Japanese two-wheeler brands, Suzuki and Honda have lost interest in developing Royal Enfield style motorcycles, reports Moneycontrol. The website claims that the Japanese brands have lost interest in the niche bike segment due to the free-fall in demand witnessed by Royal Enfield. The source report suggests that brand fatigue or styling weariness could be the reason behind the sharp deceleration Royal Enfield's in sales.
Regular followers of the two-wheeler industry would know that Royal Enfield has been delivering negative year-on-year sales performance for 11 consecutive months in the domestic market. However, exports have shown promising numbers from late 2018, which incidentally is the same time when the two-wheeler brand launched the new 650 Twins – the Interceptor INT 650 and the Continental GT 650. In fact, the company reported 987% year-on-year increase in exports in October 2019.
Speaking to Moneycontrol on the sidelines of the recently concluded 2019 EICMA motorcycle show in Italy, Satoshi Uchida, Managing Director, Suzuki Motorcycle India, said:
We are studying that segment. Royal Enfield sales have been going down gradually… Many customers in India are a bit tired of the design and styling now, earlier they (models) were very popular. Since the start of last year, their (Royal Enfield) sales have been declining. A similar problem exists with Harley-Davidson.
Suzuki Motorcycle India is working on expanding its product portfolio with the launch of new products. The Indian arm of the Japanese two-wheeler brand is considering cruiser, classic, adventure, or café racer segments to introduce its new models, although the final decision is yet to be taken. Uchida added:
They have to change for the younger population, may be become sportier. We have to be careful and think if we need the Classic kind of bikes. Another trend that is catching up is that of adventure bikes. We have to do proper research. We will definitely do some products using a platform, which can be a cruiser, classic, adventure, or café racer.
Suzuki Motorcycle India will reportedly launch a quarter-litre cruiser motorcycle that will be introduced under the Intruder brand. The new model will share its engine with the new Gixxer 250 and the Gixxer 250 SF motorcycles. The company also plans to introduce bigger bikes in our market. A report from September 2019 suggested that Suzuki Motorcycle India will add the SV650 to its portfolio.
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