Part of the effect of the Ford strike earlier this year is very evident in the production figures for new-vehicle registrations in Gt. Britain, N. Ireland and the I.o.M., in April, 1971, against those for the same month last year, as issued by the SMM & T. Ford’s 1971 sales of cars and commercial vehicles fell by 26,808 vehicles, in spite of a small increase in ‘bus and coach sales. Competitors benefitted and BL sales were up by 8,974 vehicles, Vauxhall’s by 6,409. But Chrysler dropped sales in April, against the same month in 1970, by 1,145 vehicles. Private car sales were: Ford, minus-21,928; Chrysler, minus-688; Vauxhall, plus-4,625; British Leyland, plus-9,345.
Coming to the small manufacturers, Lotus sales were down by 13 cars, Jensen’s by nine and Reliant by 60. Total British private-car sales last April were 83,772; a loss of 8,691. Imports rose by 7,496, the only makes out of 17 listed to drop being Alfa Romeo (23 cars) and Toyota (31 cars). The biggest importer was Volkswagen, selling 5,917 vehicles in April, an improvement of 1,850 over the corresponding period in 1970—verb sap! Renault was the next most successful imported; with 3,924 sales, an improvement of 1,181 over their April, 1970 figures, and for cars only.