Around the World : Overseas operations

Overseas Operations

Australian production
Australian production

Below is a list of the operations managed by British Leyland International during the early 1970s. I have included the autonomous distribution companies, CKD operations and associated manufacturers. If you know of any not included or can provide further information on any of the below, please contact us with any information you might have.

At the absolute zenith of BMC>Rover’s career, in 1968, it maintained 60 factories in the UK and 66 overseas, while foreign production amounted to 340,000 vehicles per year. Indigenous manufacture and partial manufacture took place in Australia, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Ireland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South and Central Africa, Spain and Turkey.

European Operations:

Austria British Leyland Austria KG
Messrs. Arge Auto
Belgium NV Leyland Industries, NV BL Belgium (SA)
Messrs SAMAF, Brussels
Sogida S.A.
Denmark Leyland DAB A/S
Sogida S.A.
Malines (Assembly plant)
Finland Oy Suomen Autoteollisuus AB
Oy Veho Ab
France BL France SA, Leyland Industrial SA Dist.
Germany A Bruggemann & Co GmbH, Deutsche Leyland GmbH Dist.
Ireland British Leyland (Ireland) CKD
Italy Leyland Innocenti Autoveilcoli Spa Prod.
Malta Car Assembly Ltd CKD
Netherlands BL Nederland CV, BL Import NV, Leyland Motor Corporation NV Dist.
Norway British Leyland Norge A/S Dist.
Portugal BL de Portugal Automoveis Lda, Triumph SA
J.J.Goncalves, Oporto
Spain Automoviles de Turismo Hispano Ingleses SA (Authi)
Sweden British Leyland (Sweden) AB Dist.
Switzerland BL Switzerland AG Dist.
Yugoslavia IMV – Industrija Motornih Vozil, Industry of Motor Vehicles CKD

Overseas Operations

Algeria Messrs S.A.D.I.V.A. (Société Algérienne d´Importation de Véhicules Automobiles) Dist.
Australia Leyland Motor Corporation of Australia Ltd Prod.
Cambodia Société Khmere de Représentation et de Navigation Dist.
Canada British Leyland Motors Canada Ltd Dist.
Chile British Leyland del Chile SA Prod.
Colombia Colomotores, Bogotá CKD
Costa Rica Land Rover Ltd CKD
Ecuador Austin Morris Ecuador CKD
East Africa Leyland Albion (East Africa) Ltd CKD
Ghana Leyland Motors (Ghana) Ltd Dist.
Hong Kong Metro Cars Ltd Dist.
India Ashok Leyland, Ennore Foundries, Standard Motor Products of India Ltd Prod.
Iran SS Leyland Motors Iran, SS Leyland Diesel Iran CKD
Jamaica John Crook Ltd Dist.
Malawi Leyland Motor Corporation (Malawi) Ltd Dist.
Morocco Austin Morris Morocco CKD
New Zealand NZ Leyland Corporation Ltd Prod.
Peru British Leyland del Peru SA Dist.
Rhodesia Austin Motor Co. (Pvt.) Ltd CKD
South Africa Leyland Motor Corporation SA Ltd
Transvaal, Messrs. R. Lucas and F. Payne Motors Ltd
Sudan Sudan Warehousing Co. Ltd Dist.
Tanzania Leyland Albion (Tanzania) Ltd CKD
Trinidad Austin Morris Ltd, Land Rover Ltd CKD
Turkey BMC Sanayi ve Ticaret AS Prod.
Uganda Leyland Albion (Uganda) Ltd CKD
Uraguay Austin Morris, Uraguay SA; Frank Surgery SA CKD
USA British Leyland Motors Inc Dist.
Zaire Industrie Nationale Zairoise des Automobiles Leyland CKD
Zambia Aveling-Barford, Leyland-Motors, Rover (Zambia) Ltd CKD

Key to terms:
Prod: Production facility, where entire cars were built from scratch.
CKD: Cars assembled from kits exported from the UK.
Dist: Distribution network, managed locally.

Keith Adams


  1. New Zealand was never a full production location, unlike Australia. CKD assembly only in all Austin Distributors Federation (Petone), Dominion Motors, NZMC (Auckland and Nelson), etc plants. Immediate post-WWII some Austins were done SKD at Petone, then CKD. A good reference book for NZ is ‘Assembly’ by Mark Webster but good luck finding a copy; took me two years to get mine….

