From the despondency following its closure in 2005, Longbridge came back to life just two years later under the ownership of Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC), which put the popular MG TF back into production. Here’s how we reported it back then…
BL was an industrial soap opera that provided Fleet Street hacks with plenty to write about. Here’s the story of sleeping night shift workers. In this occasional series Ian Nicholls revisits some of these stories, using the newspaper articles of the time as the main source of information. Did the media have it in for British Leyland? Judge for yourself.
On 26 April 1977, the Ryder Report was submitted for government approval. In it, were detailed breakdowns of what funding British Leyland would need, both to survive in the short term, and then deliver in the more distant future.
On 26 April 1977, British Leyland was still finding its way under government control, having been bailed out the previous year. The priority was to get the Mini’s replacement into production. To do that, it needed to deliver the Ryder Report, and hope that Callaghan’s Labour government would foot the bill. Here’s how The Times reported the story.
Nanjing Automobile Corporation announced it would start production in March 2007. Except that it never panned out as expected…
During the 1986 negotiations between Ford and Austin Rover, Longbridge’s future model plans were shared with the American company’s executives. Thirty years ago this week, news of this became public knowledge – does it mean that K-series were shared with Uncle Henry? This is how The Guardian reported the story.
Fifty years ago this week, it the merger between Leyland – owner of Triumph – and Rover was getting ever closer. This could only be a good, thing, yes?
On 19 February 1987, Graham Day’s Rover Group continued its march towards privatisation. Selling off loss-making Leyland Trucks – as it was described back then – was seen as an important first step in getting the company shipshape for its impending sell off to British Aerospace.
On 15 February 1977, BL looked in terrible shape, with strikes crippling the company , cars lying unbuilt, and market share melting away. This is how the papers were reporting the situation back then.
On this day… The Times, 1 May 1970 reported that delays for Jaguar XJ6s were so intolerable, Swiss buyers came to London and took matters into their own hands… Impatient at delays in delivery of Jaguar’s highly successful XJ6 model (above), a party of Swiss businessmen clients staged a demonstration outside BLMC’s Berkeley Square showrooms […]
Motor, 4 June 1983 Robots and new production line techniques are helping to ensure the improved quality of Austin Rover cars. Howard Walker reports. You won’t see many white coats along the production lines at Cowley or Longbridge — the traditional image of the white-coated quality controller peering into nooks and crannies is fast disappearing […]
Thirty years ago, British Leyland was on the cusp of launching its most important car in a decade – the Austin Maestro. And the company management was already beginning the important task of briefing the press… The Times, January 1983 BL’s hopes riding on Maestro in the medium car market On the road special report […]
‘Twini’ Moke goes testing The Times, 8 January 1963 A twin-engined 1696cc version of the BMC Mini-Car has been produced experimentally at the BMC works here by Mr Alec Issigonis, technical director, and Mr George Harriman, chairman of BMC. Together they have been working on special versions of the vehicle for nine months, with the […]
Compiled by Keith Adams, taken from AROnline‘s vast archive 50 years ago this week: Looks like snow was stopping play! The Times, 2 January 1963: On a day of snow showers and freezing rain. supplies of car bodies to motor manufacturers in the Midlands were again seriously reduced. The Pressed Steel Company said today that […]
It’s 20 years since the astonishing XJ220 burst on to the scene – and today it still has more road presence than any other supercar of its era. With a top speed of 213mph, it was briefly the fastest car in the world. It’s still up there, today. Supercat at twenty! The XJ220 remains the […]
Sir Richard O’Brien Sir Richard O’Brien, who died on December 11 2009 aged 89, chaired the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) from 1976 to 1982 and later served as chairman of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s controversial Commission on Urban Priority Areas; during the Second World War he fought with great bravery and was awarded an MC, […]
Alex Park: Chief Executive of British Leyland Alex Park ran British Leyland during a controversial period of the motor manufacturer’s history in 1975-78. Park fought hard to revive the newly nationalised company’s fortunes by stemming the haemorraghing of its funds, restructuring its operations and attempting to raise productivity, but left before being able to fully […]
THE only surviving director of the motor company that designed the iconic Mini has claimed the concept was not the brainchild of Sir Alec Issigonis, its legendary designer, as most people think. Westcountry resident William Davis, the British Motor Company (BMC) production boss who ensured the hugely popular car was manufactured, says few credit the […]
THE INDEPENDENT Lord Stokes: Tough industrialist unfairly blamed for the failure of Leyland’s merger with the British Motor Corporation Donald Stokes was chairman of the ill-fated British Leyland Motor Corporation from 1968 to 1975. He was unfairly blamed for the inevitable failure of the government-inspired attempt to bring together all the major British-owned motor companies […]
DAILY TELEGRAPH Lord Stokes, who died yesterday aged 94, was probably the most outspoken industrialist in Britain in the 1970s when, as chairman of British Leyland, he used colourful language to warn repeatedly of the need for Britain to improve her efficiency to compete effectively in world markets. Sadly, factors including industrial strife and lack […]
THE TIMES As chairman and managing director of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) from its creation in 1968 from the merger with British Motor Holdings and the Leyland Motor Corporation until its demise in a government reorganisation in 1975, Lord Stokes was faced with the intractable task of bringing some shape and order to […]
THE GUARDIAN British Leyland chief given the unenviable task of turning round the UK car industry in the late 1960s Roger Cowe Lord Stokes, who has died aged 94, had what the Financial Times described as “the toughest job held by any boss in Britain” when, as Sir Donald Stokes, he was given a key […]
From The Independent Sir Austin Bide: Industrialist who transformed Glaxo into a world force and then clashed with Thatcher at British Leyland Sir Austin Bide was the man principally responsible for the transformation of Glaxo from a company best known for its baby foods into a world force in the pharmaceutical industry. During a 40-year […]