Royal Enfield

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Royal Enfield
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryAutomotive
PredecessorRoyal Enfield (1901-1971)
Founded1955; 69 years ago (1955) (as Enfield Motors)
1901; 123 years ago (1901) (as The Enfield Cycle Company Limited)
HeadquartersChennai, Tamil Nadu, India[1]
Areas served
Worldwide
Key people
  • B Govindarajan (CEO)
ProductsMotorcycles
Production output
Increase 846,000 units (2018)[2]
RevenueIncrease 8,965.00 crore (US$1.1 billion) (2018)[2]
Increase 2,808.00 crore (US$350 million) (2018)[2]
Increase 1,960 crore (US$250 million) (2018)[2]
ParentEicher Motors
Subsidiaries
  • Royal Enfield North America
  • Royal Enfield UK
  • Royal Enfield Brazil
  • Royal Enfield Thailand
Websitewww.royalenfield.com

Royal Enfield is an Indian multinational motorcycle manufacturing company, headquartered in Chennai. The Royal Enfield brand, including its original English heritage, is the oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production.[3] The company operates manufacturing plants in Chennai in India.

The first Royal Enfield motorcycle was built in 1901 by The Enfield Cycle Company of Redditch, Worcestershire, England, which was responsible for the design and original production of the Royal Enfield Bullet, the longest-lived motorcycle design in history.[4] Licensed from the original English Royal Enfield by the indigenous Indian Madras Motors, the company is now a subsidiary of Eicher Motors, an Indian automaker.[5] The company makes classic-looking motorcycles including the Royal Enfield Bullet, Classic 350, Royal Enfield Thunderbird, Meteor 350, Classic 500, Interceptor 650, Continental and many more. Royal Enfield also makes adventurous and offroading motorcycles like the Royal Enfield Himalayan. Their motorcycles are equipped with single-cylinder and twin-cylinder engines.[6]

History[edit]

Bullet with plain "Enfield" tank badge
Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 350, Pure Black
Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 350, 2004
Royal Enfield Classic 350, 2010 model
Logo used from 1995 to early 2014
Royal Enfield Bullet, Lake Rewalsar. 2010

After the Indian Independence Act 1947 the new government looked for a suitable motorcycle for its army to patrol the country's border. In 1952 the Royal Enfield Bullet was chosen as the most suitable bike for the job. In 1954, the government ordered 800 in units of the 350 cc model. In 1955, the Redditch company partnered with Madras Motors in India to form 'Enfield India' to assemble, under licence, the 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle in Madras (now called Chennai). The tooling was sold to Enfield India so that they could manufacture components.[7] By 1962, all the components were made in India. The Indian Enfield uses the 1960 engine (with metric bearing sizes), Royal Enfield still makes an essentially similar bike in the 350 cc and 500 cc models, along with several different models for different market segments.[8]

In the year 1990, Royal Enfield collaborated with the Eicher Group, an automotive company in India, and merged with it in 1994.[9] Apart from bikes, Eicher Group is involved in the production and sales of commercial vehicles and automotive gears. Although Royal Enfield experienced difficulties in the 1990s, and ceased motorcycle production at their Jaipur factory in 2002,[10] by 2013 the company opened a new primary factory in the Chennai suburb of Oragadam on the strength of increased demand for its motorcycles. This was followed in 2017 by the inauguration of another new factory of a similar size to the facility at Oragadam (capacity 600,000 vehicles per year) at Vallam Vadagal. The original factory at Tiruvottiyur became secondary, and continues to produce some limited-run motorcycle models.[11][12][13][14]

Flooding, produced by the heaviest rainfall in Chennai in over a century, caused Royal Enfield to cut production by 4,000 motorcycles in November 2015, followed by a shutdown of the plants in Thiruvottiyur and Oragadam on 1 December, as well as the company offices in Chennai.[15] Production resumed at 50% capacity on 7 December and operations at both plants were back to normal on 14 December.[16]

Royal Enfield announced its first takeover of another company in May, 2015 with the purchase of a UK motorcycle design and manufacturing firm, Harris Performance Products,[17][18] that had previously developed the chassis of the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cafe Racer.[19] Harris work with the UK-based part of Royal Enfield's development team, who are based at the UK Technology Centre at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire. The team was established in January 2015, and moved into their new, purpose-built facility in May 2017. By the end of 2019, the team numbered 155 and carries out the full spectrum of design and development activities, from concept generation and clay design to engineering design, prototyping and validation.

