British car plant clocks up 100 years of production

| 13 Mar 2013

One of the country’s most famous car manufacturing sites will celebrate 100 years of car production on 28 March.

That date marks 100 years to the day when the first Bullnose Morris Oxford rolled off the production line a few hundred meters from where the modern factory stands now building BMW’s MINI.

In the past century, the site has produced cars for MG, Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Austin-Healey, Mini, Triumph and Rover, plus models such as the Mini, Morris Minor and Austin-Healey Sprite.

The plant has had eight custodians, starting with William Morris who passed ownership to his company Morris Motors, which then merged with Austin to form the British Motor Corporation.

In 1967, BMC became British Motor Holdings after merging with Jaguar and, a year later, the British Leyland Motor Corporation, after joining forces with the Leyland Truck Company.

Nationalisation followed in 1974 with the company being christened the Rover Group, before BMW took over the group and the site.

Aside from building cars, during wartime the grounds also produced Tiger Moths and carried out 80,000 repairs on Spitfires and Hurricanes.


Tours of the modern factory can be booked via the plant’s website.