Industry

What recession? Triumph rakes it in

Sales up, profits up – it's all good news in Hinckley

OTHER bike firms might be buckling under the pressure or focussing on more profitable markets during the financial crisis but Triumph is proving that you can still sell big bikes to buyers in developed countries even when money's tight.

While the global market for 500cc-plus bikes is down 50 percent on its pre-recession levels, Triumph's sales from June 2010 to June 2011 have actually increased 7 percent – and that's after the firm had already posted an increase the previous year. More than 48,000 bikes rolled off the Triumph production lines in Hinckley (and, ahem, Thailand) and profits rose from £15.1 million to £22.3 million. They say what goes around comes around, and after spending a fortune on Triumph during the early part of his 20-year ownership of the brand, John Bloor is finally starting to recoup some serious cash.

By managing to thrive in the toughest financial climate the motorcycle industry has ever endured, Triumph's position is getting ever stronger. During a period when many of its rivals are cutting back on their research budgets, Triumph claims to be increasing its R&D spend, which in turn means it has – and will have in the foreseeable future – new models when rival firms are making do with carry-over machines. As and when the economy starts to bounce back, that means the British firm should be in an enviable position.

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