Royal Enfield has delayed the launch of its new motorcycles due to supply chain issues, which includes the Meteor and next-gen Classic
Royal Enfield was expected to launch the Thunderbird-replacement in India, dubbed the ‘Meteor’, earlier this year. Sadly, that launch has been delayed numerous times now. According to the latest reports, the company won’t be introducing the Meteor 350 before Diwali, which is extremely bad news for the brand.
Diwali festive season is considered to be an extremely auspicious time in India, and consumers often make most of their expensive purchases around this time. As such, manufacturers often use this window to introduce new products, and give attractive deals on existing ones. Sadly, Royal Enfield won’t be able to do the former, which could potentially hurt the brand’s sales during this period.
Before lockdown, the manufacturer had planned to launch a new product every quarter during FY2020-21, starting with the Meteor 350 (codenamed J1D). Sadly, the market slowdown has forced the manufacturer to rethink its strategy. As for the next-generation Classic (codenamed J1A), it won’t be launched in India until April 2021. The company currently continues to retail the older models in their BS6 avatars, except for the Thunderbird, which has been discontinued.
Royal Enfield is facing supply chain issues as well, which is also hurting its sales figures. While a few other two-wheeler manufacturers are already working at 90 per cent production capacity, Royal Enfield is struggling to cross 60,000 units per month. With the Meteor 350 missing the Diwali rush, it would be hard for the brand to recover lost sales.
The company is planning to launch the Meteor with the Make Your Own (MYO) app. The app will allow people to choose their RE motorcycle online, and configure it to their liking. The final product will be delivered to the customers’ homes. This is a great step towards strengthening accessibility via a digital platform.
Also, Honda recently introduced the Highness CB350 in the Indian market, which is a direct rival to Royal Enfield’s 350cc motorcycles. That, along with Jawa, has increased the competition for RE. We’ll have to wait and see if the Meteor 350 will manage to turn things around for the brand.