While Royal Enfield is preparing to create a storm in the middleweight, cruiser motorcycle segment with a new concept at the 2018 EICMA, things are not smooth sailing back home. In an announcement, the company confirmed a disruption in production due to the strike at its factory. Royal Enfield has reported a cumulative production loss of 25,000 motorcycles for September and October 2018 due to the protest at its Oragadam plant.
The official statement said:
Royal Enfield’s manufacturing facility at Oragadam remained operational through the month of October 2018, even though a part of the workforce continued to stay away from work since September 24, 2018. Due to the strike, the loss of production for the month of September and October was 25,000 motorcycles.
On October 10, Siddhartha Lal, managing director of Eicher Motors confirmed in an interview that the production is not at full capacity. Lal said:
It has certainly impacted production. The strike is not fully sorted out, but the good news is that production has begun but it’s not at full tilt.
In October 2018, Royal Enfield registered year-on-year sales growth of 1 per cent growth over the corresponding month last year. The company sold 70,451 motorcycles n October 2018 against 69,492 units in October 2017. Exports contracted by 72 per cent, falling to 407 units in October 2018 against 1,478 units in the same month last year.
The exports, however, are expected to rise with the launch of the new 650 Twins. Royal Enfield President, Rudratej Singh said in an interview that a large number of existing Royal Enfield owners awaits the Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650. The motorcycles are expected to see a positive response in developing markets such as South East Asia and Latin America. Singh said:
I believe that the Interceptor and the Continental GT are the first true global product launches for Royal Enfield ever. Therefore, the appeal will be global.
The 650 Twins were launched in the North American market in September 2018. The motorcycles have also reached dealerships in Australia. The India launch is scheduled to take place on November 14, 2018, ahead of the Royal Enfield Rider Mania.