TRIUMPH will take on a siege mentality to see it through the difficult times ahead, according to industry experts.
They also believe the famous name could come out of the disaster stronger than ever.
" Under extreme circumstances you get more production than you ever thought possible, said professor Garel Rhys, director
of automotive research at Cardiff University. " People will roll their sleeves up and find new ways of doing things. "
Rhys has seen it happen before to another famous British marque, when Jaguar’s factory was gutted by fire in 1957. That destroyed everything, but just four years later it launched its most famous model ever, the E-Type, after staff and suppliers rallied together.
Any fire would have been a disaster for Triumph – but Friday’s inferno struck at
the heart of the factory. The firm has two plants in Hinckley, and the fire hit the oldest, which is responsible for assembling the bikes.
The new factory is far bigger, and the firm has been transferring more production to it over the last two years. However, the original site is still responsible for:
n The final assembly and painting of all Triumph’s bikes, as well as quality control
n Two, three and four-cylinder engine assembly, plus engine machining
n Manufacturing of internal components
In contrast, the new facility, which was not damaged, deals with manufacturing the Bonneville’s two-cylinder engine, hosts robotics for making chassis and swingarms and stores many of the bikes for distribution.
The firm has also recently built a new factory in Thailand – sparking fears it would follow the lead of vacuum giant Dyson and move production abroad. However, Triumph says it only intends to use this plant to make components like cans, which it now buys in.