Royal Enfield, a part of the Eicher Group, launched its Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 and the all-new Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 on Thursday.

The Thunderbird 500 is priced at Rs. 1,82,571 and the Thunderbird 350 is priced at Rs. 1,43,346 (ex-showroom Mumbai).

“With the launch of the Thunderbird 500 with its unique 360-degree design language and its higher powered engine, we have again upped the ante in leisure motorcycling. We have been selling around 1,000 units per month of the Thunderbird 350 and we expect this number to rise significantly with these two products,” said Siddhartha Lal, MD & CEO, Eicher Motors, while speaking to The Hindu.

“It is no doubt a niche segment. When we launched Thunderbird 350 in 2002, we recognized a definite potential in the Indian market for cruisers and people are willing to upgrade. Not only is it good for long distance travel, but also daily commutes,” said Mr. Lal.

The Chennai plant would make engines for products assembled at the new plant coming up at Oragadam, near Chennai, said Mr. Lal. It would come up by March 2013.

“The new plant would initially only make Thunderbird bikes and we would have a combined capacity of 150,000 units per annum. However, by 2014-15, this capacity will increase significantly,” he said. The company is investing Rs. 150 crore in the new plant.

Royal Enfield makes Bullet 350, Bullet Electra, Classic 350, Classic 500, Classic Chrome, Thunderbird 350 and Desert Storm bikes and exports to 40 countries. “Exports account for less than 10 per cent of sales. We would export the new Thunderbirds only after meeting domestic demand.”

Mr. Lal said there was no industry slowdown impact. “We have a strong order book and some products like `Classic’ have a 6-8 month waiting period.’’

Correction

This story was corrected on October 12, 2012 for typo errors

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