British Motor Holdings
|Fate||Merged in 1968 with Leyland Motor Corporation|
|Predecessors||Morris Motors Limited
Austin Motor Company Limited
Pressed Steel Company Ltd
Jaguar Cars Limited
|Successors||British Leyland Motor Corporation|
|Founded||14 December 1966|
|Defunct||17 January 1968|
|Headquarters||Longbridge, Birmingham, England, UK|
|Key people||Sir George Harriman (Chairman)|
Thirteen months later on 17 January 1968 under direct pressure from its national government BMH merged with Leyland Motor Corporation (Standard-Triumph, Rover and Alvis cars, Leyland trucks and buses, Alvis fighting vehicles) to form British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC).
1964 The Wilson government takes control
The Wilson Labour Government (1964–1970) came to power at a time when British manufacturing industry was in decline and decided that the remedy was to promote more mergers, particularly in the motor industry. Chrysler was already buying into the Rootes Group, Leyland Motors had acquired Standard Triumph in 1961 (and would buy Rover in 1967) and had become a major automotive force. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) was suffering a dramatic drop in its share of the home market. Tony Benn, appointed Minister of Technology in July 1966, brought pressure to bear on the industry and one result was BMH's merger with Leyland to form British Leyland.
In 1965 BMC had purchased Pressed Steel, Britain's major car body manufacturer, and in the third quarter of 1966 it purchased Jaguar Cars. Three months later, to recognise the changed nature of their business, the company name was changed to British Motor Holdings on 14 December 1966.
From the perspective of Jaguar, the sale to BMC which became firm in September 1966 (when BMC took control of Jaguar) came about because Sir William Lyons, the managing director and founder of Jaguar Cars Ltd, was nearing retirement, and did not have a viable succession plan for his company. By becoming part of the massive BMC congolmerate, Lyons also saw the merger as a way of protecting Jaguar from a possible takeover by a rival such as Daimler-Benz, whose Mercedes-Benz cars Jaguar competed directly with. His only son John Lyons had been killed in a car accident in 1955, and his other board members were of a similar age to himself. Another factor was that bodyshells for Jaguar production were fabricated by Pressed Steel, a supplier critical to Jaguar and now controlled by BMC. From the perspective of the BMC, a merger with Jaguar was attractive because it had had success in the US market, and was thereby profitable at a time when BMC lacked the funds to invest sufficiently in modern production facilities or new models.
At the annual statement to shareholders for 1967, BMH chairman Sir George Harriman reported on Group Overseas Operations that the company had delivered to world markets (i.e. exported) 313,790 cars, commercial vehicles and tractors, including 72,049 manufactured overseas.
British Motor Holdings inherited a plethora of British automotive marques but by now they were the (famously) badge-engineered unified range of one manufacturer incorporating three sports cars, MGB, MG Midget / Austin-Healey Sprite, Austin Healey 3000 plus
Jaguar saloons and sports car and its badge-engineered Daimlers, Coventry Climax industrial engines and Guy trucks :
Estimated production of cars and commercial vehicles in the UK 1965
Merger with Leyland
On 17 January 1968 BMH merged with the smaller prosperous Leyland Motor Corporation to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) on a one-for-one share exchange, valuing BMH at £201 million. BMH had reported a £3.4 million loss for 1966/7.
Sources and further reading
- British Motor Takes That New Label The Times, 15 December 1966; pg. 17 Issue 56815
- Martin, Robert (18 January 1968). "Leyland and British Motor in £420m merger". The Glasgow Herald. p. 3. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- "What is BMH?". Autocar. 127 nbr 3730: page 1. 10 August 1967.
- 90PC OF JAGUAR TAKE BMC The Times, Wednesday, 14 September 1966; pg. 18; Issue 56736
- "British Motor Holdings". The Sydney Morning Herald. 3 December 1967. p. 64. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- Karel Williams, John L. Williams, Dennis Thomas, Why Are the British Bad at Manufacturing, page 54, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983, ISBN 0-7100-9561-9
- Simply the best, www.aronline.co.uk Retrieved on 6 June 2013
|British Leyland – car companies and marques|
|BMH||BLMC / British Leyland||Jaguar
|Rover||Rover Company||Rover Company||Rover Company||Austin Rover Group
Land Rover Group (BL plc)
|Rover Group (BAe)||Rover Group
|MG Rover Group (PVH)|
|Land Rover||Ford (PAG)|
|Standard||Standard||Standard Triumph||Leyland Motors||British Motor Heritage|
|MG||Morris Garages (MG)||Rover Group
|MG Rover Group (PVH)||SAIC
|Vanden Plas||Vanden Plas|
|Princess||BMC||BLMC / British Leyland|
|Austin-Healey||Austin (BMC) & Donald Healey|