Template talk:British Leyland

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WikiProject Automobiles (Rated Template-class)
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Isn't it about time the header in the template was renamed from "rise and fall of BL" to something like "Timeline of the major British motor car manufacturers" GraemeLeggett 10:58, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I've changed the header. Ideally we need another template showing the rise and fall of the bus/truck companies. Malcolma 21:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

NO! I strongly object. The purpose of this template is to follow the rise and fall of Leyland - if we add in all the other bits of British motor companies it'll get much more complicated and it won't be useful for it's intended purpose. Feel free to write a new template for what you want - but this one is needed in order to avoid repeating the same long and complicated discussions about how each of several dozen cars went from being made by first one company then another. There are a LOT of articles about BL cars - and we need a simple way to dump all of that discussion and 'see also' type of links into a single, handy template. It serves to hold all of the links to the various sub-articles relating to BL. Rather than dramatically broadening the scope of this template (and let me remind you of it's title) - let us instead delete whatever extraneous content there is to keep this template doing it's title says it is. If you feel the need to start a new template - feel free (although I think an article would be more appropriate). SteveBaker 13:06, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Rover 1930/1940[edit]

What happened to Rover in the timeline twixt 1925ish and 1945ish - did the company cease to exist? The wikientry does not say.GraemeLeggett 17:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I've filled in the gap. Malcolma 21:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

What's with the Riley bit?[edit]

There is a box on the left of the diagram that says; "Riley & from 1950s Mini name" - but whilst it talks about 'from 1950's', it ends in the 1930's. I presume it's talking about the use of the Riley name in the Mini model called the Riley Elf. But many of those early company names were similarly re-used but are not tagged as such. For example, the Wolseley name was also used to name a Mini (the Wolseley Hornet - the exact same model as the Riley Elf as it happens).

This idea of subsequent name re-use being mentioned in this way is inconsistent - and has little to do with this kind of timeline (IMHO) so I'm removing it. SteveBaker 12:08, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I've put in a separate line that becomes New Mini and started it with BMC. Not sure if it needs more explanation. I've also put Ford back on the Land Rover line as that's where the brand went. Malcolma 21:57, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I guess I misinterpreted the meaning of the diagram. It just looks odd to have two Ford lines coming off the big BMW box with no obvious explanation as to why - but with the MINI line coming off it's own BMW box. Anyway...I don't like 'New MINI' - the name of the company is BMW/MINI surely - just like BMW/MGR. SteveBaker 22:46, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


Having seen the colours come, and very rapidly go, I'd just like to say/vote that I liked them and thought they added to the usability. There were issues with the particular choices, for example giving yellow to VDP, where there would be no confusion, but having Ford and MGR in very similar lilacs. But overall, I'd prefer to see them come back again! Steve, could you be persuaded? ;) Kierant 15:32, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, I wasn't alone in disliking the colour version - User:Malcolma didn't like them either. Also, NONE of the other automotive timelines have colour. I think that if you are passionate about it, you should start a discussion on the Wikipedia:WikiProject Automobiles/Templates talk page. SteveBaker 16:15, 8 April 2006 (UTC)


I think that all of those horribly detailed footnotes in flyspeck-3 font need to go away. This is supposed to be a handy-dandy navigational aid that you can drop into the bottom of an article to give people a quick overview of the history of the company. If they need all of this detail, they should be going to the main article at British Leyland Motor Corporation. The recently addition of the trademark numbers of the company name was the straw that broke the camels back. SteveBaker 14:20, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

The triumph note is fairly important, the Alvis more organizational - I've trimmed them down again. GraemeLeggett 14:55, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Ack! Yet more stupid footnotes. Guys - this is supposed to be a mere navigational template - it's getting close to an entire screenful. The intent here is not to put up a fully researched and annotated article - that is the job of British Leyland (ie the article) which is linked from the template. The function of this template is to provide a simple overview - a way for articles about BL cars to easily link to all of the articles about the BL ancestor and descendent companies. With all of the junk on the end, it's getting to the point where I'm going to have to remove it from the articles I patrol because it's WAY too intrusive. My inclination is to simply delete all of the footnotes and go back to the clean, easy-to-understand version of the template. All of that information should be in the British Leyland article - or in articles about the ancestors and descendents...and that is exactly as it should be. If anyone has a contrary viewpoint - let's hear it - but for my money, the footnotes need to just go away. SteveBaker 13:02, 25 October 2006 (UTC)


The 'classic' Mini was never a company name - it was a car name. The new MINI brand started in 2001 with BMW and did not exist back in BMC, etc eras. So MINI has nothing whatever to do with British Leyland and 'Mini' doesn't belong in the chart any more than 'Maxi', 'Marina' or any of 50 other car names. SteveBaker 20:52, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

