• Sep 27th 2007 at 4:26PM
  • 30
So BMW is considering expanding its reach by including a fourth brand, and Rick Kranz, columnist for Automotive News, thinks he has the answer: Triumph. By playing off the retro-chic invasion started with the new MINI, Kranz maintains that there is a place for Triumph, specifically a small, rear-wheel drive ride that could continue the legacy of TRs and Spitfires from the past.

Using the existing platform that underpins the 1-series and selling Triumph at the scores of MINI dealers seems entirely plausible. BMW's got the technology and incorporating Triumph into the MINI's network could ensure dealer profitability into the future. Plus, BMW already owns the name. Either a Spitfire or TR revival could slot in nicely between the MINI and the Z4, but the only rub is that exact niche is where the new 128i and 135i plans to do battle. Expansion is one thing, but brand cannibalization is another – something that's not addressed in Kranz's column.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      tr-8 - yes - the shape of things to come
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dolomite Sprint-YES
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would love to see a retro TR3 come to life. One of my favorite late 50's 2 seaters!
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's ugly the way the UK sold off most of these historic name plates.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why would BMW want anything to do with the name Spitfire? After all, the Triumph Spitfire was named after the WWII fighter plane. Wonder how many BMW made/powered planes were shot down by the Spitfire in WWII.

      This is a mad mad world we live in.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Just because the original Triumph used the Spitfire name doesn't mean the BMW-based Triumph would. After all, the folks at BMW probably realize the sensitivity issue, and would instead use another Triumph nameplate like TR or GT, which wouldn't offend anyone and would be recognizable in most markets. However, perhaps the best Triumph model name for U.S. consumers... Dolomite! Now, that's fly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not too much
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why? Because in the markets it was sold in it still has a decent recognition and they aren't holding a grudge over the fact that BMW powered planes were shot down by planes named "spitfire" over 60 years ago in a war that the Germans started in the first place.

        How petty do you think the Germans are?
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would love to see BMW create new Triumph cars. I am a huge fan of the new MINI and I trust that they would make a great little roadster.
      • 7 Years Ago
      First, long before BMW bought either Triumph Motorcycles or Triumph automobiles, they were at one time the same company. They parted company in the late '20s or early '30s.

      Second, as an owner of a 1957 TR3, I have mixed feelings about reviving the marque. Would it increase the value of my car? Probably. Would I care? No.

      When most of the people in my british car club see a mini dive down the street, we usually think "mini BMW"

      The Triumph marque is dead. Lets work on keeping the existing Triumphs on the road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Since most 1 Series will sell in the +$30k range, a two seat RWD Miata-esque coupe/roadster would fit nicely between the FWD MINI and the 1. I think it would be a great idea, especially if BMW does as good of a job marketing Triumph as they have done with MINI.
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW owns the Triumph name?

      What was told at the time was that the whole inheritance of British Leyland went with MG Rover Group to the Phoenix Consortium and, later, to Nanjing Automobile Group.

      ...including names like Triumph, Austin-Healey, Morris, Riley, Vanden Plas, etc., etc., etc..

      (Mini stayed with BMW but, on the other hand, Mini never was a brand.)
        • 7 Years Ago
        I correct myself: Riley and Triumph were retained by BMW, along with Mini.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sure BMW can revive the old Triumph name but if it doesn't leak oil from the factory or have buggy electrical gremlins or melt your legs off from engine heat or have hood latches that pop open on the highway or a trunk support that knows exactly when to let go so that the boot falls on your head or carbs that have the miraculous ability to gum up in the time it takes you to reinstall the carbs after having cleaned them or a chunky transmission or rust fast, and badly or at least have the option for a plaid interior then it's not a real Triumph.

      PS: You can have an all aluminum V8 but it has to be GM sourced and have a "push-rod" valve train... none of this OHC nonsense.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder does this Triumph have anything to do with my Triumph motorcycle?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's one and the same.

        BMW is part of the trademark sharing alliance with Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, as long as BMW don't do motorcycles with the Triumph name then all's fine
        • 7 Years Ago
        wow so I ended up buying two BMWs ugh
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