On the very same day that Ford of Britain chose to announce their small car competitor, details were officially released of the biggest merger in Britain’s industrial history. The £410 million tie-up between British Motor Holdings and Leyland has created the sixth largest vehicle producing company in the world behind General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen and Fiat. The new company is known as British Leyland Motor Corporation; it also brings together two formidable British industrialists, B.M.H.’s Sir George Harriman, who is head of the combined board, and Leyland’s Sir Donald Stokes, who is chief executive and managing director.
Some very well-known car names are now under the same management, and one wonders, with a shudder, to what extent “badge engineering” will be carried on. There is a tremendous overlap of models but we can only hope they will all continue in more than just name only. But if the cool, analytical eye of an economist were to look at even the range of engines there will inevitably be changes, although these may not become apparent for several years. Consider the types available—B.M.C.’s A, B and C series, Jaguars, Daimler’s V8s, Rover’s 2000 and V8, Triumph’s four- and six-cylinders. Then, of course, there are the long-awaited single overhead cam B.M.C. engines and the similar type developed by Standard-Triumph for Saab.—R. F.