Royal Enfield is set to challenge Harley Davidson by launching its own electric motorcycle. The company might be working on a new range of products including electric motorcycles. In an interview, Royal Enfield CEO Vinod Dasari hinted at a range of new products. He said the worst is over in terms of current slowdown and expects sales to accelerate going forward. He also suggested hitting double digit growth and confirmed that capital expenditure was not cut down despite the slowdown in the industry.
“Just because there was a downturn, we did not cut down on our capex. I don’t think we will spend any more on any large (facility),” Dasari told ET in an interview. “Most of our capex will go into capability building, new products, electric and other stuff. And it will go into many small assembly plants around the world.”
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In another interview, Dasari detailed its plans to build electric motorcycles. He said the company’s UK Technology Center is tasked with the new product development. The technology center in UK is one of the two R&D centers tasked with development of new products. Dasari also revealed that the UK Technology Center has rigged up an existing product with an electric powertrain. He himself has “driven it” and Dasari sees it as the way to prepare for the future.
With its future products, Royal Enfield is not only looking at growing in India. It is also seeing it as an opportunity to strengthen its presence in the international markets. Apart from UK, Royal Enfield also has an R&D center in Chennai. The company says its future product strategy will include electric motorcycles. However, it may still take couple of years before the company launches its first motorcycle with electric powertrain. The company set up its first assembly plant outside India, in Thailand, earlier this year.
There is a possibility that Royal Enfield will launch one of its modern classic models with an electric powertrain. Harley Davidson has already launched its first electric motorcyle called LiveWire globally. However, the launch has not gone down that well for the company. With electric vehicles, the companies need to rethink their entire strategy. The challenge for Royal Enfield will be on premise charging. With India set to get expansive charging network in the next few years, Royal Enfield might time the launch of its first electric motorcycle for that time.