BMW has quietly applied for a European trademark for the Triumph badge that was last used on the Acclaim saloon in 1984. The application was filed by BMW on 27 October last year and published on 21 December.
The application is classed as ‘Community Trade Mark E10374627’ and is for BMW to use the laurel wreath badge on a wide range of goods. Aside from vehicles, the application covers jewellery, watches, books, leather goods, luggage, cleaning materials, textiles and even Christmas tree decorations.
When BMW bought the Rover Group from British Aerospace in 1994, it inherited a number of ‘heritage brands’, including Austin, Morris, Wolesley, Riley and Triumph. After BMW broke up and sold off Rover in 2000, it retained Riley and Triumph. The other defunct auto badges remained in the Rover portfolio.
There were strong rumours around the turn of this century that either the Triumph or Austin-Healey brand was due to be revived, initially as a cheaper, four-cylinder version of the Z4 roadster. Autocar can confirm that such a car was indeed engineered.
In the middle of the previous decade, there was another flurry of rumours that BMW’s California-based Designworks studios had proposed that the future Roadster version of the Mini should be styled and sold as a Triumph roadster. This proposal was said to have been vetoed by Mini dealers, who didn’t want to have to deal with another revived brand name.
Be that as it may, Triumph’s TR-series of cars sold in the US market in bigger numbers than MG, and BMW bosses are said to have had more confidence in Triumph as a global brand than they did in MG.
This new trademark application shows that the idea of a Triumph brand revival — including the production of a full suite of branded accessories — has not been ruled out by BMW. A range of Mini-based roadsters still seems to be the most likely outcome of any Triumph revival in the medium term.