We need to decide what to do about the period when "Mini" wasn't branded as being an Austin, Austin Rover, or anything else. (Even if the decision is just to remove it, if it's believed that no new brand was created.) Currently, the table is broken, in a sense, by having lost "Mini" at the beginning of a row which remains, "headless", and concludes with "BMW/MINI". – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 21:42, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Several other of BL's cars were not branded with a legacy company name over that period either - the Mini isn't special in that regard. You could perhaps argue for 'MINI' (note capitals) on that row - linking it to MINI (BMW) which is both a car company/marque and a car. The difficulty I'm having with that is the question of "Where do we stop?". Some parts of BL ended up in BMW and therefore we feel that BMW subsidiaries need to be listed here - then surely we should list all of the Ford subsidiaries too. (NO! I'm not advocating doing that!). I suppose the justification for including MINI would be that they are located at the Oxford plant - which was historically a part of BL. But this isn't a table that's organised according to what buildings the company owned - it's about tracking the corporate ownerships and complicated set of name changes. In that context, should the BMW/MINI box be in the table at all?
Worse still, if we retained the Mini tag as a kind of marque, it would absolutely have to include both Austing and Morris since the Mini was released simultaneously in both 'marques' at the outset. Once you start thinking like that, the entire idea of building a simple timeline/table falls apart. SteveBaker 12:42, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Yep. I think we might be as well to remove the row altogether, but perhaps add a footnote associated with BMW (which would still appear elsewhere in the table) to mention the "brand" status of MINI today – I'd say this is relevant to the BL timeline in the sense that it's worth mentioning the rebirth of old marques. – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 13:42, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm strongly opposed to adding more footnotes. In fact, I think we should delete the ones we currently have. This is supposed to be a small navigational template - not an article in its own right! When it's put into an article, it takes an inordinate amount of space and the footnotes have little (if any) relevence to the article that transcluded it. The place for detailed discussions of what happened to Leyland is in the British Leyland article - not here in the template. SteveBaker 18:03, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I've reinserted Mini temporarily, not to short-circuit this discussion, but rather to ensure the table isn't left in a confusing state, pending a final decision. 12:47, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
So now, the table says "Marque" at the top of the column and "Mini" listed under that heading - with a footnote that says "Mini is not a marque"...so (as a reader) I'm saying to myself: "Why the heck did they put this into that column and then tell us that it shouldn't be there?!". SteveBaker 13:05, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. It's just that we haven't got the right solution yet. I'd agree that the present situation is better than having BMW & MINI "orphaned" at the end of a row. As a reader I'd be much more confused by that, than by a note which tells me there are two articles to consult to get more details and an explanation. Not that I'm saying it's the right end solution, just the lesser of the evils.
In terms of finding a solution, although I'm always a fan of keeping things simple, I've seen some other templates using Javascript to make them "expandable". How would people feel about having the footnotes "expandable" in that way, so less messy? I take Steve's very good point that these things belong in the main article, but I don't believe that the current number of footnotes neccessarily hurt anybody; I'd want the template to always and only appear at the foot of articles, however. – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 20:12, 25 October 2006 (UTC)


I have no idea about 'expandable' footnotes in a Wikipedia context - but if you have to click on a link to expand the footnotes, you might just as well click the link to take you to the British Leyland article. Where is the advantage? The disadvantage is clear...non-standard stuff that'll be hard to maintain. The template ought to appear at the end of articles - but some articles have multiple templates at the end and they can't all be at the end - so if you set a precedent by adding all of this junk, then things could easily get out of hand. I should remind you that there is a well-supported proposal to limit templates to at most 6 lines of text. I oppose that - but templates like this one are the kind of thing that are provoking that kind of reaction. Let's dump the footnotes - just delete them. SteveBaker 23:15, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

