Out now: the Autocade Yearbook 2024
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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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A marque in Australia (as Leyland Australia consolidated in the 1970s and the Austin and Morris names disappeared) and South Africa, though debatable whether it was a marque in the UK. Mini and Princess did appear in some UK price lists as Leyland products in the 1970s, and the Leyland roundel appeared consistently in advertising. It was this uncertainty, among other things, that led to the name being tarnished when it comes to British motor history.

Originally a truck and bus concern that could trace its roots back to the Lancashire Steam Motor Co. in 1896, Leyland dabbled in motor cars, but generally stuck to its roots. It formally entered car manufacture in 1960 as it took over StandardTriumph, and Rover in 1967. It merged with British Motor Corp. in 1968 to become the British Leyland Motor Corp., a company that was never properly rationalized and came to represent UK union troubles in the 1970s. The merger was ill-managed, with the profitable truck arm subsidizing the automotive one, weakening them both.

In 1975, BL was effectively nationalized and reorganized, with the bus and truck operation forming its own division. The car divisions—Austin Morris and Jaguar Rover Triumph—each met various fates. The survivors of the BL empire are few: Jaguar Land Rover is owned by Tata, and MG by SAIC. The bus and truck operations, outside the scope of Autocade, continue in various forms, with the Leyland brand still operating in India as part of Ashok Leyland. The British truck operation, part of Paccar, produces under the DAF brand, and in 1993 the Leyland brand disappeared from buses after a Volvo takeover.


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024