Royal Enfield sold around 3 lakh motorcycles last year while Harley-Davidson sold 2,67,999 units during the same period. Since both offer cruisers, they are often compared.
A cold war brewing between auto companies, manufacturers compete to gain the numero uno position posting best results and higher sales figures than the rest every year. In the motorcycle world, Royal Enfield managed to startle everyone as it sold over 3 lakh motorcycles last year, substantially more than Harley-Davidson’s 2,67,999 unit sales during the same period. With the American manufacturer lagging in sales, Harley has stated that it is not chasing numbers in a response to the comparisons drawn between both the companies.
Instead, Harley-Davidson is looking to increase profitability and customer satisfaction which will remain its focus areas. Reiterating to the fact, Harley India MD Anoop Prakash stated that it would be unfair to draw comparisons on the basis of volumes. The American manufacturer is the most profitable bike maker in the world and continues to rule the road is what he states (doesn’t Bajaj Auto say the same thing?). In the domestic space, the company is expected to continue growth in double digits this year as well.
While Harley-Davidson may show it is focusing on profitability over volumes, the fact remains that volumes play an important role in deciding manufacturer’s dominance. Royal Enfield may not be as popular as Harley globally, but the company caters to a similar demographic. Even though Harley does not have lower capacity products like Enfield, it does have the Street 750 that will bring in the volumes. At present, the Street 750 is the company’s most affordable offering and is positioned for aspiring owners who want to be introduced to the brand.
Harley-Davidson is also expanding in the second-hand space which allows newer customers to be associated with the brand at affordable costs. With the Street 500 likely to be launched soon, the rivalry will intensify further with the American giant competing head-on with Royal Enfield. The latter too plans to move up on the ladder with higher capacity motorcycles in the future and is working on a 750cc twin-cylinder engine for a bike set for launch next year.