Austin Rover has bought control of British Leyland Portugal. It is the company’s first overseas acquisition after more than 10 years of selling off or closing down factories and sales companies in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, South Africa, Australia. and Scandinavia.
The move to be announcd in Lisbon today is further evidence of the state-owned car makers’ growing confidence and determination to rebuild overseas. Austin Rover’s shareholding in British Levland. Portugal has been increased from 20 to 95 per cent and the company has been renamed Austin Rover Portugal. The remaining shares are retained by Eminco and J J Goncalves who founded the company in 1972.
They will concentrate on retailing. Austin Rover regards Portugal as a car market with considerable potential, although it is one of the smallest in Europe with 78,000 sales a year.