Cool during Covid: Royal Enfield gearing up for new metal offensive

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Royal Enfield have revealed big plans for the future and say even the current Coronavirus crisis won’t stop their long-term aims as they look to unleash up to 14 new bikes.

Siddhartha Lal, Enfield’s managing Director, said: "We've had zero debt for about 14 years and it helps us in times of crisis and means we do not need to react in a knee-jerk way or in a manner which will affect our long-term success. 

Siddhartha Lal, Enfield’s managing Director

"If we have a few months of zero revenue, which is possibly the case right now; it's okay, we will survive. We're not hand to mouth anymore, like we were a decade ago, so we can invest tremendously in the future."

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And with sales, up until the current crisis, flying the future looks bright. Enfield’s sales across Europe now account for 10,000 bikes per year from 400 dealers, with around 75% of those made up from the Himalayan and the new 650 twins. But Royal Enfield aren’t resting on their laurels with plenty of bikes in the pipeline.

"We’re not struggling for ideas," said Simon Warburton, Royal Enfield’s Head of Product Development, speaking in a webinar. "We’ve got so many ideas, it’s just a case of finding the time to do them all."

Simon Warburton

Although they wouldn’t be drawn on exactly how many new machines were in the pipeline, Warburton said that Mark Wells, Head of Product Strategy & Industrial Design at Enfield, had presented around 14 new models to the team over the last year. Among those could well be a new 650 twin, possibly a flat tracker, as well as a souped-up Himalayan.

Lal also hinted that the company is looking at electric bikes, but maybe not right now. He admitted: "We're very excited about the electric future and our vision towards it, but it will still be a while - a long time from us before we come out with a full plan to the public."

Although the Enfield boss would not be drawn on whether they looked at buying Norton recently, after the Brit-based firm went into administration, he did say opportunities to buy other companies may be considered at some point. He added "If we were plateauing, we would look at other opportunities. We're not plateauing.

"We want to focus, to do less. It's not that we will never look outside of our portfolio, but we believe our opportunity is to grow Royal Enfield right now."

Simon Warburton with the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

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Andy Calton

By Andy Calton

Content director, motorcycling, and Suzuki Katana rider