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India-Based Royal Enfield Expects To Dominate The U.S. Markets

Harley has been the historical market leader in the heavyweight motorcycle space in the United States.

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Royal Enfield motorcycles are displayed at Royal Enfield's flagship shore in Bangkok, Thailand. VOA

India-based motorcycle brand Royal Enfield expects sales in its new North American business to almost triple this year and is aiming to dominate the market for middleweight bikes into which Harley-Davidson Inc has just shifted in a bid to revive sales.

Enfield, originally a classic UK brand but manufactured by India’s Eicher Motors Ltd in southern India since the early 1970s, has thwarted Harley’s efforts to make inroads in India, the world’s biggest two-wheeler market with some 17 million in sales annually.

Both companies are dwarfed in the lightweight categories by India’s Hero Motor Corp, Japan’s Honda and Bajaj Auto , and so far Enfield’s presence outside India in the more specialized market in medium-sized and large cruisers has been minimal.

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Motorcycles being unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Italy’s Milan on November 7, 2017. Wikimedia Commons

Its arrival in North America three years ago signaled another headache for Harley, although sales of its iconic “Bullet” and “Classic” motorcycles have been stuck in the hundreds.

Based in Milwaukee, also the home town of Harley, Enfield sold between 700 and 800 motorcycles in the year ended March, and expects to sell nearly 2,000 in the current fiscal year, according to its North America president, Rod Copes.

“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,” Copes told Reuters.

The bikemaker has been able to capitalize on demand by helping younger riders own a cruiser bike, along the lines of Harley’s but at a more affordable price point

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Harley-Davidson Inc has just shifted in a bid to revive sales. Flickr

Enfield bikes come with a starting price tag of $4,000, which will rise to the $8,000 range following its new launches early next year. Harley’s entry level bike prices start at $6,899 and go up to $43,889.

“The U.S. motorcycle market is flipped upside down and the only segment that is growing is the middle-weight. I think we are beginning to see a little bit of a trend and a change in the industry itself, away from maybe the bigger, the better to smaller is funner,” Copes added.

Harley has been the historical market leader in the heavyweight motorcycle space in the United States and has been expanding into the middleweight motorcycle market with the launch of Street 500, Street 750 and the Street Rod range.

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While Harley’s shipments have been dropping in the United States as its mainstay customer base is aging, it still managed to ship 144,893 motorcycles in the United States in fiscal 2017, according to its annual SEC filing.

The company does not break down those numbers into bike categories but analysts say almost all of those were heavyweight cruisers. (VOA)

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Flipkart Revamps its Seller Onboarding Process to Help MSMEs: Report

These regional teams, based in cities such as Lucknow, Coimbatore and Jaipur, cater to sellers in over 4,30 pin codes

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Flipkart on Monday announced it has revamped its seller onboarding process to ease the first-time e-commerce experience for medium and small businesses (MSMEs).

The e-tailer has also stationed 13 regional teams across the country to help onboard sellers in person, by meeting with them at their premises.

These changes to the onboarding process will make it easier for small sellers, who may not have prior digital expertise, to list their products on the platform and access Flipkart’s pan-India base of over 150 million customers.

“By revamping our onboarding process and simplifying the number of steps, we are making it easier for any seller, no matter the size, to list on our platform and get started from day one,” said Nishant Gupta, Head of Flipkart’s Marketplace business.

Flipkart Buys Back Shares Worth $350 mn.
New e-commerce norms to impact e-tailers: Flipkart. 

Currently, e-commerce accounts for less than three per cent of India’s overall retail industry. Government estimates suggest there are roughly 60 million MSMEs in India, many of whom are restricted to their local markets due to difficulties in accessing resources.

Flipkart has also added regional teams in various Tier II and beyond cities to help sellers sign onto the platform.

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These regional teams, based in cities such as Lucknow, Coimbatore and Jaipur, cater to sellers in over 4,30 pin codes.

“As a home-grown company, we know that the future of e-commerce lies in bringing more MSMEs and smaller businesses online which, in turn, will generate employment and investment, and will meaningfully contribute toward the country’s socio-economic development,” added Gupta. (IANS)