Analysis: Harley-Davidson, Triumph in first gear of challenge to Royal Enfield’s India reign

analysis:-harley-davidson,-triumph-in-first-gear-of-challenge-to-royal-enfield’s-india-reign
Analysis: Harley-Davidson, Triumph in first gear of challenge to Royal Enfield’s India reign

Harley-Davidson and Triumph have entered India’s premium motorcycle market with competitively priced models that could challenge the dominance of Royal Enfield. The two brands have introduced their cheapest models in India, where their expensive imports have struggled to gain market share. By manufacturing the bikes in India with local partners, they have been able to offer prices below 233,000 rupees ($2,841).

According to Kotak Securities auto analyst Rishi Vora, these brands are now accessible to consumers who were previously unable to afford Harley or Triumph motorcycles. This change in approach by two iconic brands poses a significant challenge to Royal Enfield’s monopoly in the high-end motorcycle segment. It comes at a time when Indian consumers are increasingly spending on premium products across various categories.

The launches of the new Harley-Davidson and Triumph models have caused a decline in the stock price of Eicher Motors, the parent company of Royal Enfield. Analysts have also raised concerns about the potential impact on earnings for at least the next two years. Despite currently having lower sales than Royal Enfield, the pricing and brand appeal of the new models could reduce Royal Enfield’s market share in India’s 250 cc-plus segment from over 90% to 75%.

Eicher Motors declined to comment on the situation, while Harley-Davidson did not respond to requests for comment. Triumph, on the other hand, announced plans to expand its dealer network to around 100 dealers within the next year.

The entry of Harley-Davidson and Triumph into the Indian market poses a challenge to Royal Enfield, but it may not be an immediate threat. Royal Enfield has built a strong community of loyal customers and has established a network of showrooms and after-sales services. The brand has a retro and chic image that appeals to consumers.

Other heritage brands, such as Mahindra & Mahindra’s Yezdi and Jawa, and BMW’s eponymous brand manufactured with TVS Motor, have struggled to make significant inroads against Royal Enfield. According to Varun Painter, editor of motorcycle content at PowerDrift, the overall experience of owning a motorcycle, including service and maintenance, is more important to consumers than just the pricing and showroom experience.

Harley-Davidson previously imported its premium motorcycles to India before exiting the market in 2020. The company sold fewer than 30,000 motorcycles in India, while Royal Enfield sells that many bikes each month. Harley-Davidson has now partnered with Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest motorcycle maker, to develop and sell a range of Harley-Davidson branded bikes in India.

Triumph, on the other hand, had been selling around 1,200 motorcycles annually in India before partnering with Bajaj Auto to manufacture mid-capacity bikes. The collaboration with Bajaj Auto has resulted in a surge in demand, with Triumph receiving orders for over 14,000 Speed 400 bikes, surpassing its total sales in India over the past decade.

Although the premium motorcycle segment accounts for less than 10% of total sales in India, the excitement surrounding the new Harley-Davidson and Triumph models is evident in the increased Google searches for these brands. Consumers are drawn to the attractive pricing and are also benefiting from improved financing options, which make premium bikes more accessible to lower-income buyers.

Overall, the entry of Harley-Davidson and Triumph into the Indian market has the potential to disrupt Royal Enfield’s dominance. However, Royal Enfield’s strong brand image, extensive showroom network, and loyal customer base may provide some resistance to the new competition.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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