Going, going, gone?
By Hamish Champ
Posted 12 October 2012
It's a sad day when a well-known, hitherto successful business has to close down.
Jobs are lost, livelihoods come under threat and, more prosaicly, a previously gold-plated trade name or a brand can be lost, often forever.
The demise of Lola Cars, makers of high-performance sports cars since 1958, is such an example. Administrators to the group cited “serious cash flow problems” when the company passed into their hands back in May.
The economic environment was simply not conducive to Lola's business plan, it seems. Having failed to find a buyer for the group those in charge of its destiny said they had no choice but to cease its trading and will now look to sell of its assets in order to pay off some of its creditors.
Sometimes a business fails because of mismanagement, sometimes because of tough economic circumstances, sometimes because its customer base either fell out of love with the reason they warmed to it in the first place.
Several automotive marques have fallen by the wayside over the years, while on the High Street the victims of a changing customer tastes have seen the likes of Woolworth's go to the wall.
But does the apparent death of a company mean it can never be revived? The answer is no, so long as someone has the vision, the will, the talent and crucially the resources to not only resurrect it but to put it on the right footing.
Take Triumph motorcycles for example. Businessman John Bloor bought the name and trading rights from Triumph's receivers in 1983 and got it making bikes again, bikes which sell all over the world, including the US.
The Speed Triple, the Rocket III and the Daytona 675 have grabbed the motorcycling public's imagination.
Then there's Triumph's Sprint ST 955i, one of which I ride. While I've absolutely nothing against the likes of Ducati and Yamaha, having a little Union Flag badge on the side of my bike gives me a good feeling.
Bloor is reported to have pumped between £75m and £100m into Triumph between buying the name and the company breaking even in 2000.
Of course not everyone has that kind of money with which to resuscitate a business. But the case of Triumph at least shows that going under doesn't always mean 'out for the count'.
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