British Motor Corporation Australia

The British Motor Corporation (BMC), based in Australia, was an automobile manufacturer that began in 1954 from a merger of the Austin Motor Company and Nuffield Pty Ltd.

Austin Motor Company bought Ruskin Body Works in 1949 and used the factory to produce pick-up and tourer bodies. Nuffield opened a 57-acre facility to assemble Morris Minor and Morris Oxford models in 1950.

In 1954 a merger between the two companies formed BMC and used the Nuffield facility located in Victoria Park to be their headquarters. The company employed 7000 people from 35 different nations and produced complete vehicles, machined engine blocks, used a “rotodip” paint process and used the conveyor assembly process.

The companies line of vehicles included the Austin Lancer, Morris Marshal and Morris Major models. In 1961 BMC began to produce the Morris 850 with a revised model introduced in 1965.

In 1962 other models were released, including the Austin Freeway renamed the Morris Freeway and the Wolseley 24/80 — both used the BMC B-Series six-cylinder engine. Another model produced was the Morris Mini Deluxe renamed the Austin Se7en. Other models produced in the 1960s were the Morris 1100, the Morris Mini Moke, the Austin Tasman and Kimberley.

The company merged with Leyland Corporation in 1969 to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation of Australia, but BMC still operated as a division of the new company under the name Austin Morris Division. In 1972 the name was changed again to Leyland Motor Corporation of Australia, with the Austin Morris Division still intact.

In 1975 the Nuffield Plant closed and production of the Mini was done by the Pressed Metal Corporation until 1978 and the Moke until 1982. Leyland began to assemble the Peugeot 505 and imported the Honda Quintet, which was sold as the Rover Quintet.

In 1983, Leyland Motor Corporation Australia closed and was taken by JRA Limited. Divisions under JRA included Jaguar-Rover-Australia and Leyland Bus Australia. Models manufactured in the mid 1980s were buses and coaches under the Denning name, but the company was later sold to Austral and became Austral Denning.

Image Caption: BMC press photograph, models, the Morris Major I and II. Credit: MCCV/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)