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"Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963"

Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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Standard Factories Abroad


Standard Factories Abroad:

I am indebted to Robin Penrice for the following information about the Standard Factories abroad:


I've just put this together from partly failed memory banks and will confirm various bits and pieces. Much of Standards overseas investment was instigated, at least, by JPB, who together with John Warren and Mike Whitfield toured the world at regular intervals from around 1946 onward signing up manufacturing/CKD/PKD deals willy knilly.  All in turn was instigated by the Socialist Government at the end of WW2 ("Export or Expire") when GB Ltd. was bust, and to get sheet steel you had to send product overseas. We weren't initially very good at this, as prior to the conflict we'd just despatched stuff to outposts of the "Empah" and as to whether it performed satisfactorily or not we couldn't have given a bugger as they got it with Empire Preferantial tarifs, so what did they expect ? There were very real tax benefits for those that did export  which part explains the UK manufacturers party that started in 1947 and finished around 1960.  Entertaining overseas visitors was completely allowable and so everybody was entertained as an overseas visitor, cause you got your money back! I understand it also led to the CKD and PKD syndrome as these boxed units were also tax allowable and a quick way of getting product overseas where it could be assembled with a varying degree of local content, which in turn was tax allowable at that end! British product going into ex "Empah" countries was allowed even more tax concessions. Boy was it complicated! Dick Cohen a New Zealand student mate used to buy an export home delivery car (Spitfire was the first) and then bend it before shipping it back to NZ. Damage was taken into consideration by the customs in Auckland even though Dick put all the necessary re-build kit in the back! The more knackered it looked the less the duty


!n fairness some product was good, bar a few teething problems, the Vanguard establishing a superb reputation in Benelux, top seller for a couple of years, Turkey - let down eventually by spares-, Brazil - ditto with spares - Australasia, Denmark and Norway.  The South African set up to my knowledge was  engineered by Ted Martin, the then sales director of the Standard Motor Company, who was sacked around twelve months after he had returned for a different set of reasons. 


It follows from all the above that Alick Dick capitalised on the situation when he took over the reigns although by then it was all sorting itself out as the War was long gone. It follows from this that when Leyland acquired us they tried their level best to integrate both systems to the benefit of the Leyland Motor Corporation (Leyland were a completely export orientated company all based on Donald Stokes' report to Aylmer Liardet and Sir Henry Spurrier at cessation of hostilities) which all confused matters turning into the complete f**k up that we know as British Leyland when the ex BMC system was also integrated. The BMC set up is the stuff of legends in the way that they did things  including certain distributors and dealers being paid extremely handsomely when they were sacked, due to their bombproof service contracts going forward for years !!!!  Also I am led to believe that in some instances appalling facilities from BMC were included in the Brit/Ley/Mo/Co overseas plan purely because the let out clause was too expensive to contemplate ending the agreement.


STANDARD ASSEMBLY FACILITIES THAT I CAN REMEMBER


Standard Motor Company Eire,


which to my knowledge ran to the end under the British Leyland banner eventually making mini seats. Originally it built CKD/PKD Vanguards. Run by Matt McQuaid I served my time with his son Dean who should still be about somewhere. Smashing family completely mad!! Dean's Uncle was the famous Archbishop McQuiad of Dublin


Standard Motor Company India


( I think initially this was called the Union Company, Madras) again set up to build CKD Vanguards and to my knowledge running until a few years ago when the SD1 with modified Vanguard engine finished it off. It had quite a few name changes over the years. Has recently gone tit's up having marketed an SD1 with highly modified Vanguard engine fitted, a five year strike leading to all bits being returned to the UK apparently.


There is more information about the Indian factory here


Australian Motor Industries


Still going. Black set up a company called Standard Cars Limited Melbourne and Sydney based in Elizabeth Street Melbourne. What the association is with AMI I am not sure it may be that they were purely the assembly side. They now build Toyota's. The diesel version of the Vanguard was very popular as a taxi with the petrol engined version similar.


Imperia Standard


Nessonvaux just outside Liege. Test track on the roof the factory still exists, or did a few years ago. Vanguard for Benelux then a few TR2's the special bodied Francochamps TR and the convertible Vanguard. You can now see a feature on this site and photos  here. 


Shut down and superceded in 1960 by:


Standard Triumph Malines, Belgium


which I attended the opening of see last T/W. The plant had the lowest warranty claims in the company and started by building CKD Herald 1200's and TR3A's it had a superb paint shop. Alick Dick believed in the common market - as it was then called - and set the plant up to be part of it. Despite its efficiency and room for further expansion all planned in initially they (BL) shut it preferring Seneffe an ex BMC plant which had the highest warranty claims in the group ! Forward planning eh? Malines also built before closure, 2000's, maybe 2.5's TR's Spitfires, 1300's and few others for Benelux. Believe me it was a bloody lovely little plant with an incredibly efficient and loyal workforce.


There is more information abouit Standard factories in Benelux including new information about two plants in the The Netherlands here


Nykopings Automobilfabrik, Sweden 


set up by Black to assemble CKD Vanguards


Nordisk Dieselauto 


assembled CKD Vanguards in Denmark.


Intimex Brazil


built CKD Vanguards but cocked up the market for Standard product in Brazil by being somewhat dis-interested in spares and service


There was somebody in Norway in the early days I'll try and find the name and what detail I can.


There was also a company in Turkey that built CKD Vanguards but suffered from the Intimex syndrome, not being particularly interested in after sales service. The car was very successful there being the top choice as a taxi but the spares situation let them down.


Malta


I think was only Triumph's and from memory Heralds and Spitfires being imported all with Spitfire engines. I seem to remember thay did around fifty units per annum. They were certainly operating from 1964 ish when they closed I don't know. Either a "Major" or "Colonel" something ran it.


I am aware that there are other cars and information that could be added to this site to make it more comprehensive, so if you have material and photographs, please let me know.  Please send me, Phil Homer, a message at: Phil Homer