FROM OUR MOTORING CORRESPONDENT
COVENTRY, FEB. 27
Jaguar car production is almost back to the normal 530 cars a week. The recent seven-day strike-at the height of work on a £22,500,000 United States export order-cost the company nearly £1m.
They will be unable to recoup the loss of 600 Mark Ten, Mark II and E type Jaguars. The first of the elegant Mark Ten models will be released to home market dealers early next month. At the Geneva motor show in a fortnight it will be making its first appearance in Switzerland, where two will be on show alongside an E type and two Mark 2 saloons. Jaguar sales in Switzerland last year were up by 20 per cent on 1960 and for the second sucessive year they were the top selling car in the £2,000 to £3,000 class, competing mainly with the German Mercedes.
At the Standard-Triumph factory here a new urgency has been injected since the Leyland Motors amalgamation six months ago. Production of the TR4 sports car has reached 500 a week, all booked for the American market. After touring the company’s production line today and seeing the improved system of inspection and television control of vehicle body movement through the new assembly plant, I was told that Standard-Triumph exports to Europe, which rose by 60 per cent last year, will be more than doubled this year.
The biggest increases can be expected in Belgium, where Triumph Heralds are now being assembled at Malines, near Brussels.
Apart from the emphasis which the new Standard-Triumph managing director, Mr Stanley Markland, is placing on quality and good labour relations, the biggest effect of the Leyland takeover has been on the export side of Standard-Triumph, especially in markets in the under-developed countries, where distributors can now offer a complete range of heavy vehicles such as the Albion and Scammell. In South Africa and Rhodesia Leylands took 75 per cent of the heavy vehicle market and Standard- Triumph now have the economic benefits of that organization.