British Leyland Motor Corporation

Leyland, one of the country’s leading bus and truck manufacturers, expanded into the car business by pursuing the strategy, used by William Morris to build his motor empire in the 1930’s of purchasing financially troubled companies.

Since the Second World War, Leyland had been growing through acquisition. Its core business was in commercial vehicles. It had purchased Albion in 1951, Scammell in 1955, AEC, Thorneycroft, Park Royal and Charles Roe in 1962, Bristol Commercial Vehicles in 1965, and finally Aveling Barford in 1967.

In 1952, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) appeared as a result of merger between Austin and Morris. Soon BMC, joined forces with Jaguar to form British Motor Holdings.

All major British-owned brands were owned by Leyland and BMC. The government then encourages Leyland and BMC to merge, convinced that scale was essential for long term survival.

On January 1968 the formation of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) was announced. BLMC became the only indigenously owned British producer of mass-maker cars and offered a wide range of niche market models, commercial vehicles, and nonautomotive products.

During the 1970s the Corporation was badly affected by an ageing product range, increasing foreign competition, indifferent management and very poor relations.

In 1975 British Leyland was effectively bankrupt and was saved from liquidation only by a state takeover.
British Leyland Motor Corporation

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