The Austin Motor Company of Longbridge Works, Birmingham was a British manufacturer of cars and lorries from 1905.
Foundation of the Company
1905 Herbert Austin (1866–1941) left the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co and founded the company and was joined by A. J. Hancock from the same company and by Alfred Vincent Davidge and Bobby Howitt