Royal Enfield Aims to Grow Brand Awareness, Dealer Network

Royal Enfield, which still considers itself a startup, is focused on raising brand awareness and bolstering its dealer network in North America, Mike Roark, vice president of sales and dealer development, told Powersports Finance.

A motorcycle manufacturing company with factories in Chennai, India, Royal Enfield came to North America in January 2015. Currently, the company has about 60 dealers in the U.S. and 10 dealers in Canada. The U.S. dealership network spans from West Coast to East Coast, although most dealers are based in the Midwest, according to Roark.

To this day, the company still considers itself as a “startup,” he said. “It is hard to project a specific number of our growth percentage over the years, but it is certain that we keep growing and expanding. We came here with zero dealers and now we have more than 60.”

The company has struck an interest in financing promotions, after going without any incentives or offers since launch. Royal Enfield started offering a $99 monthly payment retail financing promotion on Sept. 1 for all current-year motorcycle models, Royal Enfield President Rod Cope told Powersports Finance.

Back in April, the manufacturer’s focus was 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.

“Our challenge is that we are quite new to the U.S. market and are still primarily focused on building our infrastructure, establishing our dealer network, and creating brand awareness,” Cope said. “We are also quite small and have only sold about 500 motorcycles in the USA last year.”

The manufacturer did begin commercial production at its third manufacturing facility at Vallam Vadagal near Chennai, India, at the end of August. This facility will enable the company to “meet its next level of growth,” according to a company press release. The construction of the facility started 15 months ago and has since been completed “in record time.”

The combined production capacity from all three Royal Enfield plants is planned to be 825,000 units for 2017 and 2018, according to the release. For full year 2016 and through 2017, Royal Enfield produced and sold 667,135 motorcycles, nearing its installed capacity.

However, Royal Enfield does not intend to operate a similar manufacturing facility in North America, nor does it plan to open additional corporate offices in the United States, Roark said.

“Our major goal right now is to grow our dealership numbers,” he said. “Hopefully, we will have 100 dealers in North America by the end of this year, with 85 in the United States and 15 in Canada.”

For more insights like this, attend the third annual PowerSports Finance 2017 conference, which is slated for Oct. 24-25 at the Wynn Las Vegas. The full agenda can be viewed here. To learn more — or to register — for this year’s event, visit the PowerSports Finance 2017 homepage here.

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