History : BMC, BL and Rover production figures

Rover 800 production at Cowley.

The production figures reproduced below show clearly the relative success of the individual BMC>MGR models between 1959 and 2005.

Stories that can be extrapolated from the tables include the way that the Mini dwindled away following the launch of the Metro in 1980, how the Allegro never came close to emulating the success of its predecessor (although the figures look more favourable when combined with the Marina’s) and how the MGB remained a rock-solid mainstay right to the end.

They also show that the 1970s were not all bad news: the Princess range all-but matched the production volumes of the 1800/2200 even though it was widely maligned by elements of the press and trade which should have known better.

Consider this, though – more than two million Metros of all shapes and sizes were produced between 1980 and 1997, and yet the car is already beginning to look pretty rare on the UK’s roads.

*Note, for space reasons, all the 1980s models are identified by their model development codes.


Mini

195919,7491970278,950198169,986199226,195
1960116,6771971318,475198256,297199320,468
1961157,0591972306,937198349,986199420,417
1962216,0871973295,186198435,038199520,378
1963236,7131974255,336198534,974199615,638
1964244,3591975200,293198633,720199716,938
1965221,9741976203,575198737,210199814,311
1966213,6941977212,323198836,554199911,738
1967237,2271978196,799198940,99820007070
1968246,0661979165,502199046,045
1969254,9571980150,067199135,007Total5,505,874

Notes:
Figures cover production at Longbridge, Cowley and Seneffe and include CKD kits.


1950s and ’60s models

SpriteFX4/FL2MidgetMGB/
MGC
1100/
1300
1800/
2200
Maxi
1957/582995
1958/5917,565216
1959/6023,3401480
1960/61848013651647
1961/6215,99373813,0182772904
1962/6381641309731116,39197,649
1963/6493891282827926,496219,47350
1964/6510,743153012,16324,033242,80725,395
1965/6684561423865628,812238,35956,876
1966/6768241258663635,529160,09733,822
1967/6868091943744425,103249,50045,009
1968/698167146810,76129,787247,13842,73523,294
1969/701012227215,20634,062199,67136,04227,618
1970/711417269116,35040,424218,32243,81140,816
1971/72283316,24734,854144,34729,91367,966
1972/73239714,85832,732103,48637,83170,846
1973/74231213,72229,99520,78627,25147,873
1974/75208212,83726,8676468854834,956
1975/76312220,89435,73946,155
1977268714,33728,68132,479
197824221432927,35538,567
19792439977823,40027,490
1980200714,31515,778
1981204912,435
Totals129,35443,225224,473514,8522,151,007387,283486,273

Notes:
Figures cover production at Longbridge, Cowley, Abingdon (Sprite) and Seneffe (1100/1300 and Maxi) and
include CKD kits (1100/1300, 1800/2200, Maxi).

Calendar of years:
1957/58 to 1974/75 (October to September)
1975/76 (October 1975 to December 1976 – 15 Months)
1977 onwards (January to December)


1970s models

MarinaAllegroPrincessTR7SherpaSD1
1970/716039
1971/721558171
1972/73201,72427,528
1973/74155,071106,256288531110
1974/75134,98995,17320,476898211,77530
1975/76137,913125,42055,03138,17220,9638708
1977111,63695,46047,95522,94521,59526,537
1978105,66786,11733,951677722,37854,462
197996,48761,41537,12818,86922,39046,599
198027,77342,44314,73213,60923,39325,619
198122,9084471507010,59435,885
1982447115,03132,885
198320,35233,455
198418,75120,379
198515,916
19862870
Totals1,163,116667,192224,942114,477188,332303,345

Notes:
Princess data includes 18-22 Series.
Figures include CKD kits (Marina, 18-22, Princess).
Data for years beyond 1984 not currently available for Sherpa.

Calendar of years:
1970/71 to 1974/75 (October to September)
1975/76 (October 1975 to December 1976 – 15 Months)
1977 onwards (January to December)


1980s models

ItalLC8LC9LM19LM10SD3LM11XXHX
8051,27432,954
8154,910165,74520,4541254
8233,572174,66658,02528,2662282
8326,753180,76349,77813,905101,195
848707150,917536884,55326,42558,845
85174,66688,84965,84495,874
86158,54663,72163,16770,62315,609472
87161,28558,28080,26373,44754,4342677
88144,70167,93495,85978,78848,6341260
89138,75159,93886,80976,56035,387
90109,60538,76250,72829,460
9181,42218,45023,892† 12,968
9279,60010,22612,88128,136
9379,677717815,29228,354
9476,821404314,54221,802
9581,78213,311
9646,11811,400
9740,19911,131
986500
Total175,
276
2,078,
218
133,
625
43,
425
605,
411
418,
367
571,
460
317,
126
4,409

Notes:
1991 production for Rover 800 – Mk1 (XX): 10,007; Mk2 (R17): 2961.


1990s models

200/400Concerto600400 (HH-R)200 (R3)MGFMG RV8
198911,4902260
1990131,64826,449
1991157,91235,952
1992158,14632,444
1993162,09518,40630,593258
1994191,114872654,604807
1995115,021219961,41368,53435482323934
199610,90643,701123,514108,91316,112
1997909640,291119,455144,09613,398
1998627140,294104,569141,77814,832
19999253,81372,16810,388
20009672
200110,544
Totals953,699126,436270,988469,885470,50377,2691999

2000s models

Rover 25MG ZRRover 45MG ZSRover 75MG ZTMG TF
199919,206489553,581
200076,31548,923† 31,544
200162,055876638,295589833,8833510198
200237,98622,75626,163710432,123691414,011
200328,25622,96415,519658330,449801114,086
200417,36119,65015,003577224,156684410,954
2005596179523554218354391870631
Totals227,93482,088147,45727,540211,17527,14939,880

Notes:
2000 production for Rover 75 – 28,388 (Cowley); 3156 (Longbridge).


