British Leyland got a spring tonic yesterday with the news that its car sales have zoomed ahead. The troubled state giant took 23.7 per cent of the British market in March by selling 47000 cars.
This compares with less than 18 per cent in February and only 15 per cent in January , and is the best figure since August 1978. Now BL can claim success for its big sales campaign , including a 10 per cent price cut on the Marina and Maxi models , which is to stay until the end of May.
And chairman Sir Michael Edwardes has also helped push Leyland into top gear with his ‘Buy British’ drive. The firm has won orders for some business car fleets and is expecting another boost in the autumn when the new Mini Metro model comes out .
Sales chief Tony Ball said last night: “It is good news for Britain too . The public has responded to make our campaign a massive success.”
Sales of all types of car in Britain hit a record last month at 197,722 .
Ford topped the chart with 28.4 per cent.
Pay Demo Collapses
Nearly all of Leyland’s workers have ignored a strike call and returned to their jobs after the Easter break. But assembly of the Jaguar car and Sherpa van remained at a standstill yesterday as a minority of workers protested over the pay package imposed by boss Sir Michael Edwardes.
So far , only four factories have been hit by the strike. Altogether about 93 per cent of employees have turned up for work.