Monday January 21, 2019
Home Lead Story India-Based R...

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.

0
//
Royal Enfield, India, Motorcycle
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.

India
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

India
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.

Also Read: 10 Money Saving Tips For Buying Bike Insurance This Diwali

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)

Next Story

Uber to Work on Autonomous Bikes, Scooters Option

The company's self-driving car division was temporarily shut down in 2018 after a fatal crash in the US state of Arizona

0
Uber, bengaluru
Photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (VOA)

Resuming its self-driving programme, global ride-sharing major Uber has hired a “micromobility robotics” team to work on autonomous bikes and scooters.

The company is working to develop electric scooters and bicycles which can drive themselves around cities in order to reach customers and charging points.

Electric scooter and bicycle-sharing services, including Uber’s Jump business as well as competitors Bird and Lime, allow customers to collect the vehicles and then leave them on the pavement outside their destination, The Telegraph reported late on Sunday.

“The business hasn’t published any further information on the project, but said in an online hiring page that it plans to ‘improve safety, rider experience, and operational efficiency of our shared electric scooters and bicycles through the application of sensing and robotics technologies’,” the report added.

Uber app.
The company is facing stiff competition from Lime, Lyft and numerous other entrants.

The move would give it a way to stand out, not to mention ingratiate itself with city officials who would otherwise balk, according to the Engadget.

The company’s self-driving car division was temporarily shut down in 2018 after a fatal crash in the US state of Arizona.

Also Read- PM Narendra Modi Lauds Film Fraternity for Showcasing Indian Culture

A self-driving Volvo SUV from Uber travelling at 64 km per hour had killed a woman, triggering a heated debate on whether autonomous cars are safe enough and who is to blame for the death. (IANS)