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Royal Enfield 650 Twins Delivery Time To Reduce Despite Strike

Company says labour unrest has not affected production, while other reports state production is being doubled.

Published
Car and Bike
2 min read
The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 (Left) and Continental GT 650. 
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Royal Enfield has a problem of plenty on its hands. Plenty of demand for its bikes that is. The company launched its 650 cc Interceptor and Continental GT models in December in India, and in September in the US. The bikes are also on sale in Australia and Europe.

Priced pretty aggressively between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 2.75 lakh ex-showroom, these mid-capacity bikes have been seeing healthy demand, but the company hasn’t been able to push out deliveries fast enough. So much so, waiting periods first went up to 90 days and as of a couple of weeks ago, it had even touched nearly six months at some dealerships.

The issue is not with production capacity, but with its labour problems. A section of its workforce at its Oragadam plant near Chennai went on strike and that had hit production. It’s still too early to say by how much.

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Dispatch numbers for November and December 2018 point to 325 units and 629 units being sent to dealers in India in these two months, respectively. These are mainly test-ride units for dealers and initial deliveries for customers.

A query to the company about how its production has been affected resulted in a spokesperson sending us this statement.

At Royal Enfield, we are deeply committed to maintaining respectful relationships with all our employees and workforce. We have been working closely with our workforce and have undertaken various constructive and confidence building initiatives. It is unfortunate that a certain section of our workforce has resorted to an illegal strike at our Oragadam plant in Chennai, despite the company’s best efforts and positive intentions. We are focused on resolving all issues in an amicable manner while keeping the best interests of the organisation and our workforce in mind. 
Royal Enfield Spokesperson

The company also said that delivery schedules are unaffected by the strike and continue to progress as planned.

Currently, a majority of the workforce continues to report for work at the Oragadam plant. Our other manufacturing facilities, including our plants at Vallam Vadagal and Tiruvottiyur, continue to remain fully operational. Our current delivery timelines remain unaffected – for the 650 Twin motorcycles, as well as other motorcycles in our portfolio. Dispatches in India and internationally continue to progress as planned. 
Royal Enfield Spokesperson

Some other reports quoting Siddharth Lal, MD & CEO, Eicher also state that the company is planning on increasing its production of the Royal Enfield 650 twins to meet demand. From the current production of about 2,500 bikes a month, it is being bumped up to 4,500-5,000 motorcycles apparently. This will result in shorter waiting periods.

The largest-selling motorcycle in Royal Enfield’s portfolio continues to be the Classic 350. It clocked sales dispatches of 34,325 bikes in December. Overall, Royal Enfield sold close to 8.38 lakh motorcycles in 2018.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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