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Unexpected CEO change – May 15, 2006

May 15, 2006
Filed under Features

In a surprising move, Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. appointed a new chief executive officer.
The announcement came shortly after the company announced a single-month sales record for March in the United States.
Leading Triumph in the United States, Canada and Latin America as of July 1 will be Mark Kennedy, who is currently in charge of the company’s operations in France and Switzerland.
Kennedy replaces Mark Brady, who left the position in April following 15 years with the firm.
Georgia-based Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.K.-based, privately owned Triumph Motorcycles, Ltd.
Triumph leadership said Brady played a key role in the company’s growth in the United States during the past five years, and said he left “to pursue new opportunities.” Brady took the reins of Triumph Motorcycles (America) in 2003, after the departure of former CEO Mike Vaughan. Brady previously served as general manager of Triumph Motorcycles (America), reporting to Vaughan.
“Mark has been with the company for a long time and did a great job in a number of roles with the firm,” Todd Andersen of Triumph Motorcycles (America) told Powersports Business. “He ran all purchasing for the factory before coming to the United States, and did a really great job of getting the U.S. operation running at a level that it had never seen before. He did everything, from getting the finances in order to getting the warehouse, parts and infrastructure set up.
“Now he’s off to bigger and better things, I guess.”
Kennedy joined Triumph 15 years ago as an operator on the assembly line in Hinckley, England, and worked his way up through the organization. He has spent the past five years as CEO of Triumph Motorcycles S.A. (TSA), the subsidiary responsible for Triumph’s operations in France and Switzerland. Triumph said TSA delivered retail sales growth of 46 percent in 2005.
“TSA has seen some tremendous sales growth over the years and now Mr. Kennedy is preparing to come over here and take on a new challenge,” Andersen said.
Triumph’s fiscal year ends in June. Worldwide, Triumph’s sales last year grew between 20-25 percent. Sales for Triumph America’s 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2005, totaled 8,407 units, up 12 percent from the 7,500 units retailed in the United States in 2004.
“We’re really very pleased with the growth we’ve had,” said Andersen. “Our sales were up 58 percent in March, and for April we’re looking at a number in excess of 1,300 units, which is a 30-odd percent increase compared to the 1,066 units we sold last April.”
He said sales have been particularly good for the 2006 Daytona 675 and Scrambler.
Tue Mantoni, global commercial director of Triumph Motorcycles Ltd., said the company designed a significant part of its new model development program and global strategy around the needs of the U.S. consumer, and said she believes Kennedy will benefit future business here.
“North America is a very important region for Triumph and we expect it to deliver the biggest growth,” she said. “With Mark Kennedy, we have a strong, visionary CEO on the ground in the U.S. who can deliver this strong growth and assure our dealers that Triumph is the winning brand of the future.” psb

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