Royal Enfield is working on expanding its product portfolio as the Meteor 350 replacing Thunderbird could debut in the coming months
Royal Enfield has been at the top of its game in recent years with the good reception for the Classic 350 domestically. With aggressive strategy for the international markets, Royal Enfield branched out and expanded its reach as the 650 Twins paved way for its popularity in the overseas arena.
The 650 cc platform is said to spawn new models while the J-architecture caters to a range of volume-based products as well. The next generation Classic, Thunderbird and Bullet range is in the works for debut in the coming months with a thoroughly renewed package. The oldest manufacturer in continuous production was proposed with 14 new projects last year.
Royal Enfield aims at becoming a top-dog in the mid-size motorcycle segment around the world and it has seen more than 70 per cent growth over the last couple of years in the United Kingdom and Europe. Simon Warburton, Head of Product Development, spoke about the processes the brand will go through before coming up with a product.
The initial stages of the projects focus on thinking five years down the line taking various departments into account. The ideas are documented before reaching senior management and the initial sketches begin right away. During each stage of production, RE will go through a ‘gate’ system to ensure the ideas are being implemented to achieve desired results.
Progressing through each stage, the investment will increase as stages on each gate are monitored before reaching quality control and production. While taking about facing different challenges for European and Indian customers, he said that all bikes are engineered and designed for appealing globally but “….In India, road quality can be poor, but the speeds are lower. People are accelerating and braking harder in Europe and riding faster.”
In the immediate future, Royal Enfield will likely replace the Thunderbird with the Meteor 350. Based on the J-platform, it will be offered in bright colour schemes as the Thunderbird X and is expected to feature LED Daytime Running Lights, twin-pod instrument cluster, circular taillamp, etc.