Archive : BMC prepares for wonderful opportunities

By Frederick Ellis

Sir George Harriman
Sir George Harriman

One of the most cheerful, statements ever made by the Austin-Morris cars giant, British Motor Corporation, comes out today in the last paragraph of a 2,500 word speech by the chairman Mr George Harriman. Says he: “The immediate prospects are excellent, and we are preparing for the wonderful opportunities that the more distant future may have in store.”

Note that word “excellent”. It is seldom used by any company in forecasting the future,and very rarely indeed is it used by B.M.C. Mr Harriman’s speech is contained in the yearly report of British Motor Corporation which is issued to its shareholders this morning. Last year output rose to a peak of 748,470 vehicles, but in the last month of the year production was running at the rate of 900,000 yearly. And it is a case of the Mini-cars making a giant size impact on the market.

For Mr Harriman also reveals that whereas in the previous year 60% of his sales were cars under 1,000 cc , last year the proportion rose to 73% of total output. The B.M.C. chief makes the point that this makes the company more than ever dependent on a vast production in order to boost profits. With the profit on Mini’s far smaller than on the bigger cars, Mr Harriman says that a further lift in output is ,” the vital need.”

Having spent around £50,000,000 on expansion since 1959 , incidentally, without raising a single penny piece from shareholders , the company is well-equipped to cope with a further rise in output, Mr Harriman can therefore see a growing market ahead in the knowledge that he has the facilities to meet the demand. No wonder he thinks the prospects are ” excellent.”

The unofficial strike of 260 British Road Services drivers at Swindon, Wiltshire, over a claim for guaranteed overtime has ended. The decision also means a return to work for 1,600 men at the Morris Motors factory in Oxford. They had to stop because the drivers strike prevented car bodies being moved.

Keith Adams

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