Many people write in to austin-rover.co.uk, and everyone has something good to contribute.

Many people write in to tell us how much they love the site, or they have something to say about its content, and sometimes merely to tell their story. So we’ve put another page up just for you – if you write in, and what you have to say is interesting, factual, or simply offering an opinion, we’ll publish it here – and where possible, respond with some comments.

So, if you have something to say, get your thinking caps on…

Also, if you want to write, but don’t want to see it here, mark it, ‘not for publication…’

2.The trucks

PHIL SIMMONS

A VERY small point indeed but in the section on light trucks, in the pane for the Leyland Roadrunner, you say that Leyland Trucks was sold to Volvo-DAF. In fact I think it was just DAF that bought the business, Volvo later acquiring Leyland Bus after a brief period of ownership by its management following an MBO [Change now made – Ed].

DAF and Volvo are linked in that Volvo bought DAF’s car business in the Seventies, but they are not part of the same company.

I think it’s interesting to look at the current state of the truck industry and consider where Leyland might be had it not got involved in the car business, or only dabbled in it. (I think I read somewhere that Leyland only bought Rover because it wanted to get its hand on the gas turbine technology for its trucks). There has been a huge consolidation with many of the big players separating their car and truck divisions:

Volvo sold its car business to Ford (perhaps seeing the difficulties up ahead for being a smallish player in a global business) and has concentrated on trucks. It now controls Renault trucks too and is one of the largest truck producers. It tried to buy Scania which is of course now divorced from its car-making operation, SAAB.

Ford sold its truck division to IVECO.

GM shut up shop in Europe in the Eighties when it closed Bedford following a rejected attempt to buy Leyland trucks.

DAF has suffered a similar fate to Leyland, going bust in the late 90’s and being taken over by PACCAR, a US corporation that also owns Foden in the UK.

ERF has passed to MAN ownership.

Maybe if Leyland Trucks had remained truck-based it might have survived given that it is widely understood that it was in great shape at the time of the 1968 ‘merger’. Do you have any plans to add some history of Leyland, given that its fortunes are inextricably linked with those of BMC/Austin-Rover?

Finally, I know that the antics of Nanjing and SAIC have been widely criticised in that they let MGR collapse and then cherry-picked the assets. Perhaps controversial, but if some of the players in the British motor industry had adopted this approach (e.g. Austin in 1952 when Morris was in poor shape and Leyland in 1968 when BMC was almost bankrupt) the British-owned industry might have been in better shape.

I love the site – probably the most interesting thing I’ve ever found on the ‘net.

The name which describes motoring. Once the pinnacle of the motoring world.

2.Ford

G SMITH

But now?

It seems they are following the BL path. Just like the cost-cutting measures that Michael Edwardes enacted to save British Leyland, Mike Fields (Ford’s new man) is taking similar action.

Factories cut, jobs lost, costs taken down, and all with falling sales and a bleak future. BL has been there and done that.

It will be interesting to see how Ford and now even GM perform in the motoring world today, because now, just like BL back then, the competition from foreign shores now troubles the once almighty car giants.

If this keeps going will we see a major car giant bite the dust? After all, it happened to British Leyland!