I really do sympathise with that point of view, but I think "the advantage" is that one remains on the same page, with the expanded (i.e. visible) footnotes, and for people who don't know how to (or can't) use multiple tabs or windows, that's handier than switching back and forth between two pages whilst trying to understand something.
But I don't mean to get bogged down in this detail. How about we resolve what should be in the grid at all – and if we agree that it's marques and that Mini was not one under the BL era, and perhaps agree that it is not one now, we should just delete the whole row. (And once that's done, as for the footnotes... well, I'm not going to be the one who puts them back if you go ahead and remove them ;-) – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 23:46, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Well, I think we have several choices that make a lot more sense than sticking Mini into a list of marque names:
  1. Put MINI in the marque slot for that row. MINI is a new company/marque - and whilst it really has nothing to do with BL - it's a million times better choice than Mini in this context. (Answer: It's inappropriate to do that because all of the other names on the left are ancestors of BL, not descendants).
  2. Delete that row altogether. BMW/MINI are not - nor ever were a part of BL. We don't show other BMW subsidiaries - why do we show that one? (Answer: Because MINI run out of Cowley and make a retro Mini)
  3. Perhaps the template should end before MINI joined into the picture. By the start of the 1990's, everything that was ever a part of BL was a part of either Ford or BAe. Do we need anything to the right of that? (Answer: This timeline is more about the fate of British car manufacturing than it is about BL - and the final rebirth of the Cowley plant as a part of BMW is a nice ending to the story - especially because the car they are making is the direct successor to the most successful British cars ever made).
  4. Because the MINI factory is situated in the Cowley plant. It is arguable that it is the final incarnation of the Morris company - so we should rearrange the diagram so that MINI(BMW) is on the Morris row. (Answer: But that spot is currently occupied by Nanjing - so that just creates a new problem).
  5. The 'Marque' column is inappropriately named. It's really a list of the predecessor companies - who mostly became mere marques later on. That being the case, neither Mini nor Land Rover belong there - now there are two gaps - but having gaps isn't a bad thing if the diagram gets fatter in the middle than it was at the outset.
None of those alternatives are very nice - but they are all better than listing Mini under the Marque column.
BAE Systems evolution.png
In the end, this is only a problem because our vision of what those horizontal rows mean is kinda vague and messy. What part of Wolseley still exists in Nanjing?? Why does no part of Rover end up contributing to Nanjing even though the company they bought was called "MG Rover Group"? Why aren't companies like Authi and Leyland Innocenti featured in the diagram (Innocenti eventually got bought by Fiat and Authi by SEAT)? It makes no sense at all. The problem is that we've stuck this into a rectangular grid which implies that things on the same row of the diagram are somehow related - when in fact they sometimes are and sometimes are not. What is really required is a 'fishbone' diagram such as the ones used in BAE Systems or UNIX...but those don't play well as navigational templates because you can't easily link from them.
Overall, I think we need a careful rethink of what this diagram actually means before we try to fix it any more. SteveBaker 00:26, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
A good explanation – but damn, this just became a much bigger clean-up task...
In the meantime, how about we go with your number (4), but have the Morris row ending with "Nanjing & MINI (BMW)"? That would seem make as much sense as the rest of the diagram. – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 00:35, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
It's certainly better than we have now. SteveBaker 02:23, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Timeline end[edit]

I think that there is a case for putting an end to the timeline at about 2006.

There appear at the moment to be no companies that were part of BL left anymore. Some brands remain but are now entirely in hands of what BL would have regarded as (foreign) competitors. Alternatively we cou.d find a new title for the template - but one that avoids us having to add Vauxhall Ford and Rootes to the template. GraemeLeggett 13:04, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

This sounds sensible. I'd like there to be some "reason" beyond just a date though. Perhaps the appropriate point is when every company (corporate entity, not brand) which was brought into BL has ceased to exist – i.e. has been fully purchased and subsumed, as opposed to being made part of a group of companies. Do we have enough knowledge of the businesses to identify that moment? – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 13:44, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I've been having a hard think about this and I think it all comes down to asking what the purpose of this template is - especially in the context of the kinds of articles are likely to include it.
Mostly, I think it's valuable for people reading an article about a particular car who are confused by the confusing and rapid change in company names and marques (I'm imagining one of our readers saying: "Eh - it said the car was made by "Austin" - but now they say it's made by "Leyland" - WTF?!"). The timeline makes it clear what the relationships are - roughly when companies like Morris turned into mere marques. It also provides convenient and comprehensive links to all of the component companies - which is also a very useful service for the parent article authors.
It's also useful when reading an article about one of the component companies because we don't have to repeat the entire corporate history in each of a dozen or so articles - and it provides the 'one true place' where the facts are correct.
So, I think the usefulness of continuing to extend the timeline to the right (or to the left for that matter) disappears when articles written about cars that are built by the companies mentioned (eg Ford and BMW) no longer include the timeline - there is no point in including those companies on the timeline. So the 'Ford Explorer' article doesn't use the template - but I bet the Range Rover and Jaguar articles still do. Similarly, the MINI (BMW) article uses the template to illustrate the heritage of the car - so it's worth keeping MINI(BMW) in the template.
In conclusion, I think it's wrong to end the template at 2006 - but it might be worth thinning out the number of companies represented. MINI and Nanjing should be there (which means BMW and Rover need to be there) - but BAE systems probably shouldn't be there. They came from BAe - they had nothing to do with Leyland or any of the prior parts of Leyland - and the BAE Systems article doesn't need the template. By thinning out companies that no longer make anything recognisably 'from the BL era' and which no longer contain any of the original marque names - the template will gradually taper down to nothing as the last cars/marques vanish. However, I'm reminded that BMW are talking about making a retro-TR6 in the MINI factory - if that happens, the BMW/Triumph thing will get complicated.
SteveBaker 18:21, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Steve, There's a case for BAE Systems staying as they own the Alvis brand through their Land Systems division, although the brand left Leyland and was bought by BAE Systems rather than being inherited when BAe bought Austin Rover Group. Kind Regards - Heligoland | Talk | Contribs 15:26, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah - I didn't know that. Is the 'Alvis' name still being used for anything? A Google search reveals just one link which is to http://www.alvisvickers.co.uk/ - but that web site says 'under construction' and according to the way-back machine has been that way since January 2nd 2006. According to the page just prior to that, the BAE 'Land Systems group' was formed from a merger of Alvis with 'RO Systems' in September 2005. As best as I can reconstruct the timeline, it appears that the Alvis/Vickers name died more than a year ago in the merger. The news of that was kept up on the Alvis web site for four months site until January this year - and now it's just Cyber-squatted with an 'under construction' page. No business who gave a damn about their image would leave just those two words on their corporate site for 10 months - so we may safely deduce that Alvis is finally gone. From an encyclopeadic perspective - it's non-notable...certainly if we wanted to put a definite end to the template, this is not the reason not to do so. SteveBaker 20:30, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd agree with that, it seems BAE Systems has finally discontinued all of its brand names such as Alvis, Haglunds and Bofors. It does mean the Alvis is now in an identical situation to Rover, where just the brand name lives on and unused at that. Kind Regards - Heligoland | Talk | Contribs 11:17, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Let me know if I can help sort out any confusion. I've done a lot of work on British Aerospace/BAE Systems/Alvis Vickers/BAE Systems Land Systems etc. and I created the diagram above. The Alvis name was dropped almost as soon as BAE completed its takeover of the company. It also dropped the Royal Ordnance name and merged those two companies to form BAE Systems Land Systems. Bofors is different, BAE acquired it when it bought United Defense in 2005. The Bofors and Hagglunds names have been maintained.

