Rumour: Polaris-Royal Enfield tie-up on the cards?


United States based Polaris Industries has a finger in many pies. From snowmobiles to ATVs, from watercraft to cruiser motorcycles, Polaris' interest spans across various automotive segments. Royal Enfield is a flagship motorcycle maker of the Eicher group, a specialist retro motorcycle maker whose focus is intense and narrow, in the middle weight motorcycle segment with two engine lines, 350cc and 500cc. Last year, Eicher and Polaris signed an accord to develop a four wheeler, perhaps a quadricycle or a small car, to target the personal mobility space. A Financial Express report carried by The Indian Express states that Polaris and Eicher could be looking at a larger framework of understanding and collaboration (that also involves Royal Enfield). 

While Royal Enfield, by Eicher CEO Mr Siddhartha Lal's own admission, will operate in the sub 800cc middle weight motorcycle category in markets across the globe, the motorcycle maker is yet to launch any product in the multiple cylinder category. It is here that Polaris could jump in to fill the void by providing Royal Enfield technology to build V-Twin motorcycles. For the record, Polaris owns two cruiser motorcycle brands, Indian and Victory, both centered in the United States. Polaris has plans of selling its Victory line of motorcycle in India and the tie-up with Royal Enfield has an additional dimension too. Polaris could use Royal Enfield's now idle Jaipur manufacturing facility at Rajasthan, to assemble the Victory line of cruisers. For a brief period of time, Royal Enfield built motorcycles at its Jaipur factory, which has since been left to idle.

With CBU imports slapped with ever increasing import duties, CKD assembly would mean that Polaris will be able to compete against Harley Davidson's line of cruiser motorcycles. For now though, both companies haven't made an official statement about CKD assembly of Victory cruiser motorcycles in India. Coming back to the possible tie-up between Polaris and Royal Enfield, a new high capacity motorcycle, say over 800cc to compete with the Harley Davidsons of this world could eventually spawn from this alliance, protecting both Polaris and Royal Enfield's respective turfs from the American cruiser giant. We've seen such alliances materialize between Bajaj Auto-KTM and TVS Motors-BMW Motorrad. 

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