Royal Enfield currently sells motorcycles in more than 50 countries. Royal Enfield surpassed Harley-Davidson in global sales in 2015.[20][21]

Continental GT 535 2014
2014 Continental GT 535

In August 2015, Royal Enfield Motors announced it is establishing its North American headquarters and a dealership in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with the intention to offer three bikes, the Bullet 500, Classic 500 and Continental GT 535 Cafe Racer as they feel this engine size represents an under-served market. The dealership will be Royal Enfield's first company-owned store in the U.S., according to Rod Copes, president of Royal Enfield North America.[22][23] The company wants to establish about 100 dealerships in American cities starting with Milwaukee.

Later in August 2015, parent-business Eicher announced its entry in Indonesia as a part of its global strategy in the mid-sized (250–750 cc) motorcycle segment, initially starting retail operations from a dealership in Jakarta.[24][25] From April to September, 2015, Royal Enfield's domestic sales were 50% higher than the previous year, despite a declining motorcycle market in India.[26]

Motorcycles manufactured by Royal Enfield[edit]

Bullet[edit]

A 2002 model RE Bullet

The Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest and unchanged production run of any motorcycle having remained continuously in production since 1948.[27][28] The Bullet marque is even older and has passed 75 years of continuous production. The Royal Enfield and Bullet names were derived from the British company which had been a subcontractor to the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, London.[28]

It has been long associated with the Police and Armed forces in India and owning one is considered a privilege by most Indians and continues to remain ever popular in India. Although the Bullet 500 was discontinued due to poor sales, The Next Generation Bullet 350 was launched on September 1st, 2023. It has a retro style and is priced at ₹1.74 lakh (US$2,090) in India. In January 2024 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 was launched in two new colors- Military Silver Black and Military Silver Red.[29]

Classic[edit]

A 2017 model RE Classic

Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Classic 500 are models of Royal Enfield motorcycles which have been in production since 2009. The Classic series of Royal Enfield motorcycles are inspired by the Royal Enfield G2 350cc Bullet motorcycle, first produced in 1948.[30].It has also been confused often with the Bullet for their similar look in design as the Classic is a modernised version of the original Royal Enfield Bullet.

Hunter[edit]

RE Hunter

The Royal Enfield Hunter 350[31][32][33] is a roadster motorcycle launched by Royal Enfield in August 2022[34][35] in India. It is powered by 349cc BS6 engine that produces 20.2 bhp and 27 Nm of torque. The Hunter 350[36] is the most affordable motorcycle under the new J-platform, and the second least expensive bike after Royal Enfield Bullet 350. The motorcycle features a retro-style single-piece seat, a classic round headlamp, a flat handlebar and a sculpted fuel tank. Within a month of launch Hunter 350 becomes the second highest selling Royal Enfield motorcycle.[37]

Shotgun[edit]

Royal Enfield Shotgun 650 is a 648cc factory-custom bobber based on the same platform as the new Super Meteor 650. A limited edition Shotgun was launched at the Motoverse 2023.[38] Later on the production version was revealed.[39]

Himalayan[edit]

RE Himalayan

The Royal Enfield Himalayan is an adventure touring motorcycle manufactured by Royal Enfield. It was revealed in February 2015 and launched in early 2016. Pierre Terblanche led the design team during Himalayan's development.[40] A variant of it The SCRAM 411 is also in production .It is specially designed for use on Adventure trails.

Interceptor and Continental GT[edit]

RE INT 650 motorcycle

Royal Enfield unveiled a 650 cc twin-cylinder engine at their Technology Centre, Harris Performance Products, in Leicestershire, England, in November 2017 to power a new generation of Royal Enfield motorcycles. It was showcased at the Milan Motorcycle Show on 7 November 2017 in Italy,[41] where two motorcycles based on the engine, the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 were revealed.[42] Both models were introduced to the US market in November 2018 to positive reviews.[43][44] The Interceptor is marketed as the INT650 in the United States where Honda has a trademark on the Interceptor name.[45] During the years 2020–2021, the 650cc twins were the best-selling motorcycles in Great Britain.[46]

The Royal Enfield Continental GT is a Neo-retro Café Racer .The first model to use the name, the Continental GT 250, was produced by the original Royal Enfield in the 1960s UK. The name was revived by the Indian manufacturer in the 2010s with the Continental GT 535 (now discontinued) and Continental GT 650.

