Eicher Motors to focus on Royal Enfield: Interceptor, Continental GT 650 to lead strategy

After the unsuccessful venture with Polaris in personal utility vehicle space, Eicher Motors is planning to fully focus on its hugely profitable Royal Enfield motorcycle business. The Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650 are the new bikes to be launched from the Chennai-based niche bike maker.

 1526286313_royal-enfield-interceptor-650
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 captures the essence of the classic bikes in 1970s.Royal Enfield
  • “We are absolutely 100 percent focused on motorcycles”, says Eicher Motor CEO
  • Eicher Motors (parent of Royal Enfield) has no plans to venture into other vehicle business
  • Next big launches from Royal Enfield are the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650

Eicher Motors, the parent company of Chennai-based niche bike maker Royal Enfield plans to fully focus on the motorcycle business after a premature end to its off-road vehicles joint venture with US-based Polaris Industries.

Eicher Motors Limited in March 2018 announced closure of Eicher Polaris Private Limited. The duo launched the Multix in 2015 as India’s first personal utility vehicle while sales fizzled out after the initial excitement. This seems to have prompted Eicher to focus on its hugely profitable motorcycle business via Royal Enfield brand.

“We are absolutely 100 percent focus on motorcycles, nothing else…Other than motorcycles we don’t have any intention to get into any other vertical,” said Siddartha Lal, managing director and CEO of Eicher Motors in a conference call.

Siddhartha Lal
Siddhartha Lal, CEO of Royal Enfield astride Interceptor 650 at EICMA showRoyal Enfield

When asked about the Eicher Polaris Private Limited and plans to venture into new vehicle business, he replied, “Absolutely (we are) not open to anything…Of course, VECV is the only other part of our business, which is doing very well. We are in the process of winding up EPPL operations.” For uninitiated, Eicher Motors also has a 50:50 joint venture with Swedish commercial vehicle maker Volvo for trucks and buses (VECV) in India.

Thrust on Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650

Royal Enfield’s next big step to becoming the global leader in the middle-weight segment is the launch of new flagship bikes, the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650. Revealed at the 2017 EICMA show in Milan, the new flagship twin will enter the market soon.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 are brand’s new flagship motorcycles.Royal Enfield

The Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 are the company’s debut bikes in higher displacement biking segment. Both bikes are powered by an all-new four-stroke, single overhead cam, and an air-cooled 648cc parallel-twin cylinder engine. It develops 47bhp of power and 52Nm of torque mated with a five-speed transmission. It is said to be the most advanced engine by Royal Enfield till date and first twin cylinder motor of the brand in the last 25 years.

Among the two, the Interceptor 650 is expected to attract more buyers in India with its classic design. The rear set foot pegs, teardrop-shaped fuel tank, wide handlebar, sculpted single and long seat, twin shock absorbers, 18-inch spoke wheels as well as twin upswept exhausts – these are the features that celebrate the essence of the original Interceptor which Royal Enfield in 1970s when it was a fully British entity.

Royal Enfield Continental GT
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650Royal Enfield

The Continental GT 650, on the other hand, is a true-blue café racer which is a quite popular biking style in Europe. The motorcycle gets an upswept exhaust and rear-set footrests in typical cafe racer fashion. A single long seat, the sculpted tank, and clip-on bars complete the look.

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