Also, why is British Aerospace listed as a car company/brand. Yes it owned the Rover Group, but the car brand was always Rover? Mark83 13:30, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I know theres not much room left on the tempolate but when BL became Rover and tookover by BAe the name Austin Rover eventully disapeered and became Rover Cars so surely instead of BAe shouldnt that colummn say Rover Group (BAe) or something similar Penrithguy 18:45, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


Minor point but the Standard Brand is owned by British Motor Heritage Ltd:;- Reference


Please can some-one verify and update accordingly the template.


What on earth?[edit]

This template has horribly lost its way. I've just seen it added to the Bristol page, and I note that it now includes Vauxhall, but not Ford. This is a mish-mash. I get the point that calling it "...British Leyland..." was too narrow, but it's totally changing its purpose to try to cover all... what? Cars sold in Britain it isn't. Cars made in Britain it isn't. Cars made by British owners it isn't. It isn't even comfortable British English to title it "automobile industry". I'm tempted to revert it back a couple of weeks. – Kieran T (talk) 01:03, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

It's become horribly confusing. Instead of reverting I feel we should capitalise upon its current use, seek a new name (see below) and run with it positively. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 07:24, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Template:British LeylandName for discussion — This template has gone far beyond its original intention of tracking British Leyland, and needs to reflect its current purpose. The name is open for discussion, should be short and reflect its current purpose. As it stands it is confusing with the current name — Fiddle Faddle (talk) 07:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Neutral – Please note that I am not, on reflection, either in favour of or against a move, or a split. I am against a simple reversion. I put this "process" here because I was surprised to see this template deployed on a wholly non BL page. Thus, while I have proposed a move my position ought to be counted as neutral. My objective is to see the thing regularised, and also to see the hard work and data in the template preserved in some useful form. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 10:15, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - What is needed is for a template that we can stick onto the myriad articles about Leyland cars (etc) that explains the companies complex history. Rather than allowing the template to stray from that purpose - and then renaming it for whatever it becomes - we must focus on restraining it to remain within the bounds of the original purpose. SteveBaker (talk) 13:21, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - and support a partial revert with ongoing development of the original purpose. I agree entirely with Steve, above. There may well be a need for a "British car industry" template (note, please, not "automobile") but there is a strong need for a table which explains, as clearly and concisely as possible, the complex history of the companies which were merged into BMC, BMH, BL, AMJRT, ARG, etc. There may also be a need for one for the Rootes Group. But to get all that information in one place is never going to be readable. – Kieran T (talk) 14:51, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • There appear to be two templates called for. At least. It should not be difficult (for someone who understands templates) to produce a BL template restricted to BL cars. It might even be possible to do that by pruning the current one that has outgrown its name and its intent.
How about a Rootes template? Or is there one there already that I missed? Presumably it would stop somewhere in the late 1960s to be replaced by a globally based Chrysler template....
And people seem to have to produced a separate template on British Cars through the decades .... that's an ambitious thing to want to do, but why not? The one we have seems to be open to challenge in terms of what it does with some of the old BMC component firms as they morphed progressively from companies into brands into badges. A BL template restricted to BL companies might take space to deal with that process more convincingly.
In any case, aside from BL there were so many small automaker firms that came and went in the UK in the 1950s that an equivalent template for French or German or Italian cars in that period might be an easier place to start. (Once you go back to the 1920s and 1930s the issue with a plethora of small companies that came and went becomes a massive challenge for all the western European motor industry, but I'm not sure any of us has the breadth of knowledge to attempt such a thing from that far before most of us was old enough to know what was going on, and before generally available sales and production statistics make it possible to differentiate between manufacturers who built ten cars, those who produce a couple of thousand, and those who produced more.)
Regards Charles01 (talk) 09:09, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • While splitting the template may well be a desirable outcome one has to bear in mind the work that would also create in re-templating irrelevant pages. Quite a few pages use the template. The final outcome only matters insofar as it clarifies the templating situation here. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 09:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I would like to see the changes removed and the template go back to being a British Leyland one. It is then at least manageable. To try and draw up a template for the entire British Industry is an impossible task as there were just too many companies. It would also be of doubtful use as it would show most as a straight line with no ownership changes. I also considered whether it might be possible to restrict a template to post 1950, say, but even then there were several hundred companies if we include the back yard producers many of which do not yet have a Wikipedia entry. Malcolma (talk) 09:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Would you be in favour of splitting the "then redundant" items out into new (or existing) templates for the relevant marques? Fiddle Faddle (talk) 10:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

