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Triumph motorcycle auction

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David George 108/08/2020 20:33:09
1302 forum posts
447 photos

Apex auction is on line selling tooling.

Is this the end of Triumph or is it still ok.


Edited By David George 1 on 08/08/2020 20:39:09

larry phelan 108/08/2020 20:44:24
804 forum posts
14 photos

Maybe they have gone the same way as the rest of them, down the chute ?

Dont recall seeing too many of their bikes around over the last twenty years.

Clive Foster08/08/2020 21:05:49
2317 forum posts
76 photos

Yep. Final stage of offshoring production to Thailand. Main market expansion is expected to be in Asia where UK exports face 30% tarriffs.

Apparently 9,000 sold in Uk, 15,000 in America, 33,000 in Europe and 6,000 in Asia.

Mostly built in Thailand anyway.

Standard bean counter comments about production in low cost countries. Far as I can see they have milked all the value out of appearing to be a British company.


larry phelan 108/08/2020 21:15:00
804 forum posts
14 photos

I see many English lads touring over here on bikes, but have never seen any of them on English machines.

Reason ?????frown

JA08/08/2020 22:03:12
961 forum posts
52 photos
Posted by larry phelan 1 on 08/08/2020 21:15:00:

I see many English lads touring over here on bikes, but have never seen any of them on English machines.

Reason ?????frown



Barrie Lever08/08/2020 22:08:51
688 forum posts
76 photos

Some of that gear is only going to go for scrap weight. !!

MadMike08/08/2020 23:10:11
208 forum posts
4 photos

Are you guys serious about never seeing a Hinckley Triumph? they have been making them in Hinckley for about 30 years and as a business they are a true British success story. However like most companies in the "motor trade" they have taken to building their machines in the far east. there are obvious cost benefits, and of course that is where they see future growth potential. It is simply another case of globalisation which afflicts/benefits nearly all manufacturing industries. For example look at where your American iphone is made......China. Your BMW motorcycle is often made in Thailand or China. Washing machines, clothes all electronic equipment all made in the far east. Indeed even hobby lathes and mills are from where? Oh yes China.

Oh yes I forgot to add apart from my Nortons, and a 1959 Meriden built Triumph, I also have a Hinckley built Triumph.


Edited By MadMike on 08/08/2020 23:12:00

Edited By MadMike on 08/08/2020 23:17:02

Mark Rand09/08/2020 00:11:53
918 forum posts
6 photos

I would say that virtually all of the lots will go at scrap prices. The machines appear to be slow three axis ones, which are well past their prime. most of the tools are pot luck left overs that couldn't be used on the replacement machines. Some of the tool holders, particularlyBT30 and 40 and unused ones will go for a reasonable price.

I was at the auction of the Meriden works, having been a member of the Meriden branch of the TOMCC after I bought my TSS. What was being sold there really was scrap. I was shocked at how the factory could have made anything on the machines that were left. I don't know if John Bloor or les Harris had pre-bought any of the machinery.

As it was, I spent most of the day wandering forlornly around the site, crying my eyes out.

Hopper09/08/2020 01:16:21
4768 forum posts
104 photos

Shiploads of modern Triumphs around here in Oz and in the USA when i was there. A modern day Brit bike success story. Mostly made in Thailand though. Only 1 or 2 models were still made in UK and that is being moved to Thailand. I think the company is in good shape with no signs of trouble . Harley D are a differnt story ad their demographic approaches 70 years old with inevitable results.

Bill Pudney09/08/2020 03:00:57
460 forum posts
16 photos

I'm guessing that the Enshu agent who clinched the deal to supply Hinkley with all those machines is now bobbing comfortably around in his yacht, somewhere in the Med, being attended to by a bevy of flunkies!!



Alan Charleston09/08/2020 07:13:03
90 forum posts
20 photos


For the last 5-10 years I have been puzzled as to why manufacturing jobs are being lost to low wage economies. With the advent of CNC machines, I would have thought that the cost of capital rather than the cost of labour would be the determining factor as to where articles are manufactured.

I could envisage a factory making lathes for example which employed CNC machinery for machining the components and automated systems for supplying raw materials and moving the finished components around, assembling them into the final products, packing and despatching them with no human workers in sight.

The cost of a product coming out of a factory like this would be dependent on the capital required to set it up rather than the cost of labour to run it.

I don't know about the UK, but the USA is known for its ability to raise capital for manufacturing enterprises, so why are (I nearly said jobs but with an automated factory there's not many of those anyway) the factories moving to Asia?

Any economists out there who can enlighten me?



JasonB09/08/2020 07:28:20
18628 forum posts
2048 photos
1 articles
Posted by Alan Charleston on 09/08/2020 07:13:03:

Any economists out there who can enlighten me?

See Clive Fosters opening line for starters

Mike Poole09/08/2020 07:46:20
2696 forum posts
64 photos

The 30% tariff on imports from the UK seems to be a major factor in the relocation.


Hopper09/08/2020 08:10:24
4768 forum posts
104 photos

Lax environmental laws are a factor too for anything that is chromed, painted or cast.

Then there are cheaper real estate and building costs, lower insurance including workers comp. And some pretty encouraging tax deals. Cheaper transport for both raw materials and finished product.

Low labor costs are just the cherry on top.

And everyone is waiting for the emerging middle class in China and India to get into full swing. It's a market that dwarfs even the US and they love status brand name goods from Gucci to Harley Davidson.

