Royal Enfield in UK return

Royal Enfield Bullet

Royal Enfield is set to open a British factory, almost 50 years after it last built models in the UK.

Royal Enfield is expanding its production model to meet growing demand across the globe for its bikes, including the famous Bullet.

According to the firm, five billion rupees (£51.4m) will be spent on opening two new factories in Leicestershire and Chennai.

The new UK factory will be completed by the end of 2015 while the Indian equivalent will be completed next year.

Royal Enfield growth

While the name may have slipped quietly into the shadows in the UK, the same cannot be said of India where the brand dominates the native motorcycle market.

Models like the Bullet are some of the most common sights on Indian highways and its dominance links back to an initial order by the Indian government of 800 350cc Bullets to help control its borders in 1955.

Since then, Royal Enfield has gone from strength to strength in the country culminating in more than 300,000 unit sales in 2014.

That has inspired the manufacturer to ramp up its production and branch out in the form of two additional factories.

And Royal Enfield expects the move to increase its manufacturing to 450,000 units in 2015, with the number presumably expanding again when the new Chennai factory is fully functional in 2016.

Royal resurgence

The brand has gone through something of a resurgence in popular culture, as well as sales, with recent endorsements from none other than American President Barack Obama and, the slightly less illustrious, Guy Martin.

Martin rode a Royal Enfield across India over two weeks and even managed to win an off-road race on his machine.

Guy Martin in India with his Royal Enfield