Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Countdown is progressing

2007 will be seen in the future as a watershed in the availability (or otherwise) of Triumph core (old mechanical units) . These units are the basis of future major mechanical unit supply.
In the space of a few months I have had two major Triumph specialists, and a few smaller outfits offering me large amounts of engines, gearboxes, brake calipers, differentials, etc. Most have come to the conclusion that the projected market will not support storing many tons of oily, greasy, rusty tat for year after year ad infinitum. Factor in the rising costs of storing this stuff, rent, and rates etc, and it's not surprising that it's been given the critical eye. In every case we have had to decline adding to our own pile as it was already larger than most as a result of a certain Mr J Kippings veracious collecting strategy throughout the 80's, and 90's. Indeed a few years back when we tidied up our engine core (removed heads and sumps so they would stack) we counted very nearly a 1,000 units of various types. I have tried where possible to point traders in the direction of others who might still be in the market, but it seems that every case they had been there, done that. So with the spiraling cost of scrap metals the inevitable is happening, a lot of it is getting weighed in. We ourselves have been guilty this year of much the same, indeed we bought a snotty Transit solely for the purpose of doing the scrap yard run once a week or so. At least we have looked critically at our pile and worked our way systematically through it only removing stuff that is either damaged beyond economical repair, or vastly over stocked (try 1300/1500 FWD short engines).
So will 2007 be remembered as the year the Triumph trade foreshortened future parts availability, or are we doing the right thing? Is this a critical re-examination of future needs based on current sales? Or is it a short sighted clear out to avoid spiraling rates bill's, and to benefit from a out of control scrap price hike with some nice rollin foldin in the sky rocket?

1 comment:

  1. Interesting point made there Dave. I suppose the answer is...

    1. Count the number of Triumphs that still survive.

    2. Assume that they may require a new engine over the next 25 years (some will last much longer because of low usage).

    3. Assume that the engine being replaced is good to rebuild from, therefore it leapfrogs back into stock.

    4. Engine requirement over our lifetimes approx. = number of cars in circulation. This would be a maximum, as many will scrap their cars, rebuild old engines immediately, or simply not require engines at all!

    5. It's broadbrush stuff, but if you've got 1000 units, how does this compare to the number of Triumph-owning customers you have?

    I suppose a more pertinent question is the availability of parts to make rebuilds possible. It becomes a question of cost ultimately: imagine a scenario where no parts or engines remain - to rebuild your engine you'd need to be a rich owner but you could commission one-offs for anything! Do I rebuild that engine, or just buy a new Bentley? ;)