A second cutback in Austin Maxi production at Oxford within a month will begin when the Morris Motors assembly plant re-opens on September 29 after the autumn week’s holiday. Planned output is now 1600 a week, but this is to drop to 1300. Day workers are to go on a four day week and the night shift men will lose one shift, working a 30 hour week. So far more than 25,000 Maxis have been assembled at Cowley since production started at the beginning of the year.
The car was given its European launching last week when British Leyland announced it expected to sell 20,000 on the Continent within a year to earn £14m. Because of a succession of disputes over piecework rates production of the Maxi has rarely reached the targets, initially 2000 a week and more recently 1800.
The last of the disputes was settled over a month ago. A British Leyland spokesman said last night that the cutback was due to difficulties in getting bodies for the Maxi from Pressed Steel Fisher. It was in no way connected with sales of the car. which were doing as well as expected at home and abroad, he added.