Currently reading: Triumph revival on again
BMW applies for the right to use the famous British badge

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.

Hilton Holloway

Join the debate

Add a comment…
MG Writer 2 March 2012

Re: Triumph revival on again


I'll hazard a guess he didn't drink there! But he was a generous host when I interviewed him at his home in Bournemouth where, over lunch, he insisted that TRs outsold MGs. They didn't, and ironically even with heavy marketing spend the TR7 still undersold the MGB! Only once, in 1968, did US sales of the Triumph range nudge ahead of MG sales there. Otherwise, from 1963 to 1979 MG (Sportsedan, Midget, MGB etc) outsold Triumph (Spitfire, TR4/5/6/7/8). In 1977, MG peaked at 35,000 sales in the USA (Triumph 29,000).

I'd love to see a new TR9 but I'm doubtful it'll happen for the reasons you've already given and 'Croppers' notes in the magazine. Mind you, I'm also waiting for evidence of a new MG sports car in this 50th anniversary year of the MGB.........

thebaldgit 2 March 2012

Re: Triumph revival on again

Why bother? this is unlikely to repeat the success of Mini.

Overdrive 2 March 2012

Re: Triumph revival on again

If BMW were really "man" enough, they would resurrect the Morris Ital and Marina. :)