British Leyland plans to expand its production of Minis in Spain and to export from there to the rest of Europe. In the growing Continental market for British Leyland cars, a particularly large increase is expected this year in Sweden. In cooperation with Nueva Montana Quijano, British Leyland is producing 85 Minis a day in Spain. The first Spanish made Minis are expected to be exported later this year, and the production rate is to be boosted up to a possible maximum of 400 a day.
Discussing the Spanish output of Minis at the opening of the Barcelona Motor Show at the weekend, Richard Bergeson, managing director of British Leyland, said “Last year our European dealers were extremely short of Minis. They could easily have sold thousands more it we had been able to deliver them, but we couldn’t.”
He added: “Spain is not an isolated, insulated auto market. It is the site of a valuable production facility we are going to use to meet competition for car buyers in the 1970s,wherever those customers happen to be.”
British Leyland’s Spanish subsidiary is one of four local companies launched in Europe by the group last year. Production of Minis began there in February. The other subsidiaries are in Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland, Further national subsidiaries, including one in France, are expected to be set up this year. In Gothenburg at the weekend, Harry Karlsson, president of British Leyland Sweden. said that the British Motor Week which had just ended had given B.LM.C. sales an immediate boost. The company expected unit sales to rise by 1400 to a total of 6,150 this year. A reduction of prices by British Leyland in March coincided with an increased tax on new cars by the Swedish Government.