Archive : BL Shelves Sale of Units

Published: April 25, 1986

The state-owned auto maker BL P.L.C. has shelved plans to sell its profitable Land-Rover, Range-Rover and Freight-Rover divisions to the private sector, Paul Channon, the Secretary of Trade and Industry, said today.

The move comes after the General Motors Corporation, accusing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Government of bowing to political pressure, last month withdrew both its bid to buy the operations that make the jeep-like vehicles and its bid for BL’s loss-ridden trucks division.

The prospect of a foreign company taking over Britain’s only remaining auto maker, formerly known as British Leyland, had aroused widespread criticism.

Mr. Channon told Parliament that BL’s board preferred to retain the divisions for one or two years rather than sell them now to any of four British bidders. None of the British companies have bid for the trucks unit. The Government had accepted the board’s recommendations, Mr. Channon said.

Keith Adams

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