British Leyland Motor Corporation has acquired a 50 per cent holding in Nueva Montana Quijano (NMQ), a heavy industrial group in the north of Spain , and will assume responsibility for the management of Authi of Pamplona and the other NMQ automotive operations.
This was announced yesterday by British Leyland and the Bank of Santander. For the past two years Authi has been manufacturing under licence Morris and MG cars at its new plant , while engines and other components have been produced by other NMQ factories in Northern Spain.
The agreement has been signed by Lord Stokes, chairman and managing director of British Leyland , and by Senor Don Emilio Botin , chairman and chief executive of the Bank of Santander . Commenting on the development last night , Lord Stokes said:
“Throughout the negotiations I have been impressed by the spirit of friendship and cooperation shown by all concerned in reaching this agreement. Indeed , it typifies the long and happy business and personal relationships I have enjoyed in Spain over many years. In particular , I would like to pay tribute to the important contribution made at every stage of the negotiations by Senor Lopez Bravo, the Minister of Industry, to the mutual benefit of both countries.
“Last year our cars captured 5.9 per cent of the Spanish car market with sales of 17,340 units. The new management, with their long experience in world markets , are well qualified not only to give the Spanish public the vehicles they want , but to look after them with the finest possible after-sales service. They will use the plant’s capacity of 100,000 vehicles a year , more fully, both by substantially increasing its share of the growing market in Spain itself , and also by supplying to certain export markets.”
CAR PRODUCTION HIT BY STRIKE
Over 2,100 car assembly workers at Morris Motors, Cowley, Oxon, were made idle yesterday by a strike of electrical maintenance workers which halted the Austin Maxi and the 1100/11300 saloon car lines. The night shift was also cancelled. The maintenance workers meet again today over a pay dispute.