Royal Enfield is taking on the Japanese manufacturers by opening a flagship store in Tokyo. The store is the first for the Indian manufacturer. Located in Suginami-Tokyo, the new showroom will carry a lineup of five Royal Enfield motorcycles. It will also boast Royal Enfield parts, service, branded accessories, and apparel.
Japan is one of the leading motorcycle markets in the Asia-pacific region. Royal Enfield’s strategic announcement is a step towards realizing its plan to lead and expand in the global mid-size motorcycle segment.
CEO Vinod Dasari’s thoughts
Royal Enfield’s CEO, Vinod Dasari and Vimal Sumbly, APAC Business head, opened the store digitally. During the opening, Dasari said:
“In a post-performance era where riders are looking for machines that are easy to own and maintain, Royal Enfield offers evocative and unintimidating modern-classic motorcycles, with timeless appeal. We use traditional craftsmanship and modern technology as a means to create motorcycles, which stand for reviving the pleasures of motorcycling at its purest.
At the heart of everything we do, lies the fundamental experience of life that is authentic and real, and with that ideology we have not just pioneered and led, but also expanded the mid-size segment in India, representing the biggest motorcycle market in the world.
We see a clear opportunity to be able to do the same in Japan as well, with a huge commuter base seeking out real adventures and experiences, looking to upgrade to a motorcycle that enables them to kick-start the active lifelong pursuit of exploration, and at the same time is accessible and practical enough for daily riding conditions. Japan has an evolved motorcycling ecosystem and a matured riding culture. Not just our motorcycles, but our complete range of purpose-built apparel & accessories will also cater to the riding enthusiasts in the country.”
Vimal Sumbly, APAC Business Head
Adding to Dasari’s thoughts, Sumbly said:
“Royal Enfield has become a very important player in the global mid-size motorcycle market by re-inventing this space with motorcycles that are evocative, engaging and great fun to ride. We are delighted to be formally entering Japan, which happens to be one of the key motorcycling destinations for avid motorcyclists around the world. Together with our Distributor, PCI Co. Ltd., we are going to build a bigger, more exciting motorcycle community in Japan.”
In India, Royal Enfield has a cult-like following in the small to mid-size motorcycle segment (250cc – 750cc). The brand has been around for a long time with a legacy that stretches about 120 years.
In a press release, Royal Enfield says that Japan is a fresh start for the company.
“This is a fresh start for Royal Enfield in what is perhaps the most iconic automobile market in the Asia Pacific region. This strategic announcement is in line with Royal Enfield’s focused international thrust of leading and expanding the global mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc).”
In entering the Japanese market, Royal Enfield will offer five of its popular single and twin cylinder models. The models are the “iconic” standard street model, the Bullet 500; the retro street model, the Classic 500; the versatile and capable adventure tourer, the 411 cc Himalayan, the quintessential modern-classic roadster, the INT 650, and the authentic cafe racer, the Continental GT 650.
Royal Enfield says that its brand philosophy is “Pure Motorcycling” in every aspect of the ownership experience. With Royal Enfield’s first showroom in Tokyo, Japan, the brand intends to create a robust ecosystem comprised of a highly differentiated retail experience, aftermarket capabilities, rides and community events, and other adjacencies that bring to life the heritage and world of Royal Enfield.”
Royal Enfield is working with PCI Co. Ltd. to distribute their bikes in Japan. The companies have ambitious business growth and expansion plans. To meet their new customer’s expectations, they say that they will ensure the best customer service and experience.
Big sales gamble?
It will be interesting to see how well Royal Enfield motorcycles sell in a country known for its “Big 4” motorcycle brands. The Japanese “Big 4” have a reputation for high quality. So Royal Enfield will have to meet or exceed Japanese buyers’ quality and pricing expectations to succeed.
The opening of a Japanese store is in line with Royal Enfield’s stated intention of expanding globally. And, the brand is making significant headway in the UK and North America. While the total quantities of exported machines pale compared to its own Indian sales, Royal Enfield is making gains in countries where it previously had little to no brand awareness.
What do you think about Royal Enfield’s move into Japan? Will they gain a successful foothold into the Japanese market? Or will they find making sales more difficult than they had planned? Let us know what you think in the comments below.