History

History : Brand ownership

History : Brand ownership

Have you ever asked the question who now owns which of the names formerly owned by the Rover Group? Well, now you can find out – here’s our exhaustive list of all the trade marks, showing who owns what in 2016.

Features : Urban myths and old wives’ tales

Features : Urban myths and old wives’ tales

There are lies and there are damned lies… Okay, so the products of BMC>Rover have not always been built or designed as well as they could have been, but let’s not forget that, despite upper management ineptitude and Government meddling, the workers who actually built the cars still actively cared about the product. Here then […]

By 18 November 2016 85 Comments Read More →
Features : Faking it – Japan’s BMCs

Features : Faking it – Japan’s BMCs

The Japanese have had a long-standing love affair with British cars, often seeing them as offering the ultimate in style and prestige. In the late-1980s, this sparked off a craze for locally-produced modern interpretations of certain British classics, with the new versions usually being based on popular Japanese hatchbacks. Here we take a look at […]

Essay : BMC’s world-beaters

Essay : BMC’s world-beaters

Ian Nicholls In the series ‘British Leyland – The Grand Illusion’, I argued that the sales success of the Mini and the BMC 1100/1300 (ADO16) encouraged motor industry executives, the Government and pundits alike to think that the British motor industry had a sustainable future as a global player. These hopes were ultimately dashed by a combination […]

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Five

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Five

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s own resident historian, follows up his excellent run-down of the British Motor Holdings story with a five-part study of the British Leyland years, 1974-1977. Here, in the fifth and final part, we see how the British Leyland story finally plays out. Enter the man from Chloride On the day Michael Edwardes became British […]

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Four

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Four

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s own resident historian, follows up his excellent run-down of the British Motor Holdings story with a five-part study of the British Leyland years, 1974-1977. In the fourth part, we see the whole operation begin to become irreversibly unstitched. Meltdown British Leyland’s self destruction continued into 1977. At first the main trouble stemmed […]

By 15 February 2014 49 Comments Read More →
History : The road to perdition – Part One

History : The road to perdition – Part One

In Part One of this fascinating series, which originally appeared in Vehicle Engineer, AROnline Contributor Ian Elliott applies his insider knowledge to spelling out the exact sequence of mergers that led to the formation of British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) and reviews the product engineering story… MANY people have published incorrect versions of this admittedly complex history […]

By 13 February 2014 4 Comments Read More →
History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Three

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Three

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s own resident historian, follows up his excellent run-down of the British Motor Holdings story with a five-part study of the British Leyland years, 1974-1977. In the third part, we learn all about just how serious British Leyland’s financial situation was and the differing views on how the problem could be solved. A […]

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Two

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part Two

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s own resident historian, follows up his excellent run-down of the British Motor Holdings story with a five-part study of the British Leyland years, 1974-1977. In the second part, we learn all about British Leyland’s Government bail-out, the Ryder Report and see the reactions to it from the Government, from industry, and the […]

By 19 January 2014 37 Comments Read More →
History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part One

History : British Leyland, the grand illusion – Part One

Ian Nicholls, AROnline’s own resident historian, follows up his excellent run-down of the British Motor Holdings story with a five-part study of the British Leyland years, 1974-1977. In the first part, we set the scene for the company’s 1960s decline – from lofty heights – and its subsequent need for a Government bail-out in the closing days […]

By 11 January 2014 52 Comments Read More →
History : The Ryder Report

History : The Ryder Report

During the mid-1970s, we heard lots about the Ryder Report – a Government-sponsored raft of recommendations to ensure BL’s survival and growth into the following decade. Ultimately, they failed… Here is a run-down of the framework for the government bail-out of a failing car manufacturer, published in early 1975. Governing BL’s future? Following a disastrous […]

The BMC>MG Rover Story : Part One – From humble beginnings…

The BMC>MG Rover Story : Part One – From humble beginnings…

Here, in full, is the giant 10-part story of the British Motor Corporation, from its beginnings, through the strife of British Leyland, the brief success of Rover Group and then the slow lingering death of the 2000s. Read the ups and downs, take it all in, and draw your own conclusions over what killed our […]

By 28 December 2013 7 Comments Read More →
History : BMC/BL/Rover timeline 1952-2005

History : BMC/BL/Rover timeline 1952-2005

Year Events New models 1952 British Motor Corporation is created as a result of talks between Leonard Lord and Lord Nuffield. The actuality is an effective takeover of Morris by Austin – Lord and his second in command, George Harriman, take control of the new conglomerate. Surprisingly, they do not crush Morris because Lord insisted […]

By 27 December 2013 11 Comments Read More →
History : Project Drive

History : Project Drive

Cost-cutting is rife throughout the industry, but it seemed to affect MG Rover more than any other marque in recent history. Here’s a brief run-down of what changes were made – and why they happened. Hopefully, you’ll also be able to ascertain from this list, which is the best model for you… When pennies count […]

History : Declassified Government documents

History : Declassified Government documents

We’ve got our hands on recently de-classified Government documents that shows what the newly-elected Conservative administration of 1979 thought of British Leyland and its future. We’re serialising the documents in three parts. This first one covers September-December 1979 and runs to 123 pages. During the 1970s, British Leyland had been through the mill – first with […]

History : Austin’s Miracle Maestro – all washed up?

History : Austin’s Miracle Maestro – all washed up?

Ian Nicholls delves into the events that surrounded the immediate aftermath of the launch of the ‘Miracle Maestro’ in March 1983, and finds it was a turbulent time… On 1 March 1983 Austin Rover, the volume car side of BL, and the rump of the former British Motor Corporation, announced the ‘Miracle Maestro’, its contender […]

By 1 April 2013 55 Comments Read More →
History : The complete BMH story – Part One

History : The complete BMH story – Part One

Ian Nicholls charts the complete history of the product of the short-lived merger between BMC and Jaguar, forming British Motor Holdings. It’s a tale of ill-judged hirings and firings, odd and disastrously bad product decisions and a night of the long knives. Read on to learn more about this short but turbulent period of automotive […]

History : The complete BMH story – Part Two

History : The complete BMH story – Part Two

PART 2 : 1967 – THE KNIVES ARE OUT In January 1967 BMC received a jolt when it was revealed that its UK market share had dropped in December 1966 to 27 per cent. This was seized upon by the pundits as indicating that BMC was in deep trouble. An inability to supply the market because […]

History : The complete BMH story – Part Three

History : The complete BMH story – Part Three

PART 3 : 1968 – THE MERGER In January 1968 production of the Mini at Cowley ceased so from then on all UK production was centred on Longbridge. Part of the rationale behind this was to free production capacity for the ADO14 BMC 1500 saloon. However, the ADO14 was delayed and launched in 1969 as the Austin […]

History : The complete BMH story – Part Four

History : The complete BMH story – Part Four

PART 4 : THE AFTERMATH The new Triumph-led Austin Morris management had decided to close the styling studio at Pressed Steel Fisher in Cowley and move all styling activity to Longbridge. However, Senior Styling Director Roy Haynes decided he would not be making the move and resigned in February 1969 only 16 months after being wooed there […]