Triumph UK and Triumph
South Africa to part ways
In a shocking new development, Triumph Motorcycle South Africa is discontinuing their import agreement with the Triumph factory. What this means is that Triumph motorcycles are currently not being importing into South Africa. This is sad news, especially as Triumph South Africa, a subsidiary company to KMSA that importer Kawasaki, Sym, Arai, Pirelli and a host of other accessories, has been at the helm for more than 22 years, with current director Arnold Olivier running the place for the last 12 of those, and have seen the brand go from strength to strength, and them growing to the third biggest independent Triumph importer in the world.
The local importer and the factory seem to have had their differences for some time already that started last year when Triumph UK pushed for a large single dealership in the major metropolitans rather than the current model which uses many smaller dealers, something the Triumph SA resisted because it would mean the cancelation of all their current dealerships whom they have good relationships with. This tension seems to have been growing as the Triumph brand moves to a new global CI that requires huge expense to meet, not just for the importer but the dealers themselves.
This is not the end for Triumph in South Africa, though, and current Triumph owners are not left stranded. Triumph South Africa has agreed to continue supplying spares, accessories and service to the current owners for the next six months, meaning they will continue to offer support until February next year, possibly longer if required. Also, this is a good time for potential new clients as the current stock of motorcycles is on sale at massive discounts.
The factory, in the mean time, is seeking a new importer for South Africa. This shouldn’t be too difficult, as the Triumph brand is a strong one and has a loyal following in South Africa. While the demise of the previous importer is a sad one, the thought of a new one is exciting. More so than the gossip value of who it will be, the new importer will need to live up to the new brand requirements, meaning new dealer layouts and operations. We will have to wait and see.