Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,384 pages of information and 211,458 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Car and commercial vehicle manufacturers.
1978 The main divisions were reorganised as:
1978 Until he could find a permanent appointee, Michael Edwardes temporarily also took charge of BL Cars, the subsidiary holding the 3 car-subsidiaries. The Truck and Bus activity was put into a new company Leyland Vehicles.
Within 5 months of Edwardes' appointment, 12 senior executives had left the group
1980 Launched the Austin Mini-Metro. This later developed in to the Rover 100 and continued in production until 1997
1980 Austin Morris employed 41,000 people; Jaguar Rover Triumph employed 36,000; BL Components employed 40,000; BL Commercial Vehicles employed 38,000; SP Industries employed 7,000; others and HQ employed 2,000; in total 164,000
Tie up with Honda and launched versions of the Ballade as the Triumph Acclaim and then as the Rover 213/216
1981 The Austin Rover Group was formed as the mass-market car manufacturing subsidiary of BL. It was the result of a comprehensive restructuring programme intended to rescue BL from almost-certain oblivion.
1981 David Abell, MD of BL Commercial Vehicles division, resigned from the company to devote his time to his interests in Suter Electrical which was negotiating with Leyland Vehicles for the purchase of Prestcold which BL had been trying to sell for 2 years.
1981 May: BL announced they were going ahead with a £21 million plan to radically improve product engineering facilities within the Austin Morris and Rover Triumph light medium car groups by 1983.
1982 The 4 main division of the company were:
1982 April: The Solihull Rover factory became redundant to the company when the recent death of the TR7 sports car sealed the factory's fate. It was deemed 'unsaleable' by industrial estate agents.
1982 When Michael Edwardes left BL, the car and truck divisions were put in the hands of separate executives - David R. G. Andrews was appointed chief executive of Land Rover-Leyland and Ray Horrocks was head of BL Cars They reported to the non-exec chairman Austin Bide
1983 Aveling-Barford was privatised
1984 Jaguar was sold
1986 Graham Day took over at the company. He split the group into 6 divisions - including Land Rover, Freight Rover and Leyland Trucks. The name of the company was changed to Rover Group with the eventual aim of privatising the group.