Triumph Motorcycles has hit the valuation jackpot after the Sunday Times Rich List identified the company’s value at £1.025 billion, or about $1.577 billion. The valuation effectively turned owner John Bloor into a billionaire, a dramatic uptick in fortune for a company that was once in danger of becoming bankrupt.

That was the predicament Triumph was in back in 1983 when Bloor bought the business from liquidation for just £150,000, or about $230,00 based on current exchange rates. It wasn’t easy turning the company around at first but Bloor eventually realized that if Triumph were to turn its business around, it had to concentrate on a niche that it was good at. In this case, it was the company’s special twin and triple engines.

From there, Bloor slowly rebuilt Triumph, knowing full well that taking it too fast would likely undo the steady progress it has made. Eventually, the company returned to stable ground and developed a loyal following of its own. It was a smart business move on Bloor’s part and it’s paid off quite handsomely the company.

Today, Triumph has six factories all over the world. It’s sales performance in the UK - its home market - made it the number one selling brand of new bikes over 500cc. To think it came perilously close to going under, only for it to be saved by John Bloor, who himself probably had no idea he would become a billionaire 32 years later.

Continue reading to read more about Triumph’s rags-to-riches story.

Why it matters

It’s an amazing rags-to-riches story. It really is. Most people, or at least those who are young enough to know better, probably had no idea how bad it was for Triumph back then. It seemed that every move it made ended up with the company falling flat on its face. Repeatedly, too, I might add. It got so bad that the company was deemed to be an anchor that was slowly sinking into irrelevancy.

That’s when John Bloor came into the picture and basically rescued Triumph from the abyss. It wasn’t an easy decision to make back then, even though the benefit of hindsight now says otherwise. But Bloor remained unflustered by the early hiccups and he kept investing on the company with money from his housebuilding empire. Eventually, Triumph was able to shake off its tarnished reputation and even found a way to break into export markets, one that allowed the company to expand its reach and offer its distinctive twins and triples into markets it previously had no presence in.

There’s really no telling where Triumph would be if Bloor hadn’t ponied up the money to buy the company back in 1983. Actually, it might have never return from the depths of irrelevancy and generations of riders would have never known of the company and its amazing motorcycles.

Source: Leicester Mercury

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