Iconic motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield, the oldest bike makers still in continuous production, announced this week the start of commercial production from its new manufacturing facility at Oragadam, Tamil Nadu in India. The 50-acre Oragadam plant is expected to produce 175,000 units in 2013 from the full range of Royal Enfield motorcycles.
“At Royal Enfield we have recorded a major milestone today with this plant at Oragadam becoming operational,” said Mr Siddhartha Lal, MD & CEO, Eicher Motors Ltd. “Royal Enfield has witnessed a huge surge in demand in the recent past, recording a growth of over 50% for each of the last two years. We have been extremely successful in stretching the capacity of our existing 60-year-old plant to record levels… Yet the demand for our motorcycles has continued to outpace the supply.”
2014 production capacity is expected to grow to 250,000 units, with the end goal of the new facility being 500,000 units per year. “This new plant has been benchmarked to achieve the highest level of quality and productivity. We have re-tooled many of the parts that make up our motorcycles – so that they are of exacting accuracy and finish. The substrate quality of the sheet metal parts, for example, is now at par with the best in the world; when these parts undergo the world-leading CED and paint process here at Oragadam – they will have a surface finish and life of the highest quality”, he further added.
Talking about Royal Enfield’s future plans Mr Siddhartha Lal said, “The ability to increase capacity fast and superior quality of motorcycles is a crucial step for Royal Enfield towards meeting our global ambitions. While we are adding new models and new dealerships in the Indian market which is fuelling our growth, we are also working on building our presence globally. Higher investments into brand and distribution, as well as new products that are very appealing to international markets are going to be key for us to achieve global leadership in the mid-size motorcycle category.”
Built in just 11 months, the Oragadam facility has been designed to optimize cost of production through relevant automation while retaining the human craftsmanship that is distinct to the iconic Royal Enfield motorcycles. For example, a CED paint shop with a robotic painting and powder coating system has been added, while processes such as pin-striping continue to be done through the hand of craftsmen. Chassis dynamometers and a 1.4 kilometre test track within the factory premises allows for the motorcycles to be thoroughly tested before they are dispatched for customers. The plant is also eco-friendly thanks to a reduction in waste, conservation of resources such as electricity, water and fuel, efficient building practices and efficient work spaces, equipment and utilities that use of natural lighting and air flow. A wooded area makes up 25% of the premises.
For info on Royal Enfield’s Canadian lineup, visit www.enfieldmotorcycles.ca.
— With notes from a press release from Royal Enfield