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After a splendid few years where the company saw a double digit growth, Eicher Motors-owned Royal Enfield has been going through a rough patch in sales lately. Things have got so bad for the brand that the double digit growth it boasted of 5 years ago, has now come down to double digit decline in the past few months. Perhaps, the reason behind the sales of the brand jumping off a cliff could be the steady rise in the cost of bikes that the country has witnessed due to the BS-IV emissions regime, mandatory insurance rule, and compliance to BNVSAP norms. To compound on all this, there have been several launches in the 1-1.5 lakh segment in the Indian market in recent times. Therefore, the maker is now looking at bringing out a 250cc bike in the market to keep the costs low and ramp up sales in the country.
The advent of Japanese motorcycle companies in the 1-1.5 lakh rupee segment with models like Suzuki Gixxer and Yamaha R15 as well as other competitors like the KTM’s models means that the Royal Enfield has seen its customer base of youth looking for fast bikes being weaned off by the foreign brands. Not to mention that the Indian brand like Bajaj and TVS too have been stepping up big time and are bringing in models like Avenger and Apache respectively, that has surely eaten into the sales of the retro bike maker in India.
To put things into perspective, the lowest priced Royal Enfield bike in the market is priced at Rs. 1.21 ex-showroom. There are a lot of better performing and more youth-centric models present in the market at this point. Therefore, the brand is focusing on taking the fight to pricing with the introduction of a bike in the 250cc displacement range in the market. There are scant details available as of now, but the company has been conducting research at its end and is looking into the demand of a 250cc Royal Enfield bike. This move will surely take time as the development of a new bike is a lengthy process. However, under the leadership of its new CEO the brand is looking at expanding into smaller town in India and bringing out a smaller displacement bike.
Apart from this the brand is also focussing on a stripped down version of their models in order to keep the prices in check. Willing customers can also go for customisation and feature addition on the bike, but the presence of a low initial cost and bare bones bike will surely attract more customers to the showrooms. As per the brand, the interest and following of the brand in the market remains high but this is not being reflected in the sales arena, and a stripped down version of their models will surely help in the same area. The UK arm of the company is already working on higher displacement models to take the fight to bigwigs like the Harley Davidson in the global and domestic markets. Only time will tell how these decisions will pan out for the brand.