For three consecutive months, the India-wide sales of Royal Enfield have seen a decrease compared to a year earlier, indicating the slow growth rate in more than 12 years. The company has been hit by a combination of factors such as brand fatigue, increased competition and a series of price increases.
A critical reason, according to market watchers, for the fall was the entry (and return) of the Jawa brand, which competes in the same segment as Royal Enfield. Owned by Mahindra & Mahindra (M & M) conglomerate, the Jawas are priced in the same price range as the Royal Enfield series of Rs 1.5-2 lakh.
While the sales growth of Royal Enfield, which was regulated by Eicher Motors, fell into the red in November, December and January, M & M declared a total stock for nine months for the Jawas, thanks to the unprecedented turnout at reservations. Since bicycles from both competing brands belong to the same segment, it is assumed that Jawa has poised customers of Royal Enfield.
Siddhartha Lal, the Managing Director and CEO, Eicher Motors, admitted that the competition for Royal Enfield is increasing and will continue to rise in the future, but it will cost much more to take our cake away.
"Royal Enfield is a deep-rooted leader with a strong distribution and aftermarket network with a strong service backup and residual value." There will of course be many more, there will be more, there will be copycat types and there will be people doing completely different things and that is part of a competitive nature. We have a very good product line and very strong We have a great wicket, it's the others who have to try hard to get even a nibble from us, & # 39; Lal said.
Royal Enfield's domestic sales growth slowed 5 percent (down from high double-digit growth in recent years) to 686,773 units during the April-January period. In the previous financial year, Royal Enfield's growth was 23 percent to 801,229 units, while in 2016-17 it was 31 percent to 651,107 units.
"Over the last 10 years, we have enjoyed excellent growth of nearly 20x and a margin expansion of up to 30 percent of 10 percent, which attracts many people to enter our market and that includes some of the biggest players. because there is a new product and there is always the noise and the excitement, but we have managed to keep our course and we take deep-rooted knowledge of competitors that come in and we have our own ways to manage that, "Lal added.
With 878 dealers, Royal Enfield has the largest dealer network in India for premium bikes and the brand is dedicated to keeping the retail push. The brand saw an expansion of 20 dealers in the quarter of October-December. Eicher Motors hopes to close the end of the current financial year with 900 dealers.