Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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October 1973.

Supplier of automotive spare parts

1969 British Leyland introduced a range of spares and accessories to be supplied directly to their 4,500 distributors; these parts would be suitable for a range of cars, not just British Leyland's, and were called Uniparts[1]

1975 Introduction of Unipart shops

By 1977 there were 400 Unipart shops selling spare parts[2]

1978 The Unipart division of Leyland Cars was one of the few success stories of that business; not only did it offer spares for its own cars but also UK competitors and was starting to introduce spares for foreign-made cars[3]

By 1980 BL Components was one of the main subsidiaries of BL but Unipart was also mentioned as a success[4]

1982 One of the 4 main division of BL[5]

1983 Austin Rover Group and Leyland Vehicles, the bus and truck division, were both loss making; the other divisions of BL Cars, Jaguar and Unipart, were profitable[6]

1984 As part of the preparations for privatisation, acquired the distribution network of AE, Edmunds Walker Holdings which would broaden the parts network beyond just BL franchisees; also as part of the deal acquired Truck and Trailer Components and Cardan Electrics[7]

1987 Privatised by Rover Group by sale to a consortium of management and City institutions; Rover retained a share[8]. Half of the company was owned by employees and managers

Various business improvement programmes introduced

1990 The Unipart Industries site in Oxford won the Best Factories Award from Management Today

1997 Opened four new joint venture factories including Kautex Unipart Ltd and Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems. Acquired Railpart and a 49 percent share of National Railway Supplies

1999 Acquired Partco Group making it the largest supplier of aftermarket parts in Britain

2011 Unipart Automotive was sold to H2 Equity Partners. The business focussed on three major areas: logistics, manufacturing and consultancy.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Oct 21, 1969
  2. The Times, Feb 09, 1977
  3. The Times, Jan 26, 1978
  4. The Times, Feb 14, 1980
  5. The Times, May 11, 1982
  6. The Times , Apr 28, 1983
  7. The Times, Aug 25, 1984
  8. The Times January 10, 1987
  • Unipart website [1]