The headline sort of says it all: Triumph Motorcycles will be releasing roughly 400 workers worldwide (240 from its headquarters in England).
With roughly 2,500 employees around the world, this reduction in staffing accounts for 16% worldwide – and it is a 24% reduction of Triumph’s UK workforce.
Triumph says that this massive employee layoff is due to the drop in sales from the coronavirus, and certainly Triumph motorcycles sales have been suffering lately.
In the United States, Triumph has seen a 24% drop in sales over the first four months of the year – greatly outpacing the general trend in the USA of a 9% sales reduction overall for the market.
“Sales in the larger 500cc plus motorcycle segment, in key markets such as France, Italy, Germany, the USA and the UK have fallen by between 40 and 65 per cent over the past three months during what would normally be the peak season for sales,” Triumph CEO Nick Bloor said in a statement.
“Although Triumph sales have outperformed this significant decline to some degree, the market is forecast to remain considerably down on pre-Covid 19 levels as a direct result of the economic conditions created by it.”
However, the size of Triumph’s salesforce reduction likely speaks to a larger issue at Triumph.
Making redundant almost a quarter of its staff at its base of operations is a massive move for any company, and it is a drastic movement that a company would not take simply because of a short-term sales slump of just several months.
The British brand never fully recovered from the global recession in 2008, and now facing the economic prospects from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Triumph appears to be closing the bunker doors once again.
Seeing the waning of the retro motorcycle market, the decline of sport bike sales, and increased competition in the ADV space, Triumph’s most successful motorcycle lineups were surrounded on all sides heading into 2020.
With the global demand for motorcycles – and for different kinds of motorcycles – likely to affect large-displacement motorcycle makers, like Triumph, the future must surely look bleak.
Triumph claims to sell 60,000 motorcycles each year around the world, but with these actions it would seem like they are gearing up for that number to shrink considerably.
That is an interesting perspective, especially since Triumph and Bajaj recently just tied the knot on a joint venture to make small-displacement motorcycles together.
Source: Triumph Motorcycles