The millionth Triumph motorcycle since the brand’s relaunch in 1990 has rolled off production lines.
The unique, custom painted Tiger 900 Rally Pro was officially unveiled at the motorcycle manufacturer’s world headquarters in Hinckley – with a livery reminiscent of the very first Triumph in 1902.
It will be on display at the Triumph booth at this year’s NEC Motorcycle Live show and then in the Triumph factory visitor experience at the Leicestershire HQ.
The historic production figure comes on the 120th anniversary of the famous British manufacturer, and at the same time as the company is ramping up production in the UK a few years after shifting the lion’s share of manufacturing to Thailand.
It is also due to the fact that the company recorded a 30% increase in sales this calendar year.
The very first production Triumph motorcycle was built in Coventry by Triumph Cycle Co and went on sale in April 1902.
The single motor, attached to a bicycle frame, would be the first of what would soon become a legendary name around the world and a symbol of British design and engineering.
With much of the UK’s car and bicycle manufacturing industry, Triumph hit rock bottom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when based in Meriden, only to be taken over by John Bloor, the old plaster that created Bloor Homes. .
Businessman Measham bought the Triumph brand and manufacturing rights from the official receiver for £ 150,000 and initially developed his new bikes in secret.
He relaunched Triumph in September 1990, with six bikes built by Hinckley at the Cologne show in Germany. The first new model was the Trophy 1200, followed by the Daytona 1000 then the Trophy 900, Daytona 750 and Trident 900 and 750.
Production started with only a handful of bikes a day, but by 1993 10,000 bikes had been built, a paint shop was added to the Hinckley production line, and the range was refined.
Today the company is run by his son Nick and manufactures 75,000 bikes a year with a turnover of £ 650 million.
Globally, it employs 3,000 people and manufactures 27 models, with 680 dealers in 57 countries.
Triumph operates out of five locations, all managed and operated from the global headquarters in Hinckley, Leicestershire, where each Triumph is designed, prototyped and tested by the in-house team.
General Manager Nick Bloor said everyone at Triumph was proud to have played a part in making such an important moment with the millionth motorcycle come true.
He said, “Over the past three decades, Triumph has maintained strong and significant investments in our people, partners, and in-house design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities, to increase the reach and reputation of this iconic British brand.
“This investment in local talent, both in the UK and around the world, coupled with the passion we share with our riders to deliver the complete and perfect bike, has seen the brand grow stronger, achieving the most successful in the 120-year history of the brand.
In addition, we are committed to taking the brand even higher, and with the upcoming launch of our all-new Tiger 1200, new MX and Enduro competition bikes, as well as our strategic partnership with Bajaj to create more bikes. small capacity, I am delighted to say that the future for Triumph and its fans around the world will be just as exciting and rich as the past 30 years have been.
COO Paul Stroud told BusinessLive the millionth bike was cause for celebration – after a tough Covid-hit in 2020, followed by their all-time global bestsellers.
He said: “We are doing better than the global market and we are doing very well with our new models.
“In the calendar year ending at the end of October, our sales increased by 30% compared to the same period last year.
“The market rebounded quickly from the first lockdowns in 2020 and stabilized at levels it was in 2019.
“I would say the global market was basically flat and in that context our sales increased by 30% – and we are about 27% more than in 2019.
“We have experienced constant growth across the world. Europe is up 21%, Asia is up 77%, our Americas region is up 20%, and our sales through third-party distributors are up 56%.
The Triumph brand was launched in China a few years ago and Mr Stroud said it was successful there, selling nearly 4,300 bikes there in the first 10 months of 2021. Global market share in China – which still only has a small market for larger bikes – is now almost 9 percent.
Mr Stroud said the company has not avoided supply chain issues affecting the global economy.
He said: “While things coming into America and arriving in Europe used to take an average of eight to nine weeks, it now looks more like 11 to 12 weeks, but we’re happy to say that we haven’t experienced any shortages of material which reduced our production capacity.
“As always, there are ongoing discussions with trading partners, but so far we have not experienced significant cost inflation.
“Yes, we do in terms of component suppliers and yes, there has been a strong inflation of costs in terms of distribution, but we have not passed that on to the customers. “
He said Hinckley had a team of nearly 700 performing head office functions, design engineering and testing, and they continue to build bikes there – and recruit for 30 to 40 positions.
He said they plan to build more than 5,000 bikes in the city this year, with plans to expand them as demand increases. Before moving main production overseas, between 7,000 and 13,000 bikes were made here.
Right now the Tiger 900 is being built here and the new Tiger 1200 will follow.
He said: ‘We have always intended to keep an element of production here and it fluctuates up and down – it has never been the case that we stop production here in the UK and it has. never was the intention of the company.
“We will keep this flexibility.
“We have never hidden the fact that the majority of our production takes place in Thailand, but we have always maintained a production capacity here in the UK and with the model changes that production capacity has decreased and now it increases to reflect the growing demand for certain models in Europe.