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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Even in Europe, Royal Enfields are rare

Information about Royal Enfield motorcycles too good to miss is contained in the "Comments" on my item about the C5 "Chrome" bike. "Oriste" provided production figures from Europe, disputing my statement that the Royal Enfield is a much more mainstream motorcycle outside the United States.

Here's what Oriste found;

"I cannot speak for the rest of the world but I have some figures for the European countries. The total size of the motorbike fleet is estimated at close to 15 million. The top countries in motorbike usage are Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, France, Greece, Netherlands, Belgium, in descending order. The first six countries represent more than 80 per cent of the total European fleet.

"I can assure you that in the three European countries that I'm most familiar with (Greece, Netherlands, Belgium), Royal Enfield is all BUT a mainstream motorcycle. I wager that the same situation is prevalent in the top five countries, with the possible exception of the UK (though I have no figures to substantiate that) because of historic ties with the brand and a strong dealer and spare parts network.

"In Greece 246 RE's were registered in the period 2000-2009, with a total current fleet of 741,000. The Netherlands registered 57 RE's in that same period, current RE fleet at 496, against a total of 650,000 bikes. For Belgium I only have the accumulated total of RE's currently on the road, which is 163, out of a total of 362,000.

"I found some statistics for Germany, the second biggest market in Europe for motorbikes: (in German). The relevant pages are 7 and 8 (section 3). They show figures of the total fleet per brand as per Jan. 1, 2009. Royal Enfields number 2,667 out of a total of 3,658,590 registered motorbikes on the road.

"It would be interesting to compare those figures with the U.S."

I replied that I've only tried to find Royal Enfield registrations for one of the 50 states, Florida, and was frustrated that registrations here can appear under a sloppy variety of fanciful abbreviations, including "RYL ENF."

Oriste responded:

"Ha ha, I can understand that frustration. I've been looking for statistics in Europe for months. Apart from the three countries that I know best, I've been unlucky so far. I found Germany by accident last night, looking for something else.

"The reason I brought these figures up though was to question the assumption that RE would be more mainstream in other parts of the world than in the U.S. I don't think that is the case for Europe."

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