By CLIFFORD WEBB
British Leyland is to introduce night shift working on its Maxi assembly lines to cope with the flood of orders received since it was introduced three weeks ago. The present order book-worth over £31m. is already sufficient to keep the assembly lines going non stop for the next five months.
To prevent loss of customers not prepared to wait several months for delivery on a buyers’ market, George Turnbull, managing director of the Austin Morris volume car division has decided to step up production ahead of the build up already scheduled for the new model. A nightshift was introduced in the Maxi body building shops at Pressed Steel Fisher, Cowley, last week.
It was planned to follow this with night shift working at the assembly plant just across the road at the old Morris works beginning yesterday. This was, however, delayed by the strike, which stopped all Maxi production for three days last week and will not now begin before next week.
Last night Mr. Turnbull said: “We are very encouraged by the response of our distributors, dealers and public, to the Maxi. Our only anxiety is that we should fulfil these orders as quickly as possible. We are doing everything we can to build up production.”
Austin-Morris production was up by 12.2 per cent in the four months ended April 30 compared with the same period in 1968. The actual figures were 235,968 and 210.166. Total British Leyland car production was 306322 compared with 277,697 an increase of 10.3 per cent. The specialist car division, Jaguar, Rover and Standard-Triumph, made the biggest advance in export markets with a 12 per cent increase from 27,343 to 30,630.