Royal Enfield (India)
2014 redesign of Royal Enfield logo
|Founded||1955 as Enfield India|
|Headquarters||Chennai, India |
Royal Enfield is an Indian motorcycle manufacturing company with factories in Chennai, India. Originally a British motorcycle company, Royal Enfield and indigenous Madras Motors, it is now a subsidiary of Eicher Motors Limited, an Indian automaker. The company makes the Royal Enfield Bullet, and other single-cylinder motorcycles. Established in 1893, Royal Enfield is among the oldest motorcycle companies.
The Indian government looked for a suitable motorcycle for its police and army, for patrolling the country's border. The Royal Enfield Bullet was chosen as the most suitable bike for the job. The Indian government ordered 800 350 cc model Bullets. 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. By 1962, all 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 350 cc and 500 cc forms today, along with several different models for different market segments.
Royal Enfield was a brand of the Enfield Cycle Company, a British manufacturing firm. It started in India for the Indian Army 350 cc bikes were imported in kits from the UK and assembled in Chennai. After a few years, the company started producing the 500 cc Bullet.
In 1990, Royal Enfield collaborated with the Eicher Group, an automotive company in India, and merged with it in 1994. Apart from bikes, Eicher Group is involved in the production and sales of tractors, commercial vehicles, and automotive gears. Although Royal Enfield experienced difficulties in the 1990s, and ceased motorcycle production at their Jaipur factory in 2002, by 2013 the company opened a new primary factory in the Chennai suburb of Oragadam on the strength of increased demand for its motorcycles. The original factory at Tiruvottiyur became secondary, and continues to produce engines and some motorcycle models. In 2014 Royal Enfield appointed Pierre Terblanche as the head of new product design.
In January 2015, the company announced the appointment of Rudratej ‘Rudy’ Singh as President of Royal Enfield. Singh was previously a Vice President of Unilever in Singapore. 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, that had previously developed the chassis of the Royal Enfield Continental GT Cafe Racer.
Royal Enfield currently sells motorcycles in more than 50 countries. Royal Enfield surpassed Harley-Davidson in global sales in 2015, and received an informal stamp of approval from US President Barack Obama as the guest of honor at the 2015 Delhi Republic Day parade. "I saw the Republic Day daredevils on Royal Enfield motorcycles," Obama said, adding that "the secret service doesn't let me ride motorcycles, especially not on my head." He again acknowledged the Border Security Force riders later in the day, saying "I would, by the way, not drive a motorcycle after watching those incredible acrobats."
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 underserved 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. The company wants to establish about 100 dealerships in American cities starting with Milwaukee.
"I live here, so I am biased. But in my mind, Milwaukee is kind of the center of motorcycling in the United States," said Copes, a former Harley-Davidson executive. "We view this as kind of our first flagship dealership," he added.
Later in August 2015, parent-business Eicher announced its entry in Indonesia as a part of its global strategy in the mid-sized (250-750cc) motorcycle segment, initially starting retail operations from a dealership in Jakarta. From April to September, 2015, Royal Enfield's domestic sales were up 50 per cent over the previous year, despite a declining motorcycle market in India.
Flooding, produced by the heaviest rainfall in Chennai in over a century, caused Royal Enfield to cut production by 4000 motorcycles in November 2015, followed by a 1 December shutdown of the plants in Thiruvottiyur and Oragadam, as well as the company offices in Chennai. Production resumed at 50 percent capacity on 7 December and operations at both plants were back to normal on 14 December.
- Nabanita Singha Roy (18 January 2015). "Royal Enfield President rides a Continental GT". RushLane. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "Royal Enfield appoints Rudratej Singh as President" (PDF). Eicher Motors. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- 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.
- Sinha, Varun (January 15, 2014). "Royal Enfield's success boosts Eicher Motors fortunes". NDTV. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- 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 January 4, 2014, on page B1 of the New York edition with the headline: A Cult Motorcycle From India Takes On the World.
- Parchman, James (14 May 2009). "A British Classic, but It's New (and It's Not British, Either)". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
A version of this article appears in print on , on page AU10 of the New York edition with the headline: A British Classic, but It’s New (And It’s Not British, Either).
- Martin, Guy; Dooley, Shaun (narrator); Woodroffe, James (producer) (1 February 2015). Episode 1. Our Guy in India. Channel 4.
- Sikka, Bharat (director); Mahajan, Nikhel (music) (7 March 2011). Handcrafted in Chennai (Motion picture). Delhi: Wieden+Kennedy. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
This film is a tribute to the wonderful people who build, sell, ride and maintain these beloved machines, and a heartfelt tribute to the city that Royal Enfield calls home.
- "History". Royal Enfield – Official Website. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Lal, Siddhartha (3 January 2010). "Royal Enfield: Man among boys". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Royal Enfield rolls out first motorcycle from Oragadam plant". The Economic Times. PTI. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Sunny, Ken (1 October 2015). "Royal Enfield sales jump 59% in September 2015". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Balachandar, G. (13 November 2014). "Royal Enfield to set up second project at Oragadam corridor". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Narasimhan, T. E. (12 May 2015). "Royal Enfield buys UK-based firm Harris Performance". BS Motoring. Business Standard. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- "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.
- Yu, Andria (3 August 2014). "Motorcycle review: Royal Enfield looks for comeback". USA Today. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- 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.
- Balachandran, Manu (22 February 2015). "How Royal Enfield won over the Indian motorcyclist—and now looks unstoppable". Quartz. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Indian Bike Maker Royal Enfield to Expand after Obama Thumbs-Up". IndustryWeek. Penton. Agence France-Presse. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Sisters and brothers, proud to be India's partner: Obama". Deccan Herald. IANS. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
Obama struck a personal chord with the mainly youthful crowd, saying he was very impressed with the daredevilry of the motorcycle contingent riding Royal Enfield bikes and wished he could ride a bike too.
- Ghosh, Deepshikha, ed. (27 January 2015). "Barack Obama's Third Shoutout for Daredevils on Royal Enfields". NDTV. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
The stunt riders of the Border Security Force, called India's Daredevils, got a thumbs up from POTUS even during the two-hour parade on Monday.
- "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.
- Barrow, Olivia (4 September 2015). "Full Q&A: Royal Enfield is entrepreneur's dream for Rod Copes". Milwaukee Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
When Rod Copes left Harley-Davidson Inc. in 2012 to pursue an entrepreneurial dream of running his own manufacturing business, he thought he had kissed the motorcycle industry goodbye.
- Barrett, Rick (17 August 2015). "Motorcycle manufacturer from India to open North American headquarters in Third Ward". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has agreed to provide Royal Enfield with up to $100,000 in tax credits through 2017.
- "Royal Enfield enters Indonesian market in mid-sized motorcycle segment". Business Today. Indo-Asian News Service. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- "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.
- "Production at Royal Enfield's Chennai plant hit by floods". Business Line. PTI. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "Royal Enfield resumes normal operations at two plants in Chennai". Daily News and Analysis. PTI. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- 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.
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