launch new products, it will be very controlled with focus on the midsize segment. We are looking at what more we can do with every platform to meet the requirements of our customers. This is an area of enormous debate within Royal Enfield. We continue to discuss the unprecedented cost increase, value engineering, among other areas,” Siddhartha said.
The manufacturer has said that they will be launching at least 28 new models over the span of the next seven years. They will be introducing a new model every quarter. All the motorcycles will lie in the midsize segment meaning they will have a cubic capacity from 250 cc to 800 cc.
We already have seen five test mules on test on our Indian roads. Two of those were based on the 650 cc platform. One was a power cruiser while the other had a design similar to the Classic. The Classic 650 is expected to be the most affordable 650 cc motorcycle. The power cruiser will be aimed at the people who want to go on long tours. Then there was the new generation of Classic that will be using the same engine and platform as the Meteor 350. There is also a new scrambler motorcycle that might use the Himalayan’s 411 cc engine or the 650 cc parallel-twin. It will be called ‘Scram’. There is also a mysterious motorcycle that is designed as a neo-retro roadster which is expected to use a smaller displacement 250 cc engine.