Triumph Motorcycles says it is cutting back hundreds of employees, in locations around the world, because of COVID-19.

In a statement, Triumph said there will be 240 workers laid off in the UK. Those staff only found out about the move this week. Triumph also says it will lay off employees in other countries, expecting total layoffs to be around 400 employees. That would work out to be roughly 16 per cent of Triumph’s global workforce, which amounts to roughly 2,500 employees.

It’s likely news that will come especially hard for the UK workers, though, as the company had already announced cutbacks in its British-based production earlier this year. Triumph has been building most of its bikes in Thailand for years, and back in March, the company announced its Tiger 1200 and Speed Triple production would also leave England for Asian factories.

However, Triumph is like most motorcycle manufacturers right now—it sees the writing on the wall. The coronavirus pandemic has wrecked large-capacity bike sales in western markets, with some countries seeing new-model sales drop by as much as 65 per cent. Triumph’s management knows it must become lean itself, to survive lean times.

Triumph CEO John Bloor said the damage COVID-19 inflicted on the moto-industry was unpredictable, and that the company had to restructure to protect its long-term health, and the success of the Triumph brand and business. Triumph certainly isn’t the only business thinking along these lines; recently, Harley-Davidson announced massive restructuring plans for the rest of 2020, in order to recover from COVID-19’s effects and plan for its future. The question now is—who’s next?

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