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.

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clasqm 30th August 2017 at 11:19 pm

Well, well, well. I was wondering why there hadn’t been any Triumph-organised breakfast runs the last few months. And then why they were having a 40% off sale. Let’s hope Triumph doesn’t end up like Moto Guzzi, which seems to have a new SA importer every five years or so.

Triumpfan 4th September 2017 at 10:20 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the article, but in the interests of fair reporting, did anyone check the ‘facts’given to you against comment from Triumph UK? As you know, there are always two sides to every story (three if you hire Bell Pottinger) and the comments reported in your article are clearly those of Triumph SA.

As a passionate Triumph rider, I am aware of a different interpretation of these ‘facts’ from insiders – facts that include Triumph UK kicking KMSA into touch (not the other way around) and rubbish claims that KMSA protected the interests of their distributors during the move to global stores by Triumph. Arnold was the hatchet guy that started culling dealerships in March while KMSA angled to position their store in Fourways as the Global Store, creating complete chaos in the process. The highest-selling standalone store at Traditional Triumph was bypassed and excluded in favour of KMSA-owned and dual brand stores with miserable sales records. A simple case of protecting their interests at the expense of Triumph riders and owners. Triumph UK noticed this and stepped in to protect its brand – well done!

The ‘fire sale’last week moved all their warehoused stock (over three hundred bikes) and while that is good for owners and fans, it has led to chaos in the used-bike market and just added to the rumour that Triumph are leaving. However, the silver lining to this is that there are now over 300 more Triumph riders on the road this week!

Get comment from the UK and let’s have a balanced report. Anything less is simply creating more uncertainty and damage to the brand. Triumph is here to stay – just not with KMSA and this report just conveys the bitterness of KMSA Directors that now sit with shares that have halved their value since the decision was made.

Neil Mclean 3rd November 2017 at 6:55 pm

Just bought a Triumph America and now very concerned about parts and servicing?😒

Alan 6th December 2017 at 1:30 am

Triumph has just ripped off all current owners, these bikes are not worth the cost registration papers its printed on. Good Advise is to dump the brand asap.

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