Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT have generated ‘enormous interest’ among distributors
The two new premium bikes being readied for launch – Interceptor and Continental GT – will become the flagship models for Royal Enfield as the brand tries to make in-roads into the developed markets of the West.
The Eicher Motors-owned brand, which makes leisure, touring, cruiser and off-road bikes, is taking efforts to bring up stand-alone Royal Enfield stores in markets such as the US where it already has 50 operational multi-brand outlets. Globally, the brand has 50 exclusive Royal Enfield stores.
At a recent international distributor conference held in Milan, Italy, the two yet-to-be-launched bikes generated ‘enormous interest’ among distributors. Interceptor and Continental GT were showcased for the first time by Royal Enfield at the EICMA show held in Milan recently.
Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director and CEO, Eicher Motors said, “Every single one of our stores internationally will carry these, because they will become the mainstay in developed markets for Royal Enfield for sure. On the one hand, we already have in markets, like Europe, the big ones UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, 40 to 60 multi-brand outlets. In US, we've been building from scratch over the last two years, so we have around 50 stores and it's growing.”
While Royal Enfield is preparing to launch the two bikes in each of 40 countries it operates in including those in South America and Asia, company officials believe that the biggest market for the two bikes will be developed markets.
“There is a huge amount of work we have done, I think more preparation than ever by in order of magnitude in terms of preparing, training for sales, training our dealers, training the service staff, having the right parts availabilities, all of that. So certainly in developed markets, this will be, I believe, very soon (become) our number 1 selling product,” Lal said.
Royal Enfield has approximately 30-40 stores (multi-brand) in each of the 40 countries it operates in. This is in addition to the 750 stand-alone stores it has in India. The company entered newer markets in ASEAN such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines and in Latin America such as Brazil and Colombia.
“What we're getting the feeling from our international partners and our international teams is that these motorcycles will help us in expanding our distribution when we want to add more dealers and we'll have a wide range, because in some markets we have a 350, not in all markets. But then we have a 410, we have a 500, we'll have a 650, so that gives a good range, which gives the dealer enough variety and they will be stocking us,” Lal said.
The Interceptor and Continental GT will debut around April starting in Europe before being launched in India closer to the festive period of 2018. The two bikes will be made in Chennai and exported to the overseas markets. These indigenously developed bikes will be the most premium and most powerful bikes till date developed by Royal Enfield.Exports form a minuscule portion of the Royal Enfield’s total sales basket at present comprising just 2 percent. During the April-October period exports jumped 25 percent to 10037 bikes as compared to 8022 bikes exported in the same period last year. rate of growth in exports is higher than domestic sales (at 22 percent) though the company has managed to ramp up production.