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Sunday, 17 March, 2002, 13:35 GMT
Jobs 'secure' at fire-ravaged plant
Hinckley factory
Triumph has been reassuring foreign dealer networks
Workers at a motorcycle factory which was damaged by a huge fire have been assured their jobs are safe.

Assembly lines at the Triumph plant were destroyed after fire broke out at the site on Jacknell Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, on Friday.

More than 100 firefighters were called to tackle the incident which took five hours to get under control.

However, even though the company - which is Britain's only mass producer of motorcycles - said it will take four months to repair the damage, fears that jobs could be lost have receded.

Triumph's managing director Karl Wharton insists the company can still meet orders for new bikes from existing stocks stored in Europe and the United States.

Staff have been working over the weekend to clear up debris in the affected areas of the factory.

Paintshop saved

Management have also contacted the company's worldwide dealer network, emphasising that parts and accessories can still be ordered online.

Mr Wharton said Triumph operated four production and distribution centres in Hinckley.

"It will have no immediate impact on motorcycles ready for distribution held in bike stores in the UK, Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, " he said.

Two firemen were injured tackling the incident although only one needed hospital treatment.

Damage was centred on the assembly area but crews were also unable to save a section used for storage.

An office complex and the paintshop were not seriously damage.

Mr Wharton said the company's 650 UK staff had been informed their jobs were "secure".

Rebuilding work on the damaged areas is due to start later in the week.

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