Now, one will get to see more Royal Enfield motorcycles on the roads in UK, its parent country. Surprised? A lot of people are under the impression that Royal Enfield is an Indian company. Well, they all are correct. Royal Enfield is an Indian company, part of Eicher group, but with a little foreign history. It was started in late 18th century in England, but the production ceased in 1970 and the company was dissolved in 1971. On the other hand, in 1956, Enfield in India started assembling Bullet motorcycles under license from Royal Enfield UK. By 1962, they were manufacturing complete bikes. The Indian operations bought the rights to use the Royal Enfield name in 1995. The production unit in Chennai continues to manufacture bikes.
Royal Enfield is now the oldest motorcycle brand in the world which is still in production with the Bullet model enjoying the longest motorcycle production run of all time. With the recent launch of the Thunderbird 500 in the market, Royal Enfield is looking forward to expand its market share in foreign lands. Royal Enfield already exports its products in about 40 countries which include the likes of UK, Australia, Germany, France and US including California which has the most strict emission norms. Though it exports only 4000 units annually, Royal Enfield looks forward to not only increase its exports but also the home production of its products. Its new plant is coming up at Oragadam near Chennai.
Royal Enfield motorcycles are known for a lot of things like classic muscular looks, mighty road presence, masculine thump sound of a massive engine and nowadays also for long waiting periods. This waiting period ranges from 2-4 months but may extend even up to 10 months for some unlucky customers. Decades old Thiruvottiyur facility in Tamil Nadu produces a good 10,000 units per month but is still unable to meet the rising demand. With the new plant at Oragadam, which involved an investment of Rs. 150 crores and spread over 50 acres of land, the company looks forward to increasing their production to 1,50,000 units annually. The company is finally hoping that by the end of 2013, they will be able to sell the bikes off the shelf and bring smiles on the faces of long waiting customers.
– Harshit Shrivastava