Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Leyland/BMC merger

13 June 1968

By CLIFFORD WEBB,
Midland Industrial Correspondent

Five hundred British Motor Corporation distributors representing the whole Morris, Austin, MG, Wolseley and Riley distribution network crowded into the exhibition hall at Longbridge yesterday for a question and answer session on their future with Sir Donald Stokes, chief executive of British Leyland Motor Corporation.

Many of them went in to the meeting expecting to hear the worst from a man who in the past had been critical of B.M.C.'s retention of such a wide range of marques. To their amazement. Sir Donald told them that reports that he was dropping Wolseley and Riley were way off the mark and both will continue to be produced and sold alongside the main Austin and Morris ranges. It is not clear, however, how long this will continue, and there was considerable speculation last night that it was only an interim measure while Sir Donald tackles the more pressing problem of the 5,000 B.M.C. dealers who at present compete not so much with the opposition as with each other.

But he left the distributors at yesterday's meeting in no doubt that unless they themselves are prepared to reorganize their own operations and put pressure on their dealers to do the same, they can expect short shrift. At the same time he reassured them:
'I have no intention of presiding over the liquidation of any of our real assets. Obviously there will be pruning and re-adjustment but together with my colleagues, and I could not wish for a more competent and enthusiastic bunch, I am determined that with your help we are going to recapture far more than our present share of the domestic market.'

He promised them a completely new model policy for the next five years under the direction of Harry Webster recently promoted from Standard Triumph to become chief engineer of British Leyland's volume car division. He detailed the changes being made in the long awaited 1500 saloon whose delayed appearance leaves such a gap in the middle of the B.M.C. range.

More news from the archive

Wed, 15 May 1968
By Business News Staff Threats of unrest in the motor industry were growing yesterday with disputes at the British Leyland Group,...
Tue, 21 May 1968
THE GUARDIAN By John Coyne Undoubtedly the fastest growing car market in Europe is in Spain, and in spite of a ban on car imports...
Tue, 21 May 1968
DAILY MIRROR By Patrick Mennem For motor tycoon Sir Donald Stokes this is the moment of truth. In the next fortnight he must mastermind...
Thu, 30 May 1968
On this day: Somewhere in the bowels of BLMC a photograph is taken of hatchback Mini Clubman, part of the ADO20 programme. GLASGOW...
Thu, 06 Jun 1968
GLASGOW HERALD Production at the Bathgate factories of British Leyland Corporation has come to a halt as a direct result of the dispute...
Tue, 18 Jun 1968
By CLIFFORD WEBB The unofficial but powerful British Leyland Joint Trade Union Committee-comprised entirely of shop stewards is not...
Sat, 29 Jun 1968
The future of Britain's Mini Coopers under the new British Leyland Motor Corporation regime was ensured yesterday under an agreement...
Mon, 01 Jul 1968
DAILY EXPRESS The week-long strike of 140 British Road Services drivers in Birmingham, which hit production of BMC ended yesterday...
Wed, 03 Jul 1968
THE GUARDIAN More than 10,000 workers in the Midlands were laid off last night as the white-collar unions dispute with the British...
Thu, 04 Jul 1968
THE GUARDIAN By Michael Blanden Mr Joe Edwards' period as consultant to the board of British Leyland Motor Corporation has proved...
 

Ask Honest John

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £9,304.93

Total cost of credit £1,804.93

£155.08

60 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

The Representative APR is 13.2% (fixed) so if you borrow £7,500 over 4 years at a rate of 13.2% p.a (fixed) you will repay £199.21 per month and repay £9562.20 in total.