British Motor Holdings


British Motor Holdings

British Motor Holdings Ltd (BMH) was a British motor company created in an attempt to halt the decline in Britain's manufacturing base in the 1960s.

History

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 and Rover and had become a major automotive force. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) was suffering a dramatic drop in its share of the home market, and in 1966 it succumbed to the pressures, and along with Pressed Steel, the car body manufacturer, merged with Jaguar Cars to form "British Motor Holdings".

From the Jaguar perspective, the merger 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 within the company. 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 Cars and now controlled by BMC.

From the BMC perspective, Jaguar Cars was attractive because it was a success in the US market, and was thereby hugely profitable at a time when BMC lacked the funds to invest sufficiently in modern production facilities or new models.

The marques

BMH thus inherited a plethora of British automotive marques:
* From "Jaguar Cars" came:* Jaguar:* Daimler:* Coventry Climax:* Guy
* From BMC came:* Austin:* Morris:* MG:* Riley:* Wolseley:* Vanden Plas:* BMC

hort lived

BMH, however, had a short life because in 1968, still struggling, it merged with the prosperous Leyland Motor Corporation to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC).


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