Royal Enfield global sales slump despite huge European gains

Royal Enfield's 2019 global sales drop 18% despite large growths in almost every motorcycle market outside its Indian heartland

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

Royal Enfield has posted a sizeable 18% slide in global sales of its models despite a huge increase in European markets, most notably the United Kingdom.

Demonstrating the sheer importance of the vast Indian market for a local brand such as Royal Enfield, the company posted a substantial overall drop in line with a similar slump back home, bringing an end to six years of record growth.

Indeed, Royal Enfield had been one of the big beneficiaries of a boom in motorcycle sales in India over the last decade but was hit by a nationwide slowdown that affected all manufacturers.

As such, while Royal Enfield saw large gains in Europe, other Asian markets and the United States in 2019, since 97% of its sales come from India, its 19.2% slide is reflected in its 18% global drop.

Ignoring India for a moment though, there is plenty for Royal Enfield to be encouraged by heading into 2020. Though it is a relative bit-part player in most markets, there has been a steady increase in awareness and popularity for its good value, retro-themed models.

This is no more apparent than in the UK where the brand cracked the top ten brands several times in 2019 – occasionally ahead of Harley-Davidson, Ducati and Suzuki - while the Interceptor has become something of a halo model for the company. Coupled with the Himalayan adventure bike, Royal Enfield’s UK sales leapt a huge +221% year-on-year.

Together with strong performances in Germany (+73%), France (+82%) and Italy (+24%), European sales rose by +82% overall.

In ASEAN markets there was also a sharp gain of +22%, while North America saw a +16.7% rise.