On this day in auto history - November 24th

Tue 24th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1951 that the two giants of the British auto industry, Austin and Morris, agreed to merge in a move which paved the way for the formation of BMC (British Motor Corporation) which came into effect the following year.

The merger was recognised to have been a political decision in the face of growing American competition and made BMC the fourth largest motor company in the world behind the US ‘big three’ of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford.

Though the individual marques - which also included MG, Wolseley and Austin Healey - retained their own identity, a new logo featuring a BMC rosette would appear alongside every vehicle in sales literature.

BMC’s headquarters were at the Austin plant at Longbridge, and Austin was generally perceived as the dominant partner, as BMC had plenty of success with inspired models such as the Morris Minor and Mini.

BMC changed its name to British Motor Holdings (BMH) following its merger with Jaguar in 1966 before morphing into the ill-fated conglomerate, British Leyland, in 1968 following a merger with with Leyland Motor Corporation.