Royal Enfield is developing ‘uniquely differentiated electric motorcycles’ and has already started investing towards product development and creating a supplier ecosystem around its Chennai-based plant, according to CEO B Govindarajan. The company, which is part of Eicher Motors, has announced a capex of Rs 1,000 crore for the current fiscal with a focus on various aspects, including EV manufacturing and product development. Part of the capex would also go into the rolling out of new products from the company’s existing internal combustion engine portfolio.
“On the EV journey, we have been making steady progress. I can say Royal Enfield’s EV journey is in the top gear now. Our intention is to create uniquely differentiated electric motorcycles with strong Royal Enfield DNA,” Govindarajan said in an analyst call. The company has commissioned a very capable team and has started committing very deep investments in terms of product development, product strategy and in the product testing and development area, he added.
“Currently, we have laid a robust long-term product and technology roadmap on the EV and towards developing the supplier ecosystem is what is the focus as of now,” Govindarajan noted. There are a lot of prototypes and testings, which are currently going on, he stated. “We are very committed. It’s in full blast now,” Govindarajan said.
Further, he noted that the company has made a strategic investment in Stark Future and now both the teams are working well. “They are collaborating very well to learn from each other and looking at what is the co-creation and the development, which we will do and how do we leverage each other’s strengths,” Govindarajan said.
In December last year, Eicher Motors announced to acquire a 10.35 per cent equity stake in Spanish electric motorcycle maker Stark Future for 50 million euros. On capex plan, Eicher Motors CEO Siddhartha Lal said the board has approved a cash outlay of Rs 1,000 crore towards capital expenditure for the Royal Enfield business in FY23-24.
The company will make investments towards EV manufacturing, EV product development, and of course, product development for our internal combustion engine portfolio, he noted. When asked about network expansion in the domestic market, Govindarajan said the company currently has about 2,100 retail outlets across India, a mix of studio stores and dealership outlets.
“…The focus of the team is actually to look at how to proliferate then consolidate. That’s how we should actually look at any of these strategies. We should not blindly proliferate because we are very conscious of the dealer profitability and we give utmost importance to every outlet’s profitability for the dealers,” he noted.