BMC 1100/1300 : New Zealand variations
Production of the ADO16 in New Zealand followed fairly close on the heels of the initial UK launch, and lasted into the early 1970s.
AS related by Ian Walker in his article on ‘BMC>Rover in New Zealand’, by the 1960s the franchises for the Austin and Nuffield brands in New Zealand had been consolidated into two independent operations: Austin was handled by the Austin Distributors Federation, while the Morris, MG, Riley and Wolseley marques were handled by Dominion Motors Ltd. With regard to local production (or rather, assembly from CKD kits), it appears that Dominion were first off the mark, with the first Morris 1100 rolling out of their Newmarket assembly plant on 1 February 1963, within six months of the UK launch – and over a year before the model was launched in Australia. As the Sixties progressed, the Newmarket plant also saw the assembly of the MG, Riley and Wolseley variants, and by the late Sixties, the 1300 models were also being churned out there.
The 1100 quickly established itself as the best-selling of all the BMC models offered in New Zealand, finding popularity with private and business purchasers alike. As was the case elsewhere, the Austin and Morris versions were the volume sellers, although the MG, Riley, Wolseley and even Vanden Plas versions were available for those prepared to pay the premium.
With the formation of British Leyland in the UK in 1968, the days of New Zealand’s separate distribution channels were numbered, and following a visit by Donald Stokes the following year, the process of bringing Dominion Motors and the Austin Distributors together was set in place. In 1970, this culminated in the formation of the New Zealand Motor Corportation (NZMC). Production of both Austin and Morris 1100/1300s was now taking place at the Newmarket plant, and around this time, NZMC began importing various Australian-built Morris models, including the ADO16-based 1500 and Nomad; somewhat curiously, most of these Aussie-import models were rebadged as Austins for the NZ market.
In 1974, the various ADO16 models finally gave way to the Austin Allegro, which was also assembled in the Newmarket plant until its closure in 1978.