Industry Insider: Triumph and Thailand

A view of a triumph motorcycle in the manufacturing phase
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Here at wBW, we strive to bring the very best of carefully-curated content to your day. We also love reading what you write us – and sometimes, we end up chasing a particular topic down a rabbit hole in commemoration of a really good question. 

Today, that really good question comes from a dedicated reader desirous of the following information:

“What percentage of Triumph motorcycles are currently made in Thailand?”

A picture of a man enjoying his Distinguished gentleman's ride on a triumph motorcycle

Source: The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

A relatively recent report from Timeless2Wheels tells us that currently, a whopping 85% of all Triumph motorcycles are now produced at the three Thailand-based facilities, with “8.5%…assembled at their Brazilian facility and the remaining 6.5% (TFC models)…built at one of the Hinckley plants.”

A woman enjoying her Triumph motorcycle

Source: Charleston Triumph

So why did Triumph cease production at the Hinckley headquarters?

“To continue to grow, Triumph believes they need to compete globally,” explains the report. 

“While 9000 Triumph [bikes] are sold at home in the UK, the other 56,000 are sold worldwide.”

“The Southeast Asian market is seen as the area with the most potential for growth, and having production at their Chonburi plants allows Triumph to avoid the huge 60% import duty as well as low-cost distribution to other countries that Thailand has a free trade agreement deal with. Among others, these include the emerging markets of China, India, and Vietnam.”

The report goes on to state that the British-based company is aiming for triple sales from the Asian markets between now and 2024 – that means the company is anticipating going from 8,000 to 24,000 units for that market alone.

two riders enjoying a ride on a triumph motorcycle

Source: CycleNews

Why did the company choose Thailand? 

“Choosing Chonburi was an inspired decision,” continues the report. 

“It is in a free trade zone, meaning there are no import taxes when they ship parts and materials from outside Thailand. The purpose-built facility also had handy neighbors like parts manufacturers Ohlins suspension and FCC clutches.”

The decision wasn’t just influenced by the fact that Chonburi has become the mecca of motorcycle manufacturers due to ‘strategic location and corporate tax breaks’; CEO John Bloor (father to Nick Bloor, current CEO) was also extremely impressed by both the quality and quantity of parts coming out of the Thailand-based plants. 

“Bloor’s original idea was to have parts made in Thailand and then shipped to the production line in Hinckley.”

“Impressed by the work ethic of the Thai staff and the high standard of parts being produced, Bloor opened the second plant and introduced the companies first production line outside of England. This was quickly followed by the third and largest plant which opened in 2007.”

Triumph's Hinckley headquarters celebrating their millionth bike to roll off the belt

Source: Powersports Business

So, which motorcycles are still being made at Hinckley?

“All current and future Triumph Factory Customs (TFC) will continue to be built at Hinckley on a new purpose-built production line,” states the report. 

Other high-ticket machines in the pipeline are also likely to be built at Hinckley…all the research, design, and development was done at Hinckley as were the prototype builds, and this is set to continue with the introduction of a new 16,000 sq. ft. R&D center at one of the current two plants at Hinckley,” finishes the report. 

A view of the Institution of

Source: The Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Let us know what you think by commenting below – we love to hear from you. A big shout-out to our dedicated reader for reaching out to us on this topic, and as always – stay safe on the twisties.

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  1. I’m so glad they, Honda, Kawasaki, and Ducati have plants here. Bikes are affordable when made here…BMW and KTM on the other hand….triple price.

    It’s smart for them. Gets them around so many tax and duty issues in Asian markets (which let’s be honest buys WAY more bikes than the west). Also, anyone that’s alive today that honestly believes someone in another country can’t make something as well needs to grow up with the times. Thais are super hard working and I’d trust them long before most of the meth’d out folks who would be working on my bike back in Texas 😀

  2. My personal concerns don’t include what is good for Triumph, Kawasaki, or Ducati or BMW, any more than these companies care about my personal well-being.

    It offends me when a company trades on its “heritage” but actually makes bikes on the other side of the world in a country which has no connection to the heritage of the company. I consider this a form of duplicity, and I am not alone in this sentiment.

    While it is theoretically possible for the quality of a bike to be the same regardless of the location of the manufacturing plant, there are no guarantees this will be true in the real world.

    Your notion that anyone who might disagree with your opinion “needs to grow up with the times” is overly simplistic, as well as condescending and arrogant. I’ve worked for a company which has operations in Mexico, the US, France, and Shanghai, and I know a bit about quality control. And I know there are cultural differences in different countries which affect the need for different quality control procedures, and this means that while something CAN theoretically happen, it’s not always quick or easy to actually make it happen on a consistent basis. I could tell some true stories about problems, but there’s not space for that here.

    I want my European-branded motorcycle to be made in Europe. Same goes for a Japanese motorcycle – I want it to be made in Japan. I have numerous reasons for my preference, but I don’t need to justify my preferences, because it’s my money and I spend it as I wish, as everyone should.