Triumph set to cut 240 UK staff due to coronavirus pandemic

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Triumph Motorcycles have this morning announced that ‘circa 400’ employees from across their global workforce could be made redundant, following a decline in the demand for large capacity motorcycles during the coronavirus crisis.

The British firm will now begin a consultation period with employees and it is expected that around 240 of the proposed job losses will come from the firm’s UK headquarters and operations. Revealed in a statement, the dramatic restructure is said to have been made ‘in order to protect the long-term health of the business.’

Employing around 2500 personnel worldwide, Triumph claim to produce 60,000 bikes per year for circa 650 dealers across the world. 

“These are not only challenging times for everyone as individuals, but also for the company,” Triumph Motorcycles Chief Executive, Nick Bloor, said. “No business could have anticipated the scale of the coronavirus crisis and its economic consequences.”

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In what would have been the peak in their selling season, Triumph claim that, over the past three months, sales of bikes of 500cc and upwards have declined between 40 and 65% in key markets like France, Italy, Germany, USA and the UK.

Despite claiming to have outperformed this curve of decline to an extent, Triumph say the market is forecast to remain down on pre-Covid levels, due to the economic conditions it has created. As such, they say they are now taking measures to align their cost base, in order to ensure future stability.

“The pandemic has caused significant damage to the global motorcycle market, and, sadly, we have to respond and react accordingly as both a responsible employer and as a business that invests for the future,” Bloor continued.

“These are not easy decisions to make, especially when individuals’ livelihoods are affected; however regrettably the scale of impact of Covid 19 necessitates us to restructure now in order to protect the long-term health and success of the Triumph brand and business.”

The move comes on the back of Triumph’s earlier announcement that they intend to make 50 people redundant in their production department as they move all of their motorcycle mass production to Thailand.

At the time, Triumph said they intended to create 40 new roles in their R&D department as part of a strategy for “engineering excellence” and despite this set back, they have confirmed that is still the plan.

But the brand’s outlook for the bike market in general is a bleak one according to Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Stroud. “We’ve looked at what we need to enable us to succeed in what we believe will be a very different marketplace.

“Looking at the economic downturn in 2009-10, the large capacity market crashed… and never recovered. We do not believe the big bike market around the world will recover to the level it was pre-Covid-19.”