THE END OF AN ERA The British Leyland Motor Corporation - shortly BL, was a common company brand of several main automobile factories of Britain and at the time the biggest car producer of Europe. It was the merger of the BMC (former Nuffield Group) and the Leyland Corporation which fusioned 1968, BMC incorporated Austin, Morris, Riley, Wolsely, Jaguar. The Leyland Corporation built buses and lorries, Rover and Standard-Triumph. Now almost every car manufacturer had been swallowed and had been blown up to a Giant, that meant a concentration of companies who formerly rivaled each other, producing the same types of cars. During the years it was visible that such a consortium was very hard be led properly, avoiding internal rivality among the different companies.It happened what is normal in such a situation, most brands tried to keep their individuality, without streamlining the product range for the future. After the big crash 1975 the British Governement spent a lot of money to bailout BLMC, the company was restructured, henceforth as British Leyland. One model after the other was abandoned and at the end of 1984, only Rover remained and Jaguar hived off. BL was dissolved and restructured once more now, named Rover Group it cooperated very close with Honda, which had started cooperation already 1981, with the Triumph Acclaim, all plans and options from the late 70ties were cancelled and the new ones were focused only on the Rover brand, the new cars were now Rover 200-800. The Austin brand was kept until 1987 Montego, Maestro and Metro appeared just only under their model names and the last one adopted itself as a Maestro Turbo Hatchback, rivaling the Golf Gti but reaching a top speed of 210 Kmh! 1994, British Aerospace had baught the Rover Group 6 years before and now offered the whole automotive bundle for sale, finding the German BMW company as the right partner, and so 70% of all famous British Car brands were brutally sold out to Germany.
The production of the Honda based Rover models ended now, and the almost ready new model range 75 and 45 was finalized by 1999, but now with many BMW components.The Mini was of major interest for BMW because the Germans didn't offer any own models in this small class. The New Mini was born and performed to a big success for BMW, on the other hand Rover turned out being less lucky, because it rivalled the BMW, which had invested much money, but by the end of the decade BMW sold the whole brand to the Phoenix group for only 10 pounds, happy getting rid of Rover.
6 years later the Rover Group became insolvent, the brand sold to Ford - went later to Tata and the production lines to the Chinese Nanjing-Saic Group. MG was baught from Nanjing, the Rover marque is held dormant by Tata, Mini part of BMW, all the other brands from the former British Leyland Group like Triumph is now property of the BMW Group. The former Industry and auto producer nation Britain has now no independant national automobile mass production anymore except of some niche market producers.
A sad history about what can happen in the very brutal free market.