Chennai-based bike maker Royal Enfield has announced a new assembly plant in Thailand, its first outside India. The new plant marks the formation of the company's first wholly-owned subsidiary in the Asia Pacific region, and will cater to the strong demand for its motorcycles. The new assembly plant will commence operations by June 2019. Royal Enfield had announced its expansion into Thailand with a new plant in April last year, while also announcing plans of establishing presence in Indonesia.
Announcing the company's plans for Thailand, Royal Enfield - CEO, Siddhartha Lal said, "Ever since we commenced sales in Thailand three years ago, we have been absolutely delighted by the love we've received from riders here. Our customers in Thailand have discovered that our modern classics are brilliant for long rides on the highway while also being perfect to commute on in heavy traffic in the city. We are committed to focusing our energies on becoming part of the fabric of this country's rich motorcycling culture, and our decision to start assembling our motorcycles in Thailand is a sign of Royal Enfield's long-term commitment and growing confidence in the market.''
Talking about Royal Enfield Thailand's business plans, Royal Enfield - Head Business, APAC Region, Vimal Sumbly said, "Royal Enfield started with one store in Bangkok, which has been instrumental in helping us understand this market. We have an aggressive plan to expand our reach to about 15 standalone dealers and 25 authorized service centres by March 2020. The expanded reach will offer customers better accessibility and convenience in Bangkok and the Greater Bangkok area, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai."
3 years already and a long way to go. We started our journey in Thailand in 2016, and in no time Royal Enfield has already made its mark here. Celebrating the night with our friends from media and industry in Bangkok.#royalenfield #authentic #iconic #pure #motorcycling pic.twitter.com/f6Jf7szYCL— Vimal Sumbly (@Vimalsumbly) March 21, 2019
Royal Enfield entered the Thai motorcycle market three years ago with its complete range of offerings, and also recently introduced the Interceptor 650 and the Continental GT 650 in the country. In fact, Thailand was the first market to get the new 650 Twins in the South East Asian region. The bikes have garnered over 700 bookings in Thailand till date, according to the manufacturer, while over 100 motorcycles have been delivered.
Speaking on the strong reception for the 650 Twins, Lal said, "Thailand has become Royal Enfield's third home after its origins in UK and success in India. The initial success of the 650 Twins in Thailand has proven that Royal Enfield is well poised to fill the gap in the mid-size segment. With a massive segment of commuters ready to upgrade and a robust long-distance, leisure riding culture in the country, Thailand offers huge headroom for growth for Royal Enfield. We believe that localising our operations in Thailand will allow us to serve our customers at a closer and more intimate level."
Royal Enfield has not announced the production capacity at the new Thailand facility, employee strength or the investment involved in the project. We do expect the company to share the details once the plant becomes operational. That said, the new assembly plant is part of the ₹ 800 crore fresh investment that was earmarked for expansion at the Vallam Vadagal facility, in addition to increasing the company's global footprint.