Royal Enfield North America added nine dealers to its network in March, bringing the manufacturer closer to its goal of expanding nationwide, according to the OEM’s website.
Royal Enfield is “actively recruiting” new dealer partners, and set a goal to add between five to 10 dealers per month to the network, Vice President of Sales Mike Roark told Powersports Finance in December.
The new dealers also brings Royal Enfield a step closer to teaming up with a national lender. The motorcycle manufacturer is in the market for an additional retail financier to bring the OEM’s consumer financing options nationwide, Roark said back in December. However, Royal Enfield is putting all of its focus currently towards building its dealer network, before bringing on another partner.
The OEM operates in 25 states — up from 21 states in December 2016 — and has 40 dealers, according to its website. The company plans to expand nationwide, potentially by yearend 2017, according to Roark.
“I think we would love to partner with somebody that could do retail financing for our dealers, giving them another avenue to give customers finance options — such as FreedomRoad Financial, Sheffield Financial, or others,” Roark said. The OEM currently works with ThunderRoad Financial, but is looking for another partner with a broader reach. ThunderRoad does not offer financing nationwide yet; it currently lends in 35 states.
The manufacturer also struck an interest in financing promotions, though expanding its dealer network remains top priority. “We need to build the dealer network, and then we can look at what we need to do from a retail finance or retail promotions side,” Roark said.
Separately, ThunderRoad Financial is also looking to expand, as well. While the lender’s partnership with EBR Motorcycles faltered following the American sportbike manufacturer’s closing in January, ThunderRoad is “talking” to a couple of OEMs in the space, and some partnerships could finalize this year, ThunderRoad’s Founder and Chief Executive Donal Hummer Jr. previously told Powersports Finance.
EBR’s shutdown was based primarily on the OEM facing “significant headwinds with signing new dealers,” according to a company statement. The manufacturer had 15 dealers as of January 2017; its goal was to reach 40 dealers by yearend 2016. ThunderRoad Financial continued to finance the remaining stock of EBR Motorcycles for the dealers and their customers.