Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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British Leyland Motor Corporation

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October 1973.

1968 May 13th. BLMC was created by the merger of British Motor Holdings (BMH) and Leyland Motor Corporation (LMC)

The merger combined most of the remaining independent British car manufacturing companies and included car, bus and truck manufacturers and more diverse enterprises including construction equipment, refrigerators, metal casting companies, road surface manufacturers; in all, nearly 100 different companies. The new corporation was arranged into seven divisions under its new chairman, Sir Donald Stokes (formerly the chairman of LMC):

  • Volume car and light commercial vehicles
  • Pressed Steel Fisher
  • Trucks and Buses
  • Specialist cars (Jaguar, Rover, Triumph, etc)
  • General engineering and foundries
  • Construction equipment
  • Overseas manufacturing interests

The company included Austin, Daimler, Jaguar, MG, Mini, Morris, Rover, Triumph, Wolseley and Vanden Plas

At its peak, BLMC owned nearly 40 different manufacturing plants across the country. Even before the merger BMH had included theoretically competing marques which were in fact selling substantially similar "badge engineered" cars.

To this was added the competition from yet more, previously LMC marques. Rover competed with Jaguar at the expensive end of the market, and Triumph with its family cars and sports cars against Austin, Morris and MG. The result was a product range full of duplication.

1968 The Prestcold subsidiary bid for L. Sterne and Co in order to expand the refrigeration business which Leyland regarded as "developing" and sharing mass production techniques[1]

1969 National Bus Co formed a joint venture with British Leyland (the 25% owner of Bristol Tramways and Carriage Co and Eastern Coach Works), by means of which British Leyland became a 50% owner of the NBC's manufacturing companies. The joint venture designed and built a new single-deck bus, the Leyland National. The first bus was delivered in 1972, and it remained in production until 1986. The National was also available to other bus operators.

1973 George Turnbull resigns as MD

1974 Works in Birmingham

  • Longbridge (24,000 employees) Engines, gearboxes and assembly of Mini and Allegro
  • Castle Bromwich (9,000 employees) Body panels for Mini and Jaguar
  • Solihull (8,500 employees) Assembly of Rover and Land Rover
  • Birmingham (4,750 employees) Rover engines and transmissions
  • Drews Lane (4,400 employees) Axles and suspension
  • Common Lane (1,900 employees) Assembly of Leyland Medium Van
  • SU Carburettor (1,300 employees) Carburettors and fuel pumps
  • Bordesley Green (800 employees) Triumph Spitfire bodies

1975 Became bankrupt and re-formed as British Leyland

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Times, Sep 10, 1968
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill. Published by Sutton Publishing 2002. ISBN 0-7509-2593-0