  • This debate has been going on on wiki since 2006, and kept those who work in automotive studies busy for much longer indeed when it comes to publications and graph designs. As for this entry here: BL corporate history and marque ownership has mostly been interesting for and collaborated on by people based in the UK. However, with the globalisation of popular (as opposed to obscure) British marques over the past 10 years as they passed into ownership of US-American, German, Chinese and Indian corporations, a new audience that seeks to understand the genealogy of the British automobile industry has come into being. Furthermore, a simple restriction to BL didn't work in the original template (hence the long debates over the past years) as BL was itself part of a wider economic development that should be reflected, as it is commonly referred to in the texts (e.g. BMW's take-over of fellow British but non-BL marques, or the aeronatics industry's involvment, see the BAe/BAE debates here further up).
To provide a holistic overview of relevant British auto marques that people would find in fellow encyclopedic, academic and popular print works (such as automobile reference books, coffee-table books for fans, automotive studies publications etc)
The simplest way would be the following:
The existence on Wiki of two templates: one "slim-one" named "British Leyland - Companies and Marques" and one "fat-one" called "British Automobile Industry - Companies and Marques". The first would only feature BL companies (on the current template: from Jaguar down to Mini); the fat-one would look like the current "BL" template in existence, and could see other marques added as deemed necessary. The first one would only appear in articles featuring BL-related entrys, the other "fat-one" would feature across the article currently covered by the monstrous "BL" template.
How to proceed on what we have right now without much effort:
I volunteer to do the following: I will rename the BL "fat-one" template into {{British Automobile Industry}} and it shall be featured on all the pages where {{British Leyland}} currently exists! Guardian-Angel wikipedians for certain marques (as I am for Rover, for example) can include or delete this template according to talks, discussions and at their will (for example a Jensen-interested fellow wikipedian from "Jensen-Healey").
I will also create a new {{British Leyland}} template, and it will feature the marques of BL and appear on relevant pages, covering the marques from Jaguar to Mini on the current template. I shall insert them in the relevant articles. This will be quite some work, but at least at the end (and someone has to do it after we spend hours and hours of debating :-) ), we can all be proud of a) our templates b) the range they cover with adequate naming and appropriate tag names, and c) finally put this perpetual "British Leyland - what's in and what's out?!?!" to rest.
User:SocialScienceLondon (User talk:SocialScienceLondon) 10:48, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Hello SocialScienceLondon, I'm glad to see you've written here — I was about to write to you directly to ask that you refrain from adding the still-named BL template all over the place (my watchlist is all you this morning! ;) ) while this discussion goes on. Whatever happens, the articles which aren't BL will need re-editing if the template is renamed. Secondly, I have a question: your proposal says you offer to redevelop the current template and create a new BL one. Why? We have an old BL one a few edits back. It's the whole-industry one which needs to be created, and it needs to take account of the point Steve makes below this comment; i.e. simplicity and indeed simplification is the job of such a huge template. Articles are clickable so that the details may be expanded upon. I think the process of just adding everything to the old BL template misses this opportunity. For what it's worth, since I realise I'm proposing more work, I'm happy to also volunteer to work alongside you to get this right. – Kieran T (talk) 15:01, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The place to have a comprehensive view of every single nuance of how BL came to be - and what became of all of it's parts - is in the article about the company. This is a template for chrissakes. The idea is to have a fairly minimal at-a-glance look at the timeline that can be placed into articles about BL cars, trucks, etc. Our readers don't need all of the fiddly detail - and ESPECIALLY they don't need all of the post-BL history. The reason they don't is because this template goes onto articles about BL cars - and it REALLY doesn't matter to those articles whether BMW or Nanging owns the resulting mess because they don't make that car anymore. What IS needed in articles about Morris or Austin cars (for example) is a common way to explain why it is that (for example) both Austin and Morris made the Mini - and why it later became the BMC Mini and then the BL Mini. It's good to put that much into a template because it saves every one of those articles from describing the history of BL (each one doing it differently and probably making different mistakes). The template includes a clear link to the full article - and that's where all of this stuff belongs. If the template is getting out of hand - then rein it in and put the extended set of information that you deleted into the BL article. SteveBaker (talk) 13:21, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Still to be addressed[edit]

