Austin logo history
The Austin Motor Company is a British manufacturer of automobiles that rose to be a major car brand, the dominant partner after merger with Morris in 1952 but declining after absorption into the British Leyland Motor Corporation, and its disorders.
1905 - 1918: Training and Development
Herbert Austin (1866-1941), former director of the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company, and later to be made first Baron Austin of Longbridge, founded The Austin Motor Company in 1905 at Longbridge, which was then in Worcestershire . (Longbridge became part of Birmingham in 1911 when its boundaries were expanded.) The first car was a classic 5-liter four-cylinder model with chain drive, of which about 200 were made in the first five years. In World War I Austin grew enormously in achieving government contracts for everything from artillery to aircraft, and the workforce increased from 2,500 to nearly 22,000.
1919 - 1939: between success
After the war Herbert Austin decided on a political model based on the 3620-cc 20-hp. Versions included cars, commercials and even a tractor but sales volumes were never enough to fill the vast factory built during war. The company went into receivership in 1921 but rose again after the financial restructuring.
Critics of the takeover was the appointment in 1922 of a new CFO, Ernest Payton, with the support of the Midland Bank, and a new director in charge of the works of automobile production, Carl Engelbach, at the insistence of the committee creditors. This trio of Austin, Payton Engelbach and led the company's fortunes through the inter-war period.
In a quest to expand market share, small cars were introduced, the 1661 cc of twelve in 1922 and later that year, the Seven, a bit expensive, simple small car and one of the first to be directed against a mass market. At one point, the "Baby Austin" was built under license by the new BMW of Germany (as the Dixi) by the Japanese manufacturer Datsun, as Bantam in the United States, and that Rosengart France. (Austin American Car Company operated largely as an independent subsidiary from 1929 to 1934 and was relaunched under the name "American Bantam" from 1937 to 1941).
With the help of the Seven, Austin overcame the worst of the depression and remained profitable through the 1930s, producing a wide range of cars which has been regularly updated by the introduction of all organs of Steel, Girling brakes, gearboxes and Synchromesh. However, all engines remained the same side valve configuration. Vice-President Ernest Payton became president in 1941 on the death of Lord Herbert Austin. In 1938 Leonard Lord joined the board of directors and became president in 1946 on the death of Ernest Payton.
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