Ryder Report (British Leyland)
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (June 2020)
The Ryder Report was the official report produced for the Government of the United Kingdom in 1975 by Sir Don Ryder, newly appointed head of the UK's National Enterprise Board who was given the task of reporting on the British Leyland Motor Corporation and listing recommendations for its future.
The report, titled "British Leyland: The Next Decade", was prepared by a team that included Bob Clark (Chairman of Hill Samuel), Fred MacWhirter (a senior partner of Peats) and Sam Gillen (the ex-head of Ford UK and Ford of Europe). It was passed to Tony Benn, Secretary of State for Industry, on 26 March 1975 only 14 weeks after commission.
At the time British Leyland was in a poor state. Created by the consolidation and merger of Britain's car and other road vehicle manufacturers and their related businesses, including tractors, its production of many competing models was spread across several locations at sites that had a strong and vocal trade union presence. The report was optimistic about the company, suggesting that it would be likely to keep its one-third share of the UK car market. There were no recommendations for plant closures, but for comprehensive organisational changes to the management structure.
The report recommended capital expenditure of £1,264 million from the government, backed up with a working capital of £260 million. If this was not taken it would be seen that the government had allowed the UK's leading car company to collapse and fail – a result that could have led to around one million people being put out of work.
A result of adopting the report was the part-nationalisation of BLMC as the government bought shares in the company, until it became the majority shareholder. The company known largely just as "BL" would continue.