Triumph and Bajaj announced a potential joint venture as far back as 2017 when they formally ratified a non-equity partnership to manufacture a range of new motorcycles in the 200-700 cc displacement segment. While the COVID-19 global pandemic surely affected the motorcycle industry as a whole, Triumph Motorcycles was not spared by it.
Because of the financial constraints the company had to go through during the forced shutdown of factories and showrooms, sales declined during the first quarter of 2020 and continued to be down for the rest of spring, a time of which would have been the peak of their sales during the year. This has forced them to realign their finances and left them no choice but to cut its global workforce of 400 employees, 240 of which are based in the UK.
However, despite all of this, Triumph still maintains that their partnership with Bajaj still remains and their schedules still very much in place. After all, their partnership with Bajaj now plates a critical part of the firm’s recovery plans.
A couple of months’ delay should not delay the timeline the partnership is looking at, which is sometime in 2022. Because, during the press conference during the contract launch also, I understood that everybody is pretty happy with the progress that the partnership is making on the product side. So they are already moving closely on product development, which is positive. A couple of months here and there due to the pandemic, will, of course, put some strain but I don't see the timelines shifting too much.
Farooq remains excited in looking forward to this partnership taking shape soon. He has been looking forward to this opportunity to take shape with two big giants from different sides of the world, coming together and creating really exciting products. Farooq added, “The aspiration of the partnership is to get into the 200-700 cc. That's a huge space we are talking about and is one of the most relevant spaces in the industry going forward. The aspiration with the partnership is also pretty large,".
Among the motorcycles that have been suggested by the partnership include smaller versions of the Tiger ADV bike, which would be dubbed the Cub, a potentially smaller and more affordable Bonneville that would be slated to go against another powerhouse, Royal Enfield. A featherweight Daytona sportbike could also be in the pipeline for the partnership. In sum, the partnership between Triumph and Bajaj would result in one thing, making the motorcycle brand Triumph more accessible to people and penetrating newer markets that they’ve never had the opportunity to do so.