May I be permitted to comment on the remarks made concerning the Specialist Division of British Leyland by Mr. Wardlow Rose, who is, of course, entitled to his opinions, as is Lord Stokes.
I think it is time the comparison of Triumph 2000 and Rover 2000 sales performance was put into true perspective as it is overlooked that the Triumph 2000 forms only a part of an extensive range. For example, one must consider the 35,000 Triumph 1300S produced in single- and twin-carburetter form and the Triumph sports cars produced in similar volume. Even with the diminished production of the Herald, these amount to a considerable demand on the Coventry factory and must be borne in mind when comparing the sales volume of the Triumph 2000 and its Rover counterpart, the latter being virtually 90% of their passenger car production.
Dealing with the respective merits of the Triumph 2.5 PI compared with the XJ6 Jaguar and Rover 3500 it is a fact the 2.5 PI is enjoying a considerable and growing demand as more buyers discover the car’s combination of outstanding performance coupled with a high degree of finish and equipment. Indeed, one contemporary publication has compared the 2.5 PI most favourably as the only serious British counterpart to the six-cylinder BMW. Mr. Rose asks: “Why spend a fortune on developing a Stag V8?”. I believe he should see the Triumph engine as part of an obvious long-term development for the future, such as the four-cylinder derivative used by Saab.
I fully appreciate the merits of the Buick/Rover 3.5 engine but this is built under licence and I believe there are difficulties in its use in any other of the British Leyland range and, being an old design, it is near the limit of its development. Obviously it is more desirable for the Triumph V8 to be available for wherever British Leyland see the need.