Eicher Motors, the company that manufactures Royal Enfield motorcycles, said on Saturday that overall sales of the two-wheeler rose 17 percent in March 2017 to 60,113 units. Exports increased 24 percent while the domestic business grew at about 17 percent.
In a statement, the company said it sold 58,549 units in India last month in comparison to 50,059 motorcycles sold last March.
Overall, Eicher Motors sold 6.66 lakh Royal Enfield motorcycles in 2016-17, up 31 percent from 5.08 lakh units sold in 2015-16.
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The recent Supreme Court order banning sale of any BS III vehicle from April this year also helped in boosting sales. "Owing to our strong order book, we have cleared all BS III inventory in due time. Our customers will be receiving BS IV compliant motorcycles from April 01, 2017," Rudratej Singh, president, Royal Enfield, said in a statement.
Other two-wheeler makers, including Bajaj Auto, Hero Motocorp, TVS Motor, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), Suzuki Motors India Ltd. and Yamaha, are yet to report their sales numbers.
Hero Motocorp said it had sold almost all the BS III two-wheelers after the Supreme Court order. "With a proactive preparedness towards the launch of BS IV‐compliant vehicles, Hero MotoCorp liquidated large BS III inventory, leading upto March 29th. In the past two days, we have taken tactical steps to assist our dealers and incentivise the customers with an objective to liquidate the remaining BS III stocks," Pawan Munjal, CMD and chief executive officer of Hero Motocorp, said in a regulatory filing to the BSE.
"By the end of today, March 31, we would have sold almost all of our BS III inventory," he added.
Most of the two-wheeler makers offered huge discounts to buyers to liquidate their BS III vehicle stocks to comply with the Supreme Court order.
A PTI report said that out of 8 lakh vehicles affected by the apex court's order, about 6.71 lakh were two-wheelers.
A silver lining for the companies is in the form of exports. "If there are any unsold inventory left, we have the possibility to export as we are a big exporter to around 70 countries across the world," the news agency quoted Bajaj Auto president (Business Development & Assurance) S Ravikumar, as saying.