HONDA TAKES THE WHEEL FOR NEW TRIUMPH
By David Benson
British Leyland and Japan’s Honda motor company are to join forces to produce a new Triumph car, it was disclosed yesterday. Japanese designed, it will have a Honda engine and transmission and be built on licence at Canley, Coventry. But pressings for the body will be made at BL’s Speke, Liverpool factory and mean the new car, probably in the 1800 to 2100cc class is to go on sale in mid-1981, with the Triumph name in Europe and Honda’s name elsewhere. Both plants are to be modernised . A new paintshop is planned at Canley, and a new press line at Liverpool which will also make pressings for Austin Morris’s planned LC10 mid range car.
At BL’s annual meeting in London yesterday, Leyland chairman Michael Edwardes stressed that the link -up with Honda was “a purely commercial venture and does not involve a merger or reconstruction of B L .”
He said the company had been left behind in the developing pattern of joint projects which were a feature of the American and European industries , ” and I don’t believe that BL collaboration will end with just the Honda link .”
Eddie McGarry, convenor at BL’s plant at Canley , Coventry , said: “Initially , we don’t see very much wrong with this project. But as yet, we don’t know what will be required from our workforce.”