FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
Strikes continued at two motor factories here today and production was held up. Six hundred workers at the British Motor Corporation factory of Nuffield Metal Products, where bodies for the Morris Minor are produced, met today and decided to continue the strike which began yesterday in support of a claim for an improved basic rate. The remaining 2,100 workers at the factory were again laid off. As a result, 1,200 men at Oxford have also been laid off, as well as small numbers of men at Coventry.
The tractors and transmissions branch at Birmingham is also affected.
At the Rover Motor Company’s works at Solihull, Warwickshire, a strike by 250 workers on Land Rover Production which began yesterday also continued. The men are claiming better piecework rates. Today 250 other men had to be laid off.
Some Progress In Standard Talks
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
The 117 dismissed Triumph Herald body shop workers from the Standard Motor Co., Coventry, today refused to agree to a major point of a company offer made to enable work to restart, with negotiations,to follow. The men will be told by union officials at a meeting tomorrow how far the company are now prepared to go to meet them.
After the men’s partial rejection of the firm’s offer, union officials today had further discussions with the management for two and a half hours, and it is understood that some progress was made. The clause in dispute affects a vital factor in assessing individual earnings.
Mr D. Fairbairn, district organizer of the Transport and General-Workers Union one of the three involved, said the situation was now “definitely not one of deadlock.”
They had negotiated on the reinstatement of the dismissed men and the conditions under which they would work when they restarted. The 117 men were dismissed on Monday in a dispute over piecewotk rates. The company said that the -men were demanding a rate which would have given them £40 to £50 a week. but this has been denied by the men, who had rejected an offer of £20 a week.
£10M. ON SMALL CAR DEVELOPMENT
NEW AUSTIN AND MORRIS MODELS
FROM OUR MOTORING CORRESPONDENT
Sir Leonard Lord, chairman’ of the British Motor Corporation, stated yesterday that at the end of August new small 850 c.c. cars will be announced for both the Austin and the Morris companies.
These cars have been through extensive trials and have taken three years to develop. New buildings have been erected and new plant and equipment using the most up-to-date methods installed at a total cost of well over £10m.
The Morris Minor and the new Farina-styled Austin A40 will, however, remain undisturbed; in fact the Morris Minor production line has recently been reorganized and separated from other lines to increase output to meet the high world-wide demand. Without revealing any details of their design, Sir Leonard Lord said he felt sure that the new models will be considered to be among the most advanced small cars in the world. He described them as fully engineered, full four-seater cars that will keep up with the rest of the traffic anywhere, and will give tremendous economy at a price that will appeal to the family man.
Sir Leonard Lord said last night : “The most up-to-date methods in the world are being used in the production of the new models which will come out at the end of August”.
On the subject of the Morris Minor Mr Lord said: “In fact the Morris Minor production line has recently been reorganised and separated from other lines to increase output for its worldwide demand.”
The Big Car Secret Is Out
By Ray Hill
Sir Leonard Lord, head of the British Motor Corporation, the Morris-Austin combine, revealed his big secret last night. ‘Both Morris and Austin new small cars will be announced at the end of August,” he said.
Sir Leonard’s statement, from the B.M.C. headquarters at Longbridge, Birmingham ended months of speculation in the car world,
He said the two new ” baby ” cars would be 850 cc—which could mean they will be ’round’ about eight horsepower.
Sir Leonard also said: “They will be considered to be among the most advanced small cars in the world. The models have been through extensive trials and have taken three years to develop. New buildings have been erected and new plant installed, for their production at a total cost of well over £10,000,000.”
Sir Leonard added: “The new cars will be full four seater , cars that will keep up with the rest of the traffic anywhere and will give tremendous economies at a price that will appeal to the family man.”
But Sir Leonard gave no details of how much the new cars would cost how many miles they would do to the gallon, or what their speed would be.
Car dealers In the Midlands last night estimated that the new cars would be offered at about £500 each, including purchase tax . They would be capable of top speeds of about a mile a minute with petrol consumption of up to sixty miles to a gallon.
Patrick Mennem, Mirror Motoring Correspondent, writes: The Austin, “baby” will probably be called the New Austin Seven, after a famous forerunner. For a baby car’ it will be of revolutionary design.
Drive will be through the front- wheels, leaving the body unhampered by a propeller shaft and therefore lower and roomier than current orthodox cars.