In an open challenge to the protectionist policy of US President Donald Trump, motorcycle maker Royal Enfield plans to boost its sales by three times by the end of this year. Royal Enfield aims to make an inroad into the middleweight bikes segment of the US market into which Harley-Davidson Inc has just entered in order to revive its sales.
Originally, Enfield is a classic UK brand but the bikes are manufactured in south India since the early 1970s by Eicher Motors Ltd. Enfield has managed to frustrate Harley's efforts to grow in India which is world's biggest two-wheeler market with some 17 million in sales annually.
The Indian motorcycle market especially the lightweight segment has been dominated by the companies like Hero MotoCorp, Japan's Honda and Bajaj Auto; till now Enfield's more specialised market in the medium-sized and large cruisers has been ordinary outside India.
Royal Enfield entered the North American market three years ago throwing a new challenge to Harley but Its arrival in North America three years ago signalled another headache for Harley, although sales of its iconic "Bullet" and "Classic" motorcycles have been muted, only a few hundred bikes were sold during this period.
Based out of Milwaukee in the US which is also the hometown of Harley, Enfield has managed to sell between 700 and 800 motorcycles in the last fiscal year ended in March and plans to sell nearly 2,000 in the current financial year, its North America president, Rod Copes said.
Speaking to news agency Reuters he said that "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."
The bike maker has been successfully attracted the younger riders by offering them their own cruiser on similar lines with Harley but at an affordable price. There is a huge difference between the prices of the two bikemakers.