Triumph Motorcycles is Britain's top-selling big bike-maker once more!
Triumph Motorcycles in Leicestershire has become Britain's top-selling big bike-maker again – nearly half a century after it last ruled the roads.
The Hinckley company overtook foreign rivals Honda, Suzuki and BMW to take pole position for the first time since its 1960s heyday.
It comes after the firm reported a rise in the number of bikes it sold in the UK last year, while its three competitors suffered sharp falls.
Experts put Triumph's success down to the quality and range of its bikes and the higher cost of the euro and Japanese yen.
Guy Masters, Triumph's general manager, said: "We're absolutely delighted with the news that we're now number one in the UK. It's testament to the hard work and passion we have put into creating bikes that people love to ride and to our dealers for delivering great service."
Triumph sold 7,562 bikes in the UK last year, an increase of 1.5 per cent, compared to an 18 per cent fall in the rest of the market.
This resulted in the firm's share of the 500cc and above market rising from 13 per cent to 16 per cent, taking it from the UK's fourth-largest big bike brand to the number one spot for the first time since the mid-1960s.
Experts said the 109-year-old company is likely to hold on to the top spot this year as it prepares to launch a range of new models.
John Westlake, senior editor at Motor Cycle News, said: "You don't have to be particularly patriotic to know that Triumph is the best bike on the market. And with the new models they have planned, I think they will hold on to the top spot this year. It's certainly the first time Triumph has held top spot since its re-launch 20 years ago, but it's probably the first time since the mid-1960s."
Andrew Rogers, national franchise director of motorcycles at motor dealership Stratstone, which runs a Triumph showroom in Northgate Street, Leicester, said: "We have seen sales rocket, particularly in the last few months. We have had to take on another salesman to cope with demand.
"People want a bike that's made in Britain. They like to be part of a British success story."
Triumph, which makes 17 models, said the Street Triple roadster was its biggest seller in the UK last year, making up almost a quarter of UK sales. It is due to launch its eagerly-anticipated Tiger 800 next week.
David Hughes, chief executive of economic development agency Prospect Leicestershire, said: "It's great to see a strong Leicestershire brand bucking the national and international market and actually increasing sales in these tough economic times."
Martin Traynor, chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber Commerce, said: "This is excellent news from a hugely successful company."
Globally, Triumph sold 45,501 bikes in the year to June 30, 2010, giving it a market share of 4.7 per cent in the 500cc and above sector.