Karrier is a marque of car and commercial vehicle, the origins of which can be traced back to Clayton and Company, a 1904 company from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK. In 1908 they started making Karrier cars and in 1920 changed the company name to Karrier Motors Ltd.

In 1929 Karrier started production of the "Colt" three-wheeler as a dustcart chassis for Huddersfield Corporation. In 1930 this was developed into the "Cob" tractor to haul road trailers for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. The "Cob" was similar to the Scammell "Mechanical Horse". In the mid-1930s the "Cob" range was supplemented by the four-wheel "Bantam".

Takeovers and mergers

Rootes group

After takeover bids in 1934 the Rootes group acquired Karrier into its fold and moved production to Luton, closing the Huddersfield operation. In the late 1950s and 1960s some Karrier vehicles were fitted with the inconic Rootes two-stroke opposed piston diesel engine, see Commer. Other engines used in this period include Humber Hawk petrol engines (L Heand and OHC) and Perkins Diesels.

Dodge (UK)

The Dodge Brothers company came to the UK in 1922 and began importing United States Dodge "knocked-down" kits to build in the UK at a production line in Park Royal, London. Eventually production was moved to the Chrysler plant at Kew; Dodges built there were known as "Dodge Kews".

In 1965 production moved to Dunstable where Commer, Dodge (UK) and Karrier were all brought together.

Under Rootes ownership Karrier trucks which were generally smaller sized than the sister Commer brand most models using 16" wheels to give a lower loading height. Partly because of this they were particularly popular with Local authorities for varied applications including highway maintenance tippers, refuse collection vehicles and street lighting maintenance tower wagons. Karrier trucks and chassis were also popular with airport operators and airlines for airfield duties such as baggage handling trucks, water bowsers, toilet servicing,

Chrysler Europe

By 1970 the Rootes Group had been taken over (in stages) by Chrysler Europe, with support from the British Government which was desperate to support the ailing British motor industry. The Dodge brand (also used by Chrysler in the USA) began to take precedence on all commercial models. The last vestige of Karrier was probably in the Dodge 50 Series, which began life badged as a (Chrysler) Dodge but with a Karrier Motor Company VIN (Vehicle Identification Plate) plate.

Peugeot and Renault

Chrysler eventually gave up on UK operations, selling the business to Peugeot. The new owner had little interest in heavy trucks and the factory was then run in conjunction with "Renault Véhicules Industriels", (then part of Renault (though now Volvo). The combined company used the name Karrier Motors Ltd [cite web|title=Rootes-Chrysler resource site|url=http://www.rootes-chrysler.co.uk/car-history/spacevan.html] , although the vehicles took on Renault badges and were sold through Renault Trucks dealers. Renault had been keen to secure a UK manufacturing operation for engines for its own models, and did relatively little to market or develop the British designs, favouring its existing French range such as the Renault Master. The end of the Karrier name could not be far off; eventually Renault severed ties with PeugeotFact|date=February 2007 and introduced a Renault Truck Ind. or Renault Vehicles Ind. VIN Plate.

The Karrier trademark is still in the possession of Peugeot, and it is not uncommon for vehicle marques to be reinstated.


Karrier's Ro-Railer was a hybrid single decker bus capable of running on both road and rail. It was introduced in 1932 and tested by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway but it was not a success and was not perpetuated [http://www.blisworth.org.uk/images/Rails-three.htm] .

References and notes

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