Metro the top-selling car again but strike casts shadow over BL success
By Edward Townsend Industrial Correspondent
Evidence that the consumer boom is continuing came yesterday with the news that new car sales in the first four months of the year were up 3 per cent on a year ago to a record 66,824.
The renewed fortunes of BL were confirmed with the news that the April market share for Austin Rover was 21.38 per cent and that the Metro was the best selling car in Britain for the second month running. But the state company’s success is once again threatened by a strike which has halted production of the Metro at Longbridge, Birmingham.
BL’s newly found market share has been due to the popularity of the Metro and Maestro ranges and there are high hopes for the new Montego, which is seen as the answer to the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier in the all-important fleet car sector. There are fears, however, that the dispute might spread to the Montego production line. Austin Rover remained undaunted. A spokesman said yesterday: “The results are most encouraging. In the year so far, we are the second largest car seller in the UK.”