Royal Enfield North America might begin sketching plans to partner with a leasing provider, as the company continues to grow its dealer network.
The motorcycle manufacturer celebrated the grand opening of its North American headquarters and flagship dealer showroom at Royal Enfield of Milwaukee on Saturday. The move is expected to expedite the onboarding of dealers, which could bring the company additional financing opportunities, Copes told Powersports Finance.
Leasing is “something that we are interested in, but it has not made it to the top of list of priorities,” he said. “More specifically, we are actively selling motorcycles into training safety schools, and leasing is something they have requested to keep the cost lower.” Many training schools “prefer a three-year lease, which would bring their operating cost down, and that is something we need to look at but we haven’t had time at this point,” Copes added.
The Redditch, U.K.-based motorcycle manufacturer partnered with ThunderRoad Financial to offer consumer financing options through its dealer network effective May 1, the company previously announced, but given the new headquarters and growing dealer network, Royal Enfield could pursue additional financial partners in the future.
“We are pretty set with what we have,” Copes said, but “as we grow our dealer network and as dynamics change, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities.”
Royal Enfield currently has 30 dealers in its network, and a goal to have 100 dealers by the end of the year, according to Copes. “We are making progress on our dealer network — probably slower than we’d like, but we think it’s important to find the right dealer versus just finding a dealer,” he said.
The Royal Enfield brand has roots dating back to 1901, when British arms maker Enfield branched out into motorcycles that were sold with the slogan, “Made Like a Gun.” The manufacturer returned to the U.S. market in August of last year. The company selected Milwaukee, Wis., as the location of its headquarters and currently employs a staff of 20.
“Myself and the rest of the Royal Enfield global leadership are committed to the North American region,” Chief Executive Siddhartha Lal told attendees at the grand opening press conference. “Since 2010, we have increased production from 50,000 units to 500,000 units globally, and we are expected to produce 675,000 by the end of this fiscal year. North America is key to the contribution of that global growth.”
Check out some of Royal Enfield North America’s middle-weight motorcycles line in the video below: