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Dealer bitter at Triumph split

The current owner of one of Triumph’s longest serving dealerships has expressed his disgust at the way he was “terminated at the stroke of a pen” by the Hinckley manufacturer.

“It was the most horrid and stressful way that I have been dealt with,” said Robert Rooney, MD of Hughenden M40, situated close to the motorway and on the A40, east of Oxford near Thame.

Rooney parted company with Triumph at the end of September after he says he was told his showroom was “in the wrong location”.

Rooney blamed the split on “bean-counters and market analysts who tell staff at the Triumph UK subsidiary what to do”.

Although his showroom was slightly smaller than specified by Triumph, the workshop and storage areas were fine and he had an acre of land on which he could expand if required and says he was quite willing to do so.

“I was so taken aback. It was like being punched in the stomach,” said Rooney.

“I said I am 100 yards from a motorway junction and I am on the A40 and you can drive to us any time of the day, congestion-free, and park. There’s no hassle, no traffic jams, nothing. The roads around us are perfect for demos as well.”

Responding, Paul Lilly, general manager, UK and Ireland, Triumph Motorcycles, wrote: “In 2015 Triumph announced at its global dealer conference the introduction of a new corporate identity to be rolled out internationally with all its dealer business partners. This included the requirement for business partners to have sufficient space to showcase the new and expanding Triumph model range being introduced to the market …

“As part of the review of dealer facilities it was identified that our coverage of the Oxfordshire area needed to be increased and this required a combination of additional space, improved facilities and a location more central to Oxfordshire.

“An alternative location was identified by Triumph and offered to Robert Rooney. However, during discussions it became clear that his preference was to retain the current location and did not see the value to his business in either a change of location or increased space that the market area opportunity suggested was required to capture the full customer potential.

“Unfortunately, with regret Robert decided that he was not prepared to relocate as required, and therefore a wind down period of over 12 months was agreed. This period expired at the end of September 2018 and Triumph is actively seeking fresh representation for the area as a result.”

A fuller story appears in the March issue of BDN.

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