Meteor[edit]

Royal Enfield launched a new lineup of cruiser motorcycles on 6 November 2020 named Meteor. It replaced the Thunderbird 350 and 350X series which were discontinued earlier that year. It uses a 349 cc single cylinder engine featuring a single overhead camshaft system (SOHC), and a completely new engine with fewer moving parts than the 346 cc of the Classic 350.[47] It is the first Royal Enfield to offer the Tripper navigation system.[48]

Manufacturing plants[edit]

Royal Enfield North America Headquarters in Milwaukee
  1. Thiruvottiyur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India[49]
  2. Oragadam Industrial Corridor, Oragadam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  3. SIPCOT Industrial Park, Vallam Vadagal, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India[50]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mohile, Shally (23 March 2023). "Plugged in: Royal Enfield plans 'differentiated' electric vehicles". The Economic Times. Retrieved 23 April 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d "Royal Enfield Motorcycles – Data & Facts 2019". 6 August 2019.
  3. ^ Can the oldest global motorcycle brand become sexy & cool to draw in a younger audience?, Economic Times, 23 December 2017.
  4. ^ Pullen, Greg (2021). Royal Enfield: A Complete History. The Crowood Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-78500-853-5.
  5. ^ Sinha, Varun (15 January 2014). "Royal Enfield's success boosts Eicher Motors fortunes". NDTV. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  6. ^ Subramanian, Samanth (3 January 2014). "A Cult Motorcycle From India Takes on the World". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2015. A version of this article appears in print on 4 January 2014, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Cult Motorcycle From India Takes on the World.
  7. ^ "History | Royal Enfield | "Made Like A Gun", Since 1901". Royal Enfield Australia. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  8. ^ "History". Royal Enfield – Official Website. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  9. ^ Lal, Siddhartha (3 January 2010). "Royal Enfield: Man among boys". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  10. ^ Sinha, Vivek (28 September 2002). "Enfield strikes at Lightning, to fly Thunderbird". The Economic Times. TNN. Retrieved 30 October 2015. Manufacturing at the Jaipur plant, which has a capacity to produce 13,000 mobikes, is under suspension and according to the plan it is expected to resume operations as soon as the Chennai plant achieves full capacity utilisation.
  11. ^ Thakkar, Ketan (14 May 2012). "Eicher Motors to invest Rs 350 crore in Chennai for Royal Enfield's new plant". The Economic Times. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Royal Enfield rolls out first motorcycle from Oragadam plant". The Economic Times. PTI. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  13. ^ Sunny, Ken (1 October 2015). "Royal Enfield sales jump 59% in September 2015". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  14. ^ Balachandar, G. (13 November 2014). "Royal Enfield to set up second project at Oragadam corridor". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  15. ^ "Production at Royal Enfield's Chennai plant hit by floods". Business Line. PTI. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  16. ^ "Royal Enfield resumes normal operations at two plants in Chennai". Daily News and Analysis. PTI. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  17. ^ Narasimhan, T. E. (12 May 2015). "Royal Enfield buys UK-based firm Harris Performance". BS Motoring. Business Standard. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Royal Enfield acquires UK based Harris Performance company". The Financial Express (India). PTI. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015. ...Royal Enfield will acquire all assets, employees, trade names, technical know-how and intellectual property of Harris Performance Products Ltd, the company said in a statement without disclosing the deal value.
  19. ^ Yu, Andria (3 August 2014). "Motorcycle review: Royal Enfield looks for comeback". USA Today. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  20. ^ Doval, Pankaj (2 February 2015). "Royal Enfield races past Harley-Davidson in global sales". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 November 2015. Although HD motorcycles sell at a huge premium over their RE kin (HD's most affordable model in India sells for around Rs 5 lakh while RE's most expensive model comes for Rs 2 lakh), what's remarkable is the stunning turnaround by one of the world's oldest motorcycle brands.
  21. ^ Balachandran, Manu (22 February 2015). "How Royal Enfield won over the Indian motorcyclist—and now looks unstoppable". Quartz. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  22. ^ Nabanita Singha Roy (18 January 2015). "Royal Enfield President rides a Continental GT". RushLane. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Royal Enfield names Rod Copes as President for North American operations". The Economic Times. PTI. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015. Copes has previously worked with Harley-Davidson for nearly 20 years, most recently as Head of Global Sales and Customer Service.
