Royal Enfield looks at rural markets amid slow sales phase.

The industry wide sales slowdown in the auto sector has become common news by this point of time and it is not just the car makers that have been drastically impacted by the trend. Even two-wheeler makers like Honda have announced a scale back in manufacturing to prevent inventor pile up. Now the latest news comes from the stables of the retro bike maker Royal Enfield. The brand has been facing a its most drastic slowdown in sales post launch of Classic 350 in the Indian market.

However, the Indian maker has decided to tackle the issue head on and under the strategy to improve its sales, the maker has now decided to increase its reach in the Indian market. As of now, Royal Enfield showrooms have been concentrated only in the urban part of the country. However, now the brand is planning to increase its presence in the untapped rural market of the nation. According to the brand, this increase in reach will help it improve its sales in the Indian market.

Talking to a leading daily, the CFO of Eicher Motors (the parent company of Royal Enfield), Lalit Malik stated,

These will be one-sixth the size of a typical Royal Enfield showroom in a metro. We don’t expect these small stores to sell more than 12-20 bikes per month. This is our first rural foray in India. Under our big distribution thrust, we aim to touch 1,100 towns via 1,350 stores this year.

This increased reach of the brand will not only ensure that the rural areas have ease of access to the bikes from the retro brand, but apart from increasing sales, the brand also hopes that this increase in reach will in turn boost the image of the Royal Enfield brand in the domestic market. Given the rugged nature and the high low-end torque of the bikes by the maker, the bikes should be a hit in the rural markets.   

Talking about the current sales of the brand, although the overall sales of the company have been on a decline but the brand has witnessed a silver lining in the sales of the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 in the Indian market. The bikes have a long waiting period on them and the company is also ramping up the production to increase the sales of the bikes in the market. The stats for the two Royal Enfield bikes stood at 2,014 units for April. Whereas other rivals in the price range lagged far behind. So much so that even when the numbers of the rivals are combined they are no match for the sales figures of the RE bikes. The popularity of the 650 twins in the 2+ lakh segment should indeed cheer up the brand as it prepares to increase presence in the rural markets of India.

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