By Clifford Webb
Midland Industrial Correspondent
British Leyland is making hurried changes in the model mix of the production line of the new Morris Marina following reports from dealers indicating a greater customer preference for the four-door model. At the time of the launch three weeks ago production schedules at the Cowley assembly plant set the mix at about 60 per cent four-door models and 40 per cent two-door coupes.
This was based on the result of market research and on pre-launch reaction from the trade and motoring press. Once the models were on display in dealers’ showrooms motorists were quick to point out that for a premium of only £39 the four-door 1300 saloon at £962 was a much better buy than the coupe. An Austin Morris spokesman said that with five versions of each model, making a total range of 10, some weeks would clearly he needed to enable the company to arrive at a more realistic mix.
“That information is now coming through and we are realigning our production to give the customer what he wants.”
Marina production, at a stand-still since Wednesday because of a strike by 80 maintenance workers, was due to be resumed today. Production. which started at 1000 models a week, is now about 1500, following introduction of a night shift. Once a few night shift production problems have been sorted out the company is confident of achieving an output of 3000 cars a week by midsummer, and 5000 by the end of the year.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.