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Why Are Triumph Sales Up In the US?

I’ll tell you why.

Because I want one, and that’s enough to make the grade in hard times.

Triumph are making, once again, motorcycles that people actually want – and can afford to buy – in the Hinckley tradition.

Triumph Motorcycles Group saw a 7 percent increase in worldwide unit sales for the 2011 fiscal year ended June 30, the company announced Dec. 7.

Unit sales were 48,684, up from 45,501 in the prior year. Management attributes the increase to the introduction of incremental models to the product range and credits the dealer network with much of the success.

While executives are cautiously optimistic for 2012, citing “global economic turmoil and the impact upon consumer confidence and in particular spending on discretionary consumer goods.”

Despite that backdrop, the company has increased R&D spending during the recession, a move that produced three new motorcycles – the Tiger Explorer, Speed Triple R and the Steve McQueen Special – this year alone.

Triumph North American operations, launched in 1994, got its first American CEO in Greg Heichelbech in November 2010. He’s credited with bringing a new market philosophy and several organizational and process changes.

In the last seven months of the fiscal year, Triumph NA outperformed the category, growing market share by half a percentage point. Revenue increased by 9 percent and retail sales of motorcycles increased by 15 percent. The new models introduced late in the selling season helped overall performance, but the company also saw increases across the entire model range lineup.

The sales momentum continues as the dealer network supports the new changes, resulting in an increase in retail sales of 31 percent for the month of October.

The North American subsidiary is focusing on growing the business through increasing brand awareness, dealer profitability, and expanding the network, which stands at about 200 dealers, in key open territories.

PG&A sales grew at a rate of 8 percent on the introduction of several new core riding and seasonal items. With the release of the new Tiger 800, the range expanded with new adventure riding wear such as the all-new Explorer Jacket; in the Heritage line with the release of two Lewis Leathers jackets; and in the Legends line, featuring clothing that pays homage to two icons of the screen who had a close relationship with Triumph, Steve McQueen and James Dean.

For the worldwide Triumph Motorcycles Group, revenue increased by 11 percent from £312.4 million (US$589 million) in 2010 to £345.3 million (US$540 million) in 2011.

Operating profit before interest and tax grew from £15.1 million (US$23.6 million) to £22.3 million (US$34.8 million) due to strong sales of motorcycles and related products, benefiting from improved use of working capital and continued focus upon the cost base.

Insuring your collectible or vintage motorcycle

As for insurance for your collectible motorcycle? You should be able to get Agreed Value coverage on a classic 1959 BSA Gold Star Catalina valued at $15,000 for somewhere around $25 a month, and that gives you the whole shooting match of coverage.

You can spend a lot less, but if you plan to ride the bikes in your collection, the above pricing is a reasonable approximation of what you can expect to pay.

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