So, it's great to see that the slew of articles which aren't BL now have Template:British Automobile Industry in them. But, there remain two crucial questions over this template (discussion should be over there, but I hope to draw attention to the questions and the previous discussion is here...) :

  1. Criteria for inclusion need to be established. For example, for what reason is Ford omitted? Many were built in Britain. Is the intention to represent British corporate ownership; British construction; British sales; Britishness in public perception? The template fails to be correct or complete (yet) on any and all of these measures.
  2. Also, before it is included in any more articles, I believe it should be renamed. Automobile is valid in British English, but is neither commonest nor comfortable. This discussion has been held in the past in the Wikiproject Automobiles discussions (and the Manual of Style)... "car industry" is much preferred. If trucks are to be included, then "motor vehicle industry". – Kieran T (talk) 15:19, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I have put back the word "Car" into the title as the template does not address the truck, van and bus side of Leyland. Malcolma (talk) 08:45, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed! I'd forgotten that we had a big talk about this on WikiProjectAutomobiles a while ago and discovered a pretty broad definition of "automobile". I've taken this as sufficient cause to go ahead and change the "British Automobile Industry" template to "British Car Industry" and am in the process of avoiding redirects in a lot of articles. This is based on the template's apparent inclusion only of car companies and lack of distinctly bus and truck ones. Apologies for monopolising your watchlists! ;) – Kieran T (talk) 16:48, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Commonalities between {{British Leyland}} and {{British Car Industry}}[edit]

I have noticed that {{British Leyland}} and {{British Car Industry}} have a great deal of common content, in fact so much that all of the “content” of the former is part of the content of the latter. Having recently tried to keep the updated content of the two templates in sync, I figured it might be easier to refactor the templates, such that their common part were put into a separate template – maybe {{British Leyland/contents}}? Comments are welcome. –Fred Bradstadt (talk) 21:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed; duplication is definitely undesirable. It would be ideal if we could "transclude" the BL template inside the BCI one. I have a feeling this is possible in MediaWiki syntax, but it's not something I've done as yet. Some experimenting required (to make the table look seamless)... – Kieran T (talk) 22:05, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I have attempted to do exactly that last week in order to interlink changes between the car templates discussing the messy genealogy of BL. This matters alot in order to streamline the added-value of graphical understanding given to readers by these templates. After all, the majority of BL-related articles are filled with contradictions, and it takes a reader new to the subject matter (as many of our students are) hours just to grasp the scope and depth. As I said: I worked through the MediaWiki syntax documentation to learn the required language to do an embedding of the BL template into BCI, but despite several hours of sandbox play-arounds, the results all failed, especially when I took into account that someone might actually change the table's framework of BCI - the BL content does not automatically refactor to such changes! I encourage everyone who has the time to give it a shot on their own. It really took less time to keep an eye on the watchlist and just copy-&-paste altered parts from one template into the other if required. There's another thing: if tl:BL would become an embedded content-part of tl:BCI, then we sure would be able to avoid a few kilobytes of duplication, however, any unwanted user changes in BL would automatically contaminate BCI, changing readability and comprehension on both published templates across various articles for considerable time until some of you old-school wikipedians rein in. In light of that, maybe it would be better to keep things simple and let both templates sit next-to-next for the time being.
I volunteer to keep a manual eye and oversight on both tl:BL and tl:BCI as they are now, and any new changes should be first debated in the respective talk pages. I find the current structure of tl:BL rather good and much more precise than the original version which lacked correct company start dates, marque compositions and the current status which is very likely the ending point of the BL saga. Kudos to Kieran T for the final touches. SocialScienceLondon (talk) 01:35, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
I have made a test implementation, with the “contents” at {{British Leyland/contents}} (using some <noinclude>s formatting to display it in a table), and an example of its usage below:
{| class="navbox collapsible autocollapse"
!colspan="61"| {{Tnavbar-collapsible| The British Car Industry – Companies & Marques |British Car Industry}}
|- bgcolor=#F0F0F0
|width=10%| Marque
|colspan=5| 1900s
|colspan=5| 1910s
|colspan=5| 1920s
|colspan=5| 1930s
|colspan=5| 1940s
|colspan=5| 1950s
|colspan=5| 1960s
|colspan=5| 1970s
|colspan=5| 1980s
|colspan=5| 1990s
|colspan=5| 2000s
|colspan=5| 2008–
<!-- Some comment should be added here to alert editors -->
{{British Leyland/contents}}
Fred Bradstadt (talk) 09:08, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The table you propose is headed 'The British Car Industry - companies and marques'. I think you have to choose. If you want to include marques then you get bogged down in all the badge engineering and you have to carry forward Wolseley and Riley and Triumph and Morris and the rest until those marques were withdrawn. In practice what you appear to be showing is companies and operating units. By all means think up a better heading than 'The evolution of British Leyland - Companies and Operating Units' which sounds a bit indigestible. But given what you have included, I don't think you can call it '... - Companies and Marques'.
The more general comment, evidenced in something Steve Baker wrote - I think there were others - is that there is a trade-off between user friendliness and the level of detail included. For my money, I think you've got that balance about right. Thanks. Regards Charles01 (talk) 10:48, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