    Best regards, GR@just-auto

  2. BSD

    Dear keith,

    Although the above list os of the 70’s,i think that Israel should have appeared in the list.

    The triumph 1300 & 1500 were assebled in israel (CKD) from 1965 or 1966,and leyland trucks and buses were also assebled ,until BL decided to withdraw fromthe israeli market in 1973.

    The leyland buses dominated the roads of israel (both buses assembled in Leyland-Ashdod from the early 60’s and buses assembled at Ha’argaz & Merkavim factories from the early 50’s-in both cases on leyland Royal Tiger mark 1&mark 2 chasis).

  3. Hi, my father was an employee of Lyland Albion Uganda limited company between 1970 to 1979 in Kampala Uganda.Unfortunately when the 1979 war began in Uganda ,he was forced to leave Uganda.
    My late father has been trying to follow up his benefits in vain until he past on in 2006 in kenya.Being the second son of my father among the ten children,I would kindly like to get some help that may lead to get his benefits to help my ailing mother and the the rest of our family.

    My fathers names .CHARLES OGUNGA AGUDA

  4. Hi Keith,
    As a former Morris Apprentice 1960-65 I joined the Overseas Production Dept at Cowley and trained as a Field Engineer then Managed by John Capel and Ken Watson. Other engineers were David Scroggs, Dick Bartlam(emigrated to New Zealand) Dick Bailey who moved on as Managing Director of Seneffe in Belgium for a time, Graham Millard, Jim Turnham and myself. The leader of the Design and drafting team (who designed and drew up the jigs and fixtures for bodyshell assembly abroad) was John Roff who I believe stayed in Yarton, Oxford. The names of others escape me now. As a Field Engineer at the time we were charged with writing and keeping up-to-date all the assembly instructions used by plants overseas and to assist we had a team of about 10 female technical illustrators kept mostly separate from the rest of us!
    Next door was a good sized workshop equipped with all the tools and welding gear for us to do trial builds of each bodyshell to ensure all the problems had been found before releasing the jigs. The last one I worked on there was the MG Coupe shell the jigs for which I believe have probably moved on to the Heritage Body makers.
    I would be interested to know of anyone else who remembers these times particularly contemporary apprentices.
    I stayed at Morris (by now BMC) until 1968 when I transferred to The Truck and Tractor Plant at Bathgate Scotland as part of the Management of CKD staying pretty much up until its closure.I later joined the Leyland Lancs factory at Preston until things all changed when DAF took over.
    Regarding your list of overseas assemblers, another would be Berliet-Maroc (Casablanca) who bought loads of FG Axles and Engines for their own trucks. There were also truck assemblers in Uruguay and I think Venezuela also. Another huge user of FG Trucks was Hong Kong. In their case the cabs were supplied fully built and crated whilst engines, axles and chassis were either packaged in sets of 2 or 4 but mainly in 4’s. That concept applied to most CKD territories also taking account of components which had to be made locally and therefore left out of UK packs.
    Except for the case of BMC Sanayi Turkey who took both truck and tractor parts (mainly the 145) at component level tractors were mostly built at Bathgate and shipped boxed in partially stripped down condition all over the world. For Australia they were eventually containerised mounted on specially designed pallets which angled the tractors so that more could be packed into each 40 foot container.
    It was a bad day for West Lothian when ‘The BMC’ as it was called here(I stayed) finally shut its doors. The whole site is now a massive residential complex-really sad. I often wonder whose living in my office!
    Keith Philpott

  5. Surprised by the absence of Brazil and Mexico considering their later growth, was setting up overseas operations in Brazil or Mexico ever considered by Nuffield, BMC or BL?

    • Whilst there was an almost universal presence in Western Europe, BMC was known for targetting overseas sales in the former British Empire.

  6. I guess the Americans had Mexico tied up, as did Fiat in Brazil, & VW in both.

    BMC did have an operation Argentina, & made fibre glass Minis in Chile to meet local content quotas.

  7. I am pretty sure that Triumph Spitfires were assembled in Peru – unlikely as it may seem!

    • Hi Is this the same Ian Dexter that worked at Leyland Nigeria in the 1980s if so its a small world

      BR Trevor Holland

    • There was assembly in Peru yes.
      During 1967-70 this plant assembled Triumph Heralds (sedan, convertible and station wagons), Triumph Spitfires, Austins 1300 sedan and Austin Mini MK2 1000.

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