One year before Triumph built its first motorcycle – and two years before Harley-Davidson rolled out its first – Royal Enfield bicycle company mounted a Minerva engine on one of its bicycle frames and began its long history in the motorcycle industry.
It took a break from motorcycle production from 1904 to 1911, but other than that, production in the U.K. went on until 1970 and during that time operations were set up in India as well as Enfield India, Ltd., which was changed to Royal Enfield Motors, Ltd. in June, 1994.
Enfield had been manufacturing motorcycles in India since being incorporated there in 1955 when the Redditch Company partnered with Madras Motors in India to form Enfield India, Ltd.
In the beginning, the company built only the 350cc single-cylinder Bullet; 800 of which were for the government in India. However, product development at the Chennai manufacturing facility has continued to gain momentum in updating the product.
The company became a part of the Eicher Group in 1994. Royal Enfield exports bikes to more than 25 countries including the US, Japan, UK and several European countries. Royal Enfield says it is the only motorcycle company to be certified with the stringent ISO 9001 quality standards and ISO 14001 environmental systems.
Recently Royal Enfield CEO Siddhartha Lal announced that the company will expand with two new production facilities and technology centers for research and development. Estimated investment is approximately $80 million USD. Plans call for construction of the facilities to be located near the existing facilities at Chennai in India and the English county of Leicestershire.
The expansion is fueled by Royal Enfield’s strong sales in recent years with the company posting record sales of more $482 million on about 300,000 units in 2014. The company is aiming for sales of 450,000 units in 2015.
Learn more, visit Royal Enfield.