BMW may be a German automaker, but it is no stranger to the allure of British motoring. Several years before buying Rolls-Royce, the Anglophiles in Munich bought the entire Rover Group – a collection of British marques of which BMW kept some and eventually sold others. MG it sold to the Chinese, Land Rover was eventually bought by Indian automaker Tata, but it famously relaunched the Mini brand, and along with it, kept the rights to Riley and Triumph, two dormant brands it did not sell off alongside Austin, Morris and Wolesley.
Ever since, BMW has been rumored to be preparing to relaunch the Triumph brand, but over a decade later, nothing has materialized. Proposals were reportedly made to market a cheaper version of the Z4 as a Triumph, or label the new Mini Roadster as a Triumph – a proposal rejected by existing Mini dealers who weren't eager to launch separately branded showrooms.
A new report emanating from the UK, however, indicates that BMW filed a new patent for the Triumph name that would extend not only to vehicles, but also all manner of branded merchandise from watches and jewelry to luggage and even Christmas tree decorations.
Whether BMW has any immediate plans to produce any actual automobiles under the Triumph name remains to be seen, but the merchandizing campaign can't be good news for the motorcycle manufacturer of the same name that has had the brand all to itself for the past few decades now.