Edited By Hopper on 09/08/2020 08:13:12

Clive Hartland09/08/2020 08:26:07
2593 forum posts
40 photos

I still miss my T100 55 vintage. Only had it 6 months and was posted to Hong Kong. Left behind at my home and eventually did a trade with someone leaving HK who had a Norton Dominator, so staright swap. featherbed frame etc. Sold it to get married when my Fiance came out to HK. Never got another bike.

Gerard O'Toole09/08/2020 08:59:34
78 forum posts
7 photos

Thereof is no real talk of Triumph being in any trouble in the motorcycle press. But Covid 19 affected motorcycle sales in general.

They have always been associated with Thailand so perhaps it is more efficient to consolidate all manufacture in one place.

Triumph is now a well known brand so i don't think the customer will ask where it is made.

I see a good few Triumph around , Not as popular as some others .perhaps but they are a mainstream manufacturer.

John MC09/08/2020 09:09:58
305 forum posts
38 photos

Some interesting points from Hopper as to why production has moved to the far east. Wouldn't argue that production is cheaper over there but some of the reasons might be doubtful.

I worked for a motorcycle manufacturer in that part of the world in the 90's, early 00's. At that time they had, it seemed to me, a take or leave it attitude towards their customers. Then, slowly, it dawned on them that quality is a "thing". To there everlasting credit they eventually embraced this. The days of poor quality paint, chrome, castings and so on, and therefore reliability gradually ended. To achieve this new equipment was installed that met with all the regulations regarding H&S and the environment. Necessary to achieve good quality consistently. That manufacturer has gone from a low point in production of about 20k units/year in the early 1990's to 800K units now.

Back to Triumph, careful what you say, who knows where an innocent rumour will lead? (Just joking!). Those machines look quite old, wonder what sort of condition they are in?

Just before the lock down I visited my local dealer with a view to buying a new Triumph, that purchase didn't happen due to C-19, I've decided to wait until early next year to buy a Taiwanese built (I think) Triumph. Presently that dealer is selling every triumph he can get his hands on.

Bought a old Norton instead.....


Mike Poole09/08/2020 09:22:25
2696 forum posts
64 photos

Triumph built the Hinckley factory in the early ‘90s if any of that machinery dates from then it may be ready for an upgrade so setting up a new line in Thailand could be a winner in every area.


Hopper09/08/2020 09:29:55
4768 forum posts
104 photos

Yes the new Triumphs have a quality second to none. (And certainly better than current BMWs) Lots of them in my circle and never heard of any problems, even at high mileages undreamed of back in the 70s. We used to reckon on a top end rebuild at 15 to 25,000 miles and bottom end at 25 to 50,000 miles. Now they talk of 100,000 and upwards same as the Jap stuff. Course our 19 year old riding habits may have been a factor there.

SillyOldDuffer09/08/2020 09:40:00
6181 forum posts
1345 photos
Posted by Mike Poole on 09/08/2020 07:46:20:

The 30% tariff on imports from the UK seems to be a major factor in the relocation.


Tariffs are only one of many factors. Alan asked, 'Any economists out there...?'. Actually an accountant would know the answer, as would any reasonably intelligent person allowed to study internal financial statements.

Men are cursed to see the world through the narrow slot formed by our background and experience. And being cursed, we undervalue other points of view especially when they upset our comfortable assumptions. Skilled chaps enjoying a well-paid job find it difficult to accept their employer is in deep poo. So when the company goes pear shaped it's nothing to do with them spending the last 30 years resisting innovation, demanding pay rises and nicking stuff! Or bad management, or owners failing to invest. Far easier to blame Johnny Foreigner for pulling a fast one on honest John Bull! (Or Uncle Sam.)

Low productivity has always been a feature of British manufacturing. Not clear why. One suggestion is Brits prefer working slowly for long hours while others - like the French - simply prefer to go home early. Maybe overtime is attractive compared to other UK incentives, or teams go slow to make sure no-one is laid off. A European comment on Britain's famously light-hearted approach to work was Germans like a laugh too, but only after the job is finished, not instead of.

Tariffs are a problem, but they are nothing compared to the impact of containerisation. Shipping costs are rock bottom thanks to containers being automatically lifted on and off lorries, ships, and trains. The system also greatly reduces theft, and huge economies of scale are achieved when goods move on giant container ships at minimum fuel cost per ton kilometre. At the same time, light goods are moved quickly by air. Low transport costs were once a major reason for keeping manufacturing local, and containers and air-freight took it away.

Moving jobs abroad has many attractions when transport is cheap. New factories full of new equipment built on cheap land. Tax incentives. No particular requirement for a large well-trained work-force, and enthusiastic locals glad to have decent jobs. Chaps with low expectations who don't have traditional hang-ups about labour relations, imperial measure, the American Dream or whatever.

None of this is new. British Industry peaked in absolute terms about 1890. Back then trade papers were full of complaints of British markets being flooded with cheap low quality rubbish made by good-for-nothing foreigners. Americans, Germans, Frenchmen, Swiss, Belgians...

At the moment, the best place in the world to manufacture anything is the cheapest place. Don't set up steel works in Nempnett Thrubwell, Fertiliser Plant in Westminster, or Shipbuilding in Montana.

Asia's value as a manufacturing base is likely to end when oil prices rise. Accountants watch the numbers, and know when it's time for another move. Very likely manufacturing jobs will become local again in a generation or three.

I'm wary of discussing this stuff on the forum because technology links to accountancy, which depends on economics, and economics slide inevitably into politics. Much safer to describe causes than offer solutions, because they are hedged by political complexities. Easier for Sauron to blame everything on pesky Hobbits than admit Mordor must change! No way would any self-respecting Orc volunteer for a Service Sector job.


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