Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. It has its presence in many countries across various continents. To cater to a wide spectrum of customers, the company is always working on developing new models but not all of them see the light of the day. In fact, a total of 14 new Royal Enfield models were proposed for launch in 2019.
Royal Enfield produces over 10 lakh motorcycles a year. That’s more than one bike every two seconds! It clearly shows the brand’s dominance in the world’s motorcycle market. However, to have uninterrupted sales in the highly competitive industry and keep the fan following intact, Royal Enfield has to think out of the box and come up with new and better products.
And that’s exactly what the Chennai-based company is doing. Simon Warburton, Head of Product Development at Royal Enfield, shared the brand’s dedication towards new product development recently. “We’re always looking at ways to complete all the projects we have in progress (14 projects were presented last year), but there’ll always be more ideas than we can possibly do,” Warburton said.
Of course, creating an all-new product isn’t a walk in the park. It involves serious planning, uncountable hours, and a hefty investment. “We have the Industrial Design team that makes the 2D and 3D sketches and renders, then we have the Engineering Design team split across chassis, engine and electrical. Within those teams, we’ll have several designers submitting ideas, but once a project is agreed, we’re all working in the same direction,” said Warburton.
Elaborating a project’s development process a bit more, Mark Wells, Head of Product Strategy and Industrial Design at Royal Enfield, said: “We use a ‘gate’ process for each stage of production, which gives us constant checks that we’re achieving what we set out to, and that we’re making the right decisions. The investment goes up as we pass through each stage gate, so we’re able to constantly check the risk and that we’ve made the right trade-offs before the final quality-control gate, then production. We’re also test-riding designs right through the whole process.”
One of the upcoming products in the pipeline is the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. It is expected to be launched in India once the nationwide lockdown is lifted.