Data tabulated by Declan Berridge and Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

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.
Keith Adams

26 Comments

  1. Production figures do seem to be surprisingly hard to find, for something which clearly WAS measured at the time, especially for the non BMC products. Googling around, the data just doesn’t seem to be easily available, as I would be fascinated in the production numbers for such vehicles as
    Herald
    Dolomite (and it’s predecessors)
    Triumph 2000
    Spitfire
    Rover P6/ GT6
    Morris Minor
    Austin A40
    http://www.rimmerbros.co.uk/content–name-Triumph-Dolomite-Introduction
    This website has production numbers for the Dolomites and predecessors, suggesting 321948 rwd models and 214703 fwd models, number which aren’t insignificant

  2. Hi
    I have these figures from various books on british motor industry
    Herald 529,000
    Triumph 2000 316,000
    Rover p6 327,000
    BMC farina 916,000
    Morris Minor 1,619,000
    spitfire 306,000
    Austin A40 556,000
    Dolomite etc as post 3 hope these help to fill in any gaps.

  3. The Princess production figures don’t add up. The quoted total is 224,942 yet those figures added up come to 214,032. Also, the 1981 Princess production figures (4471) are the same as the 1982 Allegro ones? Is it possible that more Princesses than quoted were sold in its last year?

    Thanks.

  4. From 1994 to 1999 the production figures were still quite respectable. The 200/400 series sold almost 2 million over their 9 year period yet it will never be remembered like the Escort or Golf will be.

    • Yes… and very interesting to note that that absolute horror the Acclaim ( much lauded here from time to time ) sold roughly 1/5 the the numbers of the Allegro ( nearly always derided on this board ) and only came anywhere near its annual numbers when the Allegro was in its last years

  5. In some ways the Acclaim was a “test the water” exercise, the first generation 200’s figures were close to the Allegro’s & often better than the Maestro in the same year.

  6. Had a little play around with the figures quoted and for non mini car production, the figures display “normal variation” up until 1999 after which they nose dive. Any one know what happened in 1999? That seems to have been the year that BL>rover died.

    350,000 annual sales seems to have been the norm. Was that ever sustainable? It should have been.

    • Yes, those 1999 numbers are horrendous. Did sales just drop off a cliff due to the sale/closure announcement? Certainly things were much tougher in the marketplace, thanks to the Focus/Golf IV/Astra G competition, all excellent products and much better than their predecessors, especially in the case of the Ford

      350000 doesn’t sound anywhere viable to me, not with the products Rover were making.

      • Also the loss of the Metro & a change in the almost all the rest of the model range might have shaken customer confidence.

    • Had a look and yes the number of models was reduced but of those in production, the MGF/TF sold at about the same rate. The 75 and variants sold at about the same rate as the 600 (make of that what you will) But the 45 and variants sold at less than half the previous rate and the 25 at 2/3 the previous rate. If they had continued at the same rate then that would almost have doubled Mg/rover production. Alternatively the 45 and 25 should have been ditched and MG/Rover should have focused on the premium end. (A stratagy they half moved to with the focus on the SV and V8) the money saved from ditching 25/45 used to produce 75 coupe/drophead. MGF coupe/ MG FWD V8 etc. The SV dropping the carbon fibre body and becoming the next step up MG roadster (or even an austin heally) Looking at the figures it seems that the Alchemy bid would have been a better option.

  7. I am looking for annual production figures for all variants of the Rover K Series engine from 1989-2005. Does anyone know where these might be available?

  8. The figures for the Rover 600 in 1999 put mine in an even more exclusive group than I thought!
    According to Wikipedia, 974 were manufactured in 1999, compared to 92 in the chart above.

  9. Slightly concerning that the 1800/2200 managed more cars than the XX over their production runs.
    But there seems to be an alternating good year/bad year thing going on. One year you’ll have anything up to double the next or previous year and it seems to be almost universal? Something to do with company cars being on a two year lease?

    • Why concerning? The ADO71 was a popular product, and towards the end of it’s life, a pretty good product. On the other hand, XX wasn’t a huge hit to start with. The 2.5 V6 was gutless, and the car carried the stigma of a Rover badge. Despite what the diehards on here think, that was an issue – as a hangover from the debacle of SD1. It meant that UK customers had to be dragged away from big Fords and Vauxhalls (let alone Volvos and BMWs). Outside of the UK, a large car with a Rover badge couldn’t be given away free with cornflakes. That’s why the Stirling brand was created for the US market (even though that didn’t work either).

      • The Princess surely OUGHT to have sold better than the Rover 800, as a smaller cheaper car, competing in the 70s with the Cortina and Cavalier etc

        ADO71 can hardly be considered a sales success really

  10. I’m guessing some fall off in production was due to tooling being changed for updates followed by a jump as sales of the new version picked up.

    • Let me have a stab based on Sherpa figures… so, Sherpa made for 10 years, average 19,000ish per year, J4 made for 15 years – if at the same rate (19k pa) = 285,000 total built… feels a bit low but anyone have other ideas or info?

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