Just like other two-wheeler manufacturers, Royal Enfield has also been witnessing huge drop in sales. Even bestselling motorcycles such as Royal Enfield Classic 350 have lost significant sales in recent months.
To counter slackening sales, Royal Enfield seems to have come up with a unique strategy of launching affordable variants of existing products. The typical solution is to offer discounts and benefits, but Royal Enfield is taking a new approach to arrest falling sales.
Royal Enfield’s strategy appears to be working, as August data shows increased sales for Bullet 350. Royal Enfield had launched affordable X variants of Bullet 350 in August, which could have helped boost sales. Bullet 350 sold 11,824 units in August 2019, which translates into MoM growth of 36.22%. Bullet 350 sales in July 2019 were at 8,680 units.
Launched in August at Rs 1.12 lakh, Bullet 350X is now the most affordable Royal Enfield motorcycle in India. Changes that have made 350X affordable include drum brakes at the rear and single-channel ABS. Engine configuration remains the same as standard Bullet 350. Some cosmetic changes have also been introduced in Bullet 350X.
Classic 350 sales have declined heavily. In Aug 2019, sales of Classic 350 declined to 23,433 units from 44,610 units in Aug 2018 – down by 47%. Just like X variants of Bullet 350 seem to have boosted sales, something similar could be achieved with recently launched Classic 350 S. Earlier this month Royal Enfield launched the cheaper variant of Classic 350, called the 350 S.
The affordable variant of Classic 350 has been launched at Rs 1.45 lakh, making it Rs 10k cheaper than the standard variant. Here also, cost cutting measures include replacing dual-channel ABS with single-channel ABS and rear disc brakes with drum brakes.
Some cosmetic changes have also been introduced to achieve a level of differentiation between the standard and affordable variant. Classic 350 S comes with the same 346 cc single-cylinder engine that generates 19.8 bhp of max power at 5,250 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Engine is mated to a 5-speed transmission.
We will know in coming months if the strategy to launch affordable variants is a hit with customers. Initial data of Bullet 350 and Electra 350 looks promising, and if Classic 350 sales also get a boost, it would indicate that the strategy works. It might inspire other motorcycle manufacturers to follow the same approach instead of using the conventional route of discounts and benefits.