Triumph owner John Bloor becomes billionaire

Bloor's fortune estimated at £1.025 billion

THE owner of Triumph Motorcycles has become a billionaire after his wealth increased by a third over the last year.

John Bloor, who bought the British firm from liquidation in 1983 for £150,000, is now estimated to be worth £1.025 billion by the Sunday Times Rich List.

Triumph’s progress was not particularly smooth following the introduction of Bloor’s initial six-model range in 1991. Although the naked Trident 900 triple and Trophy 1200 sports tourer were well received, other models were less competitive.

The British firm’s tarnished reputation took time to repair, and export markets in particular proved hard to crack. But Bloor kept investing, notably when abandoning the modular concept in 1997 with the stylish and successful Daytona and Speed Triple.

After realising that the key to Triumph’s success was distinctive triples and twins, not Japanese-style fours, the company has been rewarded with continued growth.

The company sold more than 52,000 bikes last year after opening production sites in India and Brazil. The British firm was also the top seller of bikes over 500cc in the UK, taking an 18.7% share of the market, a rise of 8% compared to 2013.

The 71-year-old also owns a housebuilding business valued at £975 million, up from £725 million only one year ago.

Ian Coxon, editor of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: ‘Triumph is a strong brand and the building arm is a sound operation.

‘Although he is a quiet person and doesn't do interviews, it appears Mr Bloor has a big fan base. Some people think he should be knighted for rescuing Triumph.’

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