Archive : Former BMC director become MoD arms salesman

The job is being filled by Lester Suffield, the London sales manager of British Leyland. Lester Suffield, a 58-year-old car industry career man, knows an export market when he sees one. After a brief start in the London and North Eastern Railway, he joined Morris in 1936 in the company’s commercial sales department.

After the war he rejoined the Nuffield Organisation, after a short spell with one of the group’s major car dealers, and was later sent off to Canada where in 1958 he became managing director of the company’s Canadian subsidiary. In 1963 he moved from Toronto to New York to become president of B.M.C.’s newly formed marketing organization, a venture with Hambros Bank.

Before the great merger with Leyland, Mr. Suffield was a deputy managing director of B.M.C., with particular responsibilities for the group’s worldwide sales. His experience in Britain’s £170m a year arms export business is clearly limited. He served in the R.A.S.C. in the Second World War and since then as part of his British Leyland responsibilities has been involved in selling the group’s “Gypsy” military vehicles.

Keith Adams

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