A minor detail, but I'm unclear why we need "Ford (PAG) Land Rover" as added with an edit summary which I couldn't quite follow — it's odd even in the table that we have which remains generally unclear about what it's supposed to be showing. Was there a separate company, owned by the PAG, called "Ford (PAG) Land Rover"? I think it should be "PAG" or "Ford (PAG)" "PAG (Ford)" at most, and this should be matched in the Jaguar boxes. Unless, that is, it actually was a separate company with that long-winded name that owned Land Rover. – Kieran T (talk) 10:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Kieran T, PAG is a holding entity that has never been a legal standalone company (which, however, does not mean that the bracketed PAG moniker in the template can be replaced by mere 'Ford' because that wouldn't be correct, either, and lead to major confusion as all the media communiqués referenced throughout Wikipedia talk about Ford (PAG)).
Due to the complicated legacy of the BL>RG era, Jaguar and Land Rover were indeed separate legal entities within PAG or "separate companies" as you prefer to put it (although they shared R&D assets and combined some sales channels via legal agreements that would make your head spin). In a way, the recent deletions away from "Ford (PAG) Jaguar" or "Ford (PAG) AML" to just "Ford (PAG)" were all incorrect, at least based on the naming guidelines and standards that you suggested yourself earlier. _But_ the readability is greatly improved through that, and that might be a priority for a combined navigational/explanatory box as tl:BL/BCI.
Although it is generally believed that "Ford" bought the 'Rover' marque in 2006, it was actually Ford's 'PAG - Land Rover' subsidiary company ("Jaguar Land Rover" as it is talked about in the media actually did not exist until the purchase by Tata Motors) that purchased the name "Rover" from BMW. Therefore, the...
* expansion of the "Land Rover" graphical field into the Rover graphical field above is correct in line with the graphics design and visual language of all the bar-graph automotive templates across Wikipedia. I strongly discourage to change this tweak.
*it was Ford (PAG) Land Rover that brought back the name Rover name under its wings (not Ford (PAG) or Ford (PAG) Jaguar), which was then bought by Tata together with Jaguar, and only then became the legal entity of "Jaguar Land Rover" with rights to the Daimler/Rover/Lanchester marques - as it is now correctly displayed in the graph (wasn't that way in the original version). In a way, keeping it as it stands would be correct according to your own naming guidelines and quality standards put forward throughout this talk page.
However, as I sense that you want to simplify this bit of the graph most eagerly, please allow me to assist you by suggesting two options to you: either you leave it as it is to keep it correct in light of the wiki conventions, or you reduce it to "Ford (PAG)" in the name of readability by deleting the 'Land Rover' bit -- which, however, is also a wikilink that leads to the relevant text that explains this unusual take-over. I guess you will be going for the latter bit ;) . Thanks for raising this point, SocialScienceLondon (talk) 11:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Wow, thanks very much for the level of detail on this. I must say I don't personally "want to simplify this bit of the graph most eagerly" at all. I want to get it correct and accurate (and I'm extremely grateful for your work towards this goal). Crucially, I want to do that in a way which results in a usable table, not just something that only we who have read all of this background can understand! ;)
I acknowledge that there's a minefield in going for "ease of reading" above "accuracy"! However, we can go a long way towards readability by paying close attention to consistency (which is a bit of a Wikipedia pillar anyway). On that tack, we need to note that the rest of the table has set a precedent of sorts, with Land Rover Group (BL plc) and Rover Group (BAe). On this basis, I'd want to go for PAG (Ford) in fact. The missing-out of Land Rover and Jaguar in those boxes is very deliberate: it's again in line with the rest of the table — the point being that those names are implicit because that's the row of the table that we're in. Although this loses one level of detail: presumably the rights to the marques of Lanchester and Daimler "went along with" Jaguar, and that would not be made clear; it almost requires a three-dimensional table to show "piggy-backing" of ownership like that.
On the point about AML (and your comment about my use of the term "company" for PAG, which you then go on to use yourself for "PAG - Land Rover"), are you saying that there were in fact several entities called PAG <something>? (For example the AML one and the Land Rover one?) I had presumed that the "G" (Group) meant they were brought under one roof, at least to a suitable degree of resolution for our purposes here.
Incidentally, on your point about the expansion of the graphical field, I entirely agree. – Kieran T (talk) 12:13, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Slightly separately, since we're now assessing whether PAG was a "company" at all, it should be considered whether BMC and both BMHs were companies at all times. Were they ever Trusts, or even Government Departments at any time? This'd need a bit of research if we were really serious about using "company" as opposed to "legal entity" or "holding group" or whatever as one of our criteria for inclusion. – Kieran T (talk) 12:24, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Friends, please… This is not a discussion about the working of the template's header, or about the reason why one of the table cells contains a reference to Ford or not. Those details are mighty important – I understand that – it's just that they have nothing to do with the discussion of whether to “refactor the templates, such that their common part were put into a separate template” :-) Best regards, Fred Bradstadt (talk) 12:57, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry Fred! I threw that in here because I didn't want to start getting the real one out of synch with your sandbox one, but you're quite right. I suggest we move it to its own sub-section. I won't do so yet, because I'm cautious of moving other people's comments until they've agreed. – Kieran T (talk) 13:03, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Since there have been no complaints, I’ll go ahead and implement my proposal. –Fred Bradstadt (talk) 17:57, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Seems to work very well. I'm just about to copy the misplaced conversation from amidst the above, over to the BCI template talk page, so any further discussion on that can be in the right place. – Kieran T (talk) 22:36, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Mini was not a Marque.[edit]