  24. ^ Philip, Lijee (24 September 2015). "How Royal Enfield's Siddhartha Lal seeks to replicate India's success in overseas markets". The Economic Times. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Royal Enfield enters Indonesian market in mid-sized motorcycle segment". Business Today. Indo-Asian News Service. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  26. ^ "Royal Enfield one bright spot in gloomy motorcycle market". The Economic Times. PTI. 18 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015. The company's performance is in sharp contrast to the overall segment, which has been reeling under a slowdown with rural sales affected by below normal monsoon in several parts of the country.
  27. ^ "Bullet Classic Range". Retrieved 16 December 2008.
  28. ^ a b "Ep1". Our Guy in India. 2015. Channel 4.
  29. ^ "Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is now available in two new colors at Rs 1.79 lakh". Motorlane. 25 January 2024.
  30. ^ "2022 Royal Enfield Classic 350 First Look". Cycle World. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  31. ^ "Royal Enfield launches Hunter 350". The Hindu. 10 August 2022.
  32. ^ "Royal Enfield Hunter 350 to launch on August 7: How to watch live, expected price, features and more". DNA India. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  33. ^ "Royal Enfield Hunter 350 to launch in India today: Watch it LIVE here [Video]". Zee News. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  34. ^ "Royal Enfield Hunter 350 launched in India at Rs 1.50 lakh". Auto Car. 7 August 2022.
  35. ^ "Royal Enfield Hunter 350 revealed by MD Siddhartha Lal before the launch: Here are all the features". The Economic Times. 5 August 2022. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  36. ^ Dutta, Raajwrita (8 August 2022). "2022 Royal Enfield Hunter 350 Launch: Price, Booking in India, & Specifications". TheQuint. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  37. ^ "Royal Enfield Hunter 350 becomes second best-selling RE within a month of launch". Financial Express. 16 September 2022.
  38. ^ "Shotgun 650 Launched, Royal Enfield Surprised everyone at Motoverse 2023". Motorlane. 3 December 2023.
  39. ^ "The Mighty Debut: Royal Enfield Shotgun 650's Production Version Reveal". Motorlane. 14 December 2023.
  40. ^ "Design legend Pierre Terblanche joins Royal Enfield". royalenfield.com. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  41. ^ Sonil, Naveen (6 November 2017). "Royal Enfield unveils 650cc twin-cylinder engine". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  42. ^ "Royal Enfield Enters New Era With Two 650s, the Interceptor and Continental GT". 8 November 2017.
  43. ^ "2019 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT | Road Test Review". 5 October 2018.
  44. ^ "2019 Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 First Ride". 18 November 2018.
  45. ^ "2019 Royal Enfield INT650 First Ride". 26 November 2018.
  46. ^ "THE UK'S BEST-SELLING MOTORCYCLE LAST MONTH WAS A ROYAL ENFIELD! | MCO Bikes Ltd". www.mcobikes.com. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  47. ^ "Royal Enfield Meteor 350: How Different Is The New Engine?". carandbike. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  48. ^ "Meet Royal Enfield's Tripper On-Board Navigation System". RideApart.com. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  49. ^ "Royal Enfield – Official Website". royalenfield.com. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  50. ^ www.ETAuto.com. "Royal Enfield to double its production capacity; setting up third plant in Tamil Nadu – ET Auto". ETAuto.com. Retrieved 10 June 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gregson, Jonathan (1997). Bullet up the Grand Trunk Road. London: Sinclair-Stevenson. ISBN 9781856196604.
  • Hartley, Peter (1981). The story of Royal Enfield motor cycles. Cambridge Cambridgeshire: P. Stephens. ISBN 9780850594676.
  • Köster, Dirk W. (16 April 2007). Royal Enfield : une légende vivante (in French). Boulogne-Billancourt: ETAI. ISBN 978-2726887073.
  • Köster, Dirk W. (1 August 2009). Royal Enfield – die Legende lebt (in German) (Lizenzausg. ed.). Münster: Monsenstein & Vannerdat. ISBN 978-3938568927.
  • May, Gordon G. (2005). Royal Enfield : the legend rides on : celebrating 50 years in India (1st ed.). Chennai, India: Royal Enfield. ISBN 978-8190312905.
  • May, Gordon G. (30 November 2008). Overland to India: An 8400 Mile Adventure on a 55-year-old Motorcycle. Rixon Groove. ISBN 978-0956116802.
  • May, Gordon G. (2014). Made in India – The Royal Enfield Bullet (4th ed.). Stockport, Cheshire: Royal Enfield Books.
  • Walker, Mick (24 February 2003). Royal Enfield : the complete story. Marlborough, Wiltshire: Crowood. ISBN 978-1861265630.
  • Wilson, Steve (18 September 2000). Down the road : genuine mileage on classic motorcycles. Sparkford: Haynes. ISBN 9781859606513.

External links[edit]