By David Jack
British Leyland is delaying the Continental launching of its new “Maxi” model for six months – to avoid complaints of late deliveries and inadequate after sales servlce The 1500 c.c. family saloon, launched on the home market three weeks ago, is the first model to come under the new delayed overseas launching policy ordered by the company’s chief Lord Stokes.
He is insisting that overseas dealers are adequately stocked, backed up by an efficient after sales service, before the new models are introduced abroad. As 2,000 of the new models roll off the assembly lines a week for the home market, teams of engineers are abroad briefing and training dealers servicing techniques. By the time the overseas launching begins in Frankfurt in September, and Paris a month later, production will have been stepped up to more than 3,000 vehicles a week, with ample stocks for foreign markets.
A British Leyland spokesman said yesterday: “We are aiming to cut out the complaints which have been levelled against British car firms in the past of late deliveries and poor after-sales service on new models.We want customers overseas to be able to go into a showroom and buy one of the new Maxis off the peg. ”
The Maxis are being produced at Cowley, Oxford, where British Leyland yesterday announced a £45 million plan for expansion, reorganising and modernising its plant to boost production in the early 70’s to 10,000 cars a week. Closed circuit TV cameras have been set up to pin-point breakdowns or snags on the £2,500,000 Maxi assembly lines.