According to Stephen Aris, writing in The Sunday Times, B.M.C. intend to spend some £25-million a year on expansion for the next four years. Still hoping to turn out a million vehicles this year (production in May averaged 21,700 vehicles a week), they should be capable of producing 1.3-1.5-million vehicles a year by 1970. In contrast, Aris emphasises, Ford have invested over £200-million since 1962 and Vauxhall, although taking only 14% of the market against B,M.C.’s 45%, is planning a £50million expenditure on new equipment by 1970.
Aris says B.M.C. are convinced that the 1-1 1/2-litre market is the vital one and that Ford’s 2-litre cars are a “giant step in the wrong direction.” He claims they accept the 1800 as a major disappointment; it is being made at the rate of only 1,800 a week instead of 2,400 a week, as planned. Rumour, says Aris, suggests a new B.M.C. 1500 by the end of 1967 to replace the existing 1 1/2-litre models.