Chennai: Premium motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield, a part of Eicher Motors, is looking to expand its overseas presence on the back its recent launch the 'Thunderbird 500cc', a top official said on Monday.
"Yes. We are looking at (new) markets. We have to please our customers...," Royal Enfield Chief Executive Officer Venki Padmanabhan told reporters here.
Royal Enfield is one of the preferred brand in California, the US, which he said, has one of the most stringent emission norms.
Padmanabhan, after unveiling the Thunderbird 500cc here, said besides exporting to the United States, they ship to over 40 developing and developed countries.
"We sell few bikes in California. I would say, exports contribute about 4,000 units a year. We export to some of the developed markets like United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia," he said.
Royal Enfield currently exports 500cc motorcycle range manufactured from its decades old 10acre plant in Thiruvottiyur situated near here.
Expressing hope that the new plant coming up at Oragadam, near Chennai at an investment of Rs 150 crore would reduce the waiting period for some of its models, he said the company would have a combined capacity of 1.50 lakh units once it becomes operational.
At present, some of the products from Royal Enfield comes with a waiting period of over six to eight months, according to a company official.
Royal Enfield produces about 10,000 units a month from its Thiruvottiyur facility. It inked an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government for setting up the new plant, in which it was allotted 50 acre land at the SIPCOT Industrial Park at Oragadam. Royal Enfield announced investments of Rs 150 crore for the new plant.
The Oragadam facility is likely to begin production by first quarter of next financial year, Padmanabhan said, adding, they have combined capacity of about 150,000 units annually.

Stating that the company was growing at 50 per cent year-on-year over the last two years, Padmanabhan said this year, Royal Enfield expects to sell over one lakh units.
"In 2010 we sold about 50,000 units. In 2011, it grew to 75,000 units. This year we will cross a lakh of motorcycles," he said, adding, so far (till September 2012) they have sold about 80,000 units.
Royal Enfield Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Shaji Koshy said the company has increased the dealership network to 237 across the country over the last two years.
In Tamil Nadu, he said they have doubled them to 20 outlets, which is expected to reach 35 outlets in the next 12 months.
The new Thunderbird 500cc that was unveiled on Monday, comes with an on-road price in Chennai at Rs 1.78 lakh (on-road Chennai). The company on the occasion launched the upgraded Thunderbird 350cc which is now available at on-road price of Rs 1.40 lakh in Chennai.
Royal Enfield also launched several accessories, targeting bike enthusiasts, including a new leather jacket with safety features and also a new helmet, among others.


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