Author Topic: Reports of its death (500 UCE) have been greatly exaggerated  (Read 351 times)

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axman88

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Remember those days of innocence, back in February of 2020, before the pandemic was more than a nagging worry?

At that time, I was more worried about the death of RE's biggest single, the 500 UCE.  RE had just announced that the model's production would end with the production of the "Classic 500, Tribute Black", in classic glossy black paint, with gold tank striping hand painted by those brothers of the steady hand, the Kumar brothers.  It was anticipated to be a collectors item, and orders were only to be taken online, between 2 and 5 pm on February the 10th of that year.  Here's a report announcing the big event:  https://www.newsbytesapp.com/news/auto/royal-enfield-classic-500-tribute-specifications-price-launch/story

Now, a year and four months later, I see similar news reports, announcing that "the LAST 240 units of Classic 500 Tribute Black are to be shipped to Australia and New Zealand.  https://www.zigwheels.com/news-features/news/royal-enfield-classic-500-tribute-black-launched-in-australia-and-new-zealand/42417/    These, also hand painted by the brothers Kumar, are to be "the last of the last", but presumably were NOT preordered online between 2 and 5 pm on 2/10/2020.  At the equivalent of about $7600, they are priced considerably higher than Classic 500s were selling for, back in the day when they were the premium export RE motorcycle, and more than a lot of folks have paid for their RE 650 twins.

So, what is going on?  Rushlane continues to report ongoing sales of RE 500 UCE machines in the export market:
      194 units in January of 2021     https://www.rushlane.com/royal-enfield-sales-jan-2021-exports-12394424.html
      275 in February  2021      https://www.rushlane.com/royal-enfield-sales-exports-feb-2021-breakup-12397080.html
      692 in March  2021          https://www.rushlane.com/royal-enfield-sales-exports-breakup-mar-2021-12400472.html

March is the last month I've found export sales breakdowns for.   That's 1,161 units, in the first 3 months of 2021?   That's pretty good for a dead man!

Perhaps the actual situation is just as was stated by the down-under RE distributor, back in 2/2020, when it was reported, "that the Euro IV specification 500cc single cylinder motorcycle range will continue to remain available in all international markets".
https://advrider.com/reports-of-royal-enfield-500-singles-death-have-been-greatly-exaggerated/

Or as my employer classifies our products, DISCONTINUED*

                                    * Unless somebody orders it.



axman88

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A new RE Sales Break up, as they call them, was published by Rushlane yesterday.  https://www.rushlane.com/royal-enfield-sales-exports-breakup-may-2021-12404492.html

From this report, we can see quantities of 500 UCE machines sold in the last two months are:
       198 units sold in April 2021
       438         in May 2021      ( this is more than 3 times the quantity sold in May of 2020 )

Bringing the total for the first 5 months of 2021 to 1,797.   That's equivalent to only 3 days of 350 UCE production, but still, a lot of bikes for a model that is said to have been discontinued a year and a half ago.

I wonder what colors and options are being offered, what MSRP is these days, and how dealers generate interest, since the model doesn't seem to showing up on any RE corporate web sites?


Richard230

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A new RE Sales Break up, as they call them, was published by Rushlane yesterday.  https://www.rushlane.com/royal-enfield-sales-exports-breakup-may-2021-12404492.html

From this report, we can see quantities of 500 UCE machines sold in the last two months are:
       198 units sold in April 2021
       438         in May 2021      ( this is more than 3 times the quantity sold in May of 2020 )

Bringing the total for the first 5 months of 2021 to 1,797.   That's equivalent to only 3 days of 350 UCE production, but still, a lot of bikes for a model that is said to have been discontinued a year and a half ago.

I wonder what colors and options are being offered, what MSRP is these days, and how dealers generate interest, since the model doesn't seem to showing up on any RE corporate web sites?

Did they find some more 500 engine parts laying around the factory that they wanted to get rid of? Or perhaps RE restarted the 500 assembly line to be shipped overseas when sales of the 350s dropped in India during the pandemic scare.  ???
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1


axman88

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Did they find some more 500 engine parts laying around the factory that they wanted to get rid of? Or perhaps RE restarted the 500 assembly line to be shipped overseas when sales of the 350s dropped in India during the pandemic scare.  ???
According to that Advrider article from Feb. 2020, where they quoted the distributor for Australia and New Zealand, and reading between the lines a little, it appears that RE never intended to withdraw the 500s from those markets that weren't going to require BS 6, ( or Euro 5).  It seems like all the death announcements were largely coming from the India press early on, and then these were echoed by other media world wide.

But now, with this announcement of 240 Tribute Black Classic 500s, being shipped down under, the Australian press is making the same claims.  This smells to me like the same sort of marketing that plasters "Limited Offer" on ads and "Going out of Business" signs on stores.  1700 engines seems quite a lot to cobble together from parts found in a storage room, and these are only the 2021 sales from January through May.  I didn't tally the numbers from March through December 2020, but those were also considerable.

I was able to find ads offering brand new Classic 500s for sale in the USA, with alleged model year as late as 2020, and in various colors, but I'm not seeing them on the RENA main site:
     https://www.tytlerscycle.com/Motorcycles-Royal-Enfield-Classic-500-ABS-2020-De-Pere-WI-afddd6ee-5d09-46ce-b323-aaf80050ace9
     https://www.triumphofseattle.com/default.asp?d=D&fr=xPreOwnedInventory&id=10627841&p=1&page=xPreOwnedInventoryDetail&s=Year&t=preowned&utm_source=motohunt.com&vt=motorcycle+%2F+scooter
     https://spiritmotorcycles.com/Motorcycles-Royal-Enfield-Classic-500-Battle-Green-2020-San-Jose-CA-403855e8-55e2-487f-9ae0-aaf80052b2d1G

The UCE 500 does appear to be available for sale from this RE dealership in Melbourne, however:
     https://midlifecycles.com.au/royal-enfield/

I'm not sure what to make of it?


Richard230

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Reminds me of the last BMW airhead model of around 1983. It even said "last edition" on the side cover, as I recall. A couple of years later the airheads returned.  ;)
2011 Royal Enfield B5 500, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM Duke 390, 2002 Yamaha FZ1