Royal Enfield hopes second Chennai plant will speed up delivery schedules

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on October 15, 2012

Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director & CEO, Eicher Motors Ltd, with Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, (right) and Shaji Koshy, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, at the launch of the Thunderbird 500 in Mumbai recently. -- Paul Noronha   -  PAUL NORONHA

Despite ramping up production at its plant in Chennai, Royal Enfield is facing constraints in meeting consumer demand.

The company, which makes the Thunderbird and Bullet motorcycles, has increased monthly production at its plant at Thiruvotriyur, Chennai, from 7,000 units in January to 10,000 now. It has also added around 100 dealerships in the last one year to 237 locations.

“We have had to maintain a balancing act between increasing dealership, adding capacity and increasing demand,” said Venki Padmanabhan, CEO, at the launch of the Thunderbird 500 motorcycle in the city.

But with customers still having to wait three-six months to have their bookings delivered, the unit of Eicher Motors hopes its second plant in Chennai will help address the issue.

The 50-acre plant at Oragadam, Chennai, being set up at an investment of Rs 150 crore, is expected to start production in the first quarter of next year. Together, the old and new plants will have a total annual production capacity of 1.5 lakh units.

In 2010, the company sold 50,000 units; this rose to 70,000 units last year. This year, Royal Enfield is targeting one lakh units.

Built on a new unit construction engine platform, Thunderbird 500 has 30 per cent fewer parts and is more fuel efficient, said Padmanabhan. Thunderbird 500 cc costs Rs 1.78 lakh, while the new Thunderbird 350 is priced Rs 1.40 lakh, on road Chennai.

Published on October 15, 2012

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