While the RE Meteor 350 has already garnered over 8,000 bookings, the company’s vendor issues may pose a threat to its production capacity
Chennai-based Royal Enfield recently launched the Meteor 350 in the Indian market. The motorcycle is based on a completely new platform and has a new engine as well, which is superior to the older RE single-cylinder bikes, like the Classic and the now-discontinued Thunderbird. The Meteor 350 has already crossed 8,000 bookings, in less than 10 days of its launch.
While the bookings figures are quite impressive, the manufacturer’s production capacity isn’t at the same level. The company currently has a backlog of over 1.25 lakh orders, which is more than a three-fold increase since April 2020 (over 40,000 pending orders back then). Royal Enfield has stated that the supply issues are limited to a few vendors for specific models, but not provided further details.
Due to these vendor issues, the company also had to delay its new motorcycle launches. The Meteor was initially supposed to launch in India around April, but that got delayed multiple times. The next-generation Classic’s debut has also been delayed, and is currently slated to happen during the first quarter of 2021.
Royal Enfield’s popularity has been steadily growing in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and with the upcoming new launches, it is expected to keep growing further. The company also has plans to launch a new motorcycle every quarter for the next five years. However, the way things are currently, RE will find it really tough to deliver on that promise.
Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director, Eicher Motors, is hopeful that the pending orders can be completed quickly and without any major restructuring. “We could touch 100,000 in a few years without huge capex or new plant,” he stated. In October 2020, RE was able to dispatch a total of 66,891 units, with domestic retail standing at 62,858 units.
Apart from the next-gen Classic 350 (and Bullet Standard 350), Royal Enfield will also be introducing a 650cc cruiser soon. It has already been spied in near-production form, and speculations suggest that it will launch sometime during the next year. We also expect an Interceptor-style 350cc roadster to join the lineup as well.