We only have to look to Hinckley in Leicestershire for this year’s manufacturer of the year. In 2015, Triumph Motorcycles built a record 54,000 bikes. Operating profits have returned back to black and this financial year looks increasingly positive with a forecasted 5 per cent plus volume growth, thanks primarily to a reinvigorated product range that includes a reinvented Bonneville range, updates to the Triumph Speed Triple and a merchandise folio that still dines out on Hollywood man totem Steve McQueen.
In the past decade, Triumph has also doubled its output by moving 70 per cent of its production to Thailand, where a 1,000-strong workforce makes the company’s classic (and now award-winning) retro models, while the UK site remains critical for design and engineering, as well as manufacturing the bigger motorcycles such as the Thunderbird, a cruiser that attempts to beat Harley-Davidson at its own game.
An astounding accomplishment, given the Triumph name was bought out of receivership from its current owners in 1983. With an estimated annual investment of £25m a year into research and development, it’s clear the future is once again looking bright for both Triumph and the British motorcycle industry.