By Clifford Webb
A further short decline in the already depressed American car market combined with the falling dollar has forced BL to announce extended short-time working for its MG sports car plant at Abingdon near Oxford. From June 2 BL will cut production from 600 cars a week to 381 by introducing a three day week for all 700 assembly workers and by slowing the track speed.
Last night BL said these steps were being taken because of the continuing drain of financing the very high stocks of unsold MGs in its American showrooms. Short time would continue until the end of September when it would be reviewed. This further setback to MG, which sells 80 per cent of its production in the United States, has cast doubts on the outcome of the deal being finalized- for a consortium led by Aston Martin to acquire Abingdon and produce the MGB under licence.
Last night Mr John Symonds, chief executive of Aston Martin and a former BL director insisted that the cutback announcement would not affect the outcome.
“The negotiations are continuing “, he said.