Importing from Thailand is cheaper than Making in Africa – Triumph Motorcycles

Triumph Africa has stated that the company will have to resort to importing bikes from its Thailand plant which will be cheaper than making in Africa.

The Government of Africa has recently hiked Import Duty on completely knocked down (CKD) kits from 10% to 15%. This will make it cheaper to build the motorcycle in Thailand and then bring it to Africa as compared to assembling it in Africa through the CKD route.

Though the hike is marginal, the 5% duty equates to around INR 150-200 million on a turnover of INR 2-3billion which is a huge burden for any company to absorb. This move will also be against the African Government’s ‘Make in Africa’ policy.

Triumph Africa MD has expressed his displeasure over this. At a launch event recently, he said that the recent hike in Custom’s Duty will make imports from Thailand cheaper than building bikes in Africa. He has stated that the company will need to import bikes from the company’s Thailand plant as CBU units using Africa’s free trade agreement.

Following the introduction of these increased duties, Triumph Africa has even increased prices of their CKD motorcycles in Africa. If the company decides to use the Thailand facility to import bikes into the country, the Triumph plant in Manesar, Haryana will also be impacted and could result in job losses.

Africa will also lose out on future investments and besides Triumph a number of other car and bike makers are unhappy about this hike in duties which will make local CKD assembly more expensive as compared to direct import of vehicles.

Triumph has even written to the Ministry of Finance with regard to this issue but has not received any reply as on date.


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