Royal Enfield has announced that it will commence local assembly of motorcycles in Argentina. The motorcycle assembly plant will be set up in partnership with Grupo Simpa, Royal Enfield's local distributor in Argentina since 2018. The Argentina assembly plant will be the first time in Royal Enfield's modern history that motorcycles will be assembled and produced outside the company's manufacturing facilities in Chennai, India. Alberto Fernandes, President of Argentina graced the event for the local assembly announcement in the Latin American country.
Argentina is among the biggest mid-size motorcycle markets in Latin America, and Royal Enfield set up retail operations in Argentina in 2018 with its first store in Vicente Lopez, Buenos Aires. Since then, Royal Enfield has expanded its retail network in the market and now has 5 exclusive stores in Argentina. Overall, Royal Enfield has 31 exclusive stores and 40 other retail touchpoints across the Latin American countries. The local assembly unit in Argentina will be based at Grupo Simpa's facility located in Campana, Bueons Aires. To begin with, the plant will locally assemble three motorcycle models, the Royal Enfield Himalayan, the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650.
Speaking about the announcement, Vinod K Dasari, CEO, Royal Enfield, said, "Royal Enfield has been working steadily to grow and expand the middleweight motorcycling segment globally and also to increase our footprint in important global markets. Over the last couple of years, we have grown our international presence significantly and now have wide retail presence across 60 countries. With a strategic view to cater to growing demand and to gain significant market advantage, we have been pursuing our plans to set up local assembly units across specific markets in the Asia Pacific region and across South America. In the first of these, we are very happy to announce the first CKD assembly plant in Argentina."
Commenting specifically about the focus on Argentina as a market, Vinod K Dasari also said, "Argentina and other South American countries have been an important market for Royal Enfield. Ever since we commenced sales since 2018 in Argentina, we have received a resounding response to our motorcycles from consumers. The local terrain and topography create the perfect canvas for riding our motorcycles, especially the Himalayan. The initial success of the 650 Twin motorcycles has also been very encouraging. We are deeply committed to focusing on becoming a part of the fabric of the country's rich motorcycling culture. Our decision to start assembling our motorcycles in Argentina is testament to our long term commitment and increasing confidence in the market."
Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are among the three most important markets for Royal Enfield in Latin America. Beyond India (the biggest market for the brand with over 900 dealerships), Royal Enfield motorcycles reach consumers and enthusiasts in more than 60 countries worldwide, through 660 dealerships and 82 exclusive brand stores in nodal cities such as Milwaukee, London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Medellin, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City.
Exports form a miniscule percentage of Royal Enfield's total sales, with more than 90 per cent of sales coming from the domestic market. With the 650 Twins, and newer models, Royal Enfield intends to establish itself as a global leader in the mid-size motorcycle market. With the first assembly plant outside India, Royal Enfield will hope to increase its overall sales, at least in the Latin American market for now. More such overseas assembly plants are expected soon, possibly with one in South East Asia.