With sales up by 29% last year, Triumph have decided they need to build some more bikes. And they’re going to do it in their Hinckley factory. Triumph are bringing production back to Britain.
Since Triumph shipped the production of their Speed Triple and Tiger 1200 models over to Thailand, their Hinkley factory has only been churning out about 4,500 bikes a year. Their intention was to use their UK base and HQ to focus on R&D, rather than production. But now, after some impressive sales figures (they sold 81,500 bikes in 2021), production needs to ramp up.
The increase in sales, according to Triumph, is down to a number of things. The success of the Trident 660 and Tiger 900 ranges have helped, as well as their launch in China and other emerging markets like the Philippines and South Korea.
But it’s probably the rising demand in Europe that’s necessitated a UK based production facility for more models. They’ll still be producing bikes over in Thailand, for markets in the Far East, but now they will be producing more bikes in the UK for local European markets.
Ramp it up
According to Chief Commercial Officer Paul Stroud, there has already been some major improvements in the Hinckley factory which has reduced build times by 20%. He also said that the aim is to expand production progressively, starting at 15,000 units a year, but getting up to, and beyond, 20,000 before too long.
There has been a sub-culture of people that scoff when you refer to Triumph as a ‘British motorcycle manufacturer’, clearly upset about the fact that for some years now, a lot of their actual manufacturing has been done over-seas. I’m not going to start an argument with anyone about whether that’s a valid opinion or not, but I’m hopeful that Triumph bringing a healthy chunk of their production back to Britain (albeit a long way from all of it), it will appease a few of those that want British manufacturing done on British soil.
It’s great to see a British brand doing well, and it’s even better to see them increasing their operations on home soil. But I don’t think we’re about to see a return of the heyday of British manufacturing. Certainly not when it comes to motorcycles. I’d loved to be proved wrong though…