On this day in auto history - September 7th

Tue 7th Sep 2021

It was on this day in 1962 that a mundane Austin A40 made history when it became the first vehicle to leave the British Motor Corporation’s newly-completed Car Assembly Building 2 (CAB 2) at its historic Longbridge plant in Birmingham.

Costing £3.3 million, the state-of-the-art, double-storied facility was part of a £49 million expansion plan and was constructed mainly to facilitate niche models as BMC aimed to increase production from 750,000 to 1 million vehicles a year.

Measuring 930 ft long and 360 ft wide, CAB 2 was able to employ over 1500 individuals. Not only did every worker get an individual locker but hot drink vending machines were readily available whilst there was a large ambulance station fully equipped to cope with all minor injuries.

Overall, working conditions were 'off the scale' compared to the normal standards of 1960’s Britain.

CAB 2 remained a key component after BMC was amalgamated into British Leyland in 1968 and production continued well into the MG Rover period of the 2000’s, eventually finishing its days as a storage facility shortly before the firm closed.