The future of Britain’s Mini Coopers under the new British Leyland Motor Corporation regime was ensured yesterday under an agreement British Ley- land has concluded with the Cooper Car Co. for a further three years’ collaboration on production and sale of B.M.C. mini cars. Sir Donald Stokes, chief executive and managing director of British Leyland, said yesterday that the development of the Mini Cooper saloons and their numerous successes in international racing and rallying had played a major part in promoting world-wide sales of B.M.C. cars.
Nine thousand workers in the Midlands car industry are idle because of two disputes. The main stoppage results from an argument between drivers of British Road Services in Birmingham and Oxford over who should ferry car bodies from the Pressed Steel Fisher factory in Castle Bromwich to the Austin plant a few miles away.
Nearly 4000 workers at the PSF factory are idle and because car-body supplies have been halted there is no production of Mini and 1800 cars at Longbridge, where a further 3000 workers have been laid off.
At the Rover company’s main assembly plant in Solihull, Warwickshire , 1300 day shift workers were laid off because of a pay strike by 56 storekeepers at the company’s Cardiff works. This has halted the production of transmission units and made a total of 2000 workers idle.