Mini was not a 'marque' duing the life of BL - it was the name given to one very specific model of car over most (but not all) of it's life. It's on a par with "Mustang" or "Astra" - not with "Pontiac" or "Austin". Since BMW started making the modern MINI, it is a company, a marque, and a specific family of cars - but that's MINI (in capitals) - it has nothing to do with Leyland and only a very little to do with Rover post-BL. It would be a severe error to conflate the car that was made from 1959 to 2000 with the BMW Marque...which is precisely what the template currently does.

Also - the way the template is laid out - it implies that the Mini (car) came about as a BL car - but that's not true - it was marketted as two completely separate marques (Austin and Morris...which went from being independent companies to becoming mere marques)...and later under many other marques too (Riley for example).

(Incidentally - we've been through all of this once before - the template WAS fixed...somehow it got broken again).

Personally - I think this template was just fine as it was about 2 years ago...it's gone steadily downhill since then!

SteveBaker (talk) 03:41, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

The Mini article does say "Minis were marketed under the Austin and Morris names until Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969". The template is certainly wrong however, showing the Mini as starting in 1952. While I take your point about the separateness of MINI - I am not sure about calling it a company by the way - that is probably not how the great buying public see it or what BMW intended. Haven't BMW retained the Mini trademark? I agree it certainly has nothing to do with Leyland but then that is true for much of the right hand side. Malcolma (talk) 10:08, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Steve, I don't understand how one might draw the implication that the Mini came about as a BL car. The first entry in the Mini row is clearly for BMC. If however you're equating BMC and BL, then are you therefore saying that the Mini was devised in a separate, older joint venture between Austin and Morris?
On the point about Mini being a model rather than a marque, I'd draw everyone's attention to my still unanswered question (relating more to the British Car Industry template) about need to revisit the inclusion criteria for these templates. I mean, rather than debating Mini, we should have a set of conditions which we're happy with, and then if we get those right we needn't have this discussion over every questionable car. (For example, if Leyland had been able to persuade the public, then Princess would be a recognised separate marque. Should it be in the table? If "no", then we need to define the table as "marques which once existed in their own right", don't we? And that would cull Mini.) – Kieran T (talk) 14:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Rover, Rover Alvis - Leyland[edit]

The way the template looks at the moment it looks like Rover (including Alvis) along with BMH and Leyland became British Leyland well this is not true as Leyland bought out Rover a year or so before the merger with BMH to become British Leyland I'm not sure how to change the template to mark this but am sure someone else can.

Also am not sure if it was after the takeover of Rover or Standard Triumph that Leyland Motors Ltd became the Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd (LMC) Penrithguy (talk) 19:06, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Commercial Vehicles[edit]

How about making a similar template for the commercial vehicle brands that were absorbed into British Leyland and its successors? Penrithguy (talk) 20:18, 29 June 2009 (UTC)