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Royal Enfield looks to expand overseas presence

October 15, 2012 16:00 IST

Premium motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield, a part of Eicher Motors, is looking to expand its overseas presence on the back its recent launch the 'Thunderbird 500cc', a top official said today.

"Yes. We are looking at (new) markets. We have to please our customers...," Royal Enfield chief executive officer Venki Padmanabhan told reporters in Chennai.

Royal Enfield is one of the preferred brands in California, US, which he said, has one of the most stringent emission norms.

Padmanabhan, after unveiling the Thunderbird 500cc said, besides exporting to the United States, they ship (bikes) to over 40 developing and developed countries.

"We sell few bikes in California. I would say, exports contribute about 4,000 units a year. We export to some of the developed markets like United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia," he said.

Royal Enfield currently exports 500cc motorcycle range manufactured from its decades old 10-acre plant in Thiruvottiyur situated near Chennai.

Expressing hope that the new plant coming up at Oragadam, near Chennai at an investment of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) would reduce the waiting period for some of its models, he said the company would have a combined capacity of 150,000 units once it becomes operational.

At present, some of the products from Royal Enfield comes with a waiting period of over six to eight months, according to a company official.

Royal Enfield produces about 10,000 units a month from its Thiruvottiyur facility. It inked an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government for setting up the new plant, in which it was alloted 50 acre land at the SIPCOT Industrial Park at Oragadam. Royal Enfield announced investments of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) for the new plant.

The Oragadam facility is likely to begin production by first quarter of next financial year, Padmanabhan said, adding, they have combined capacity of about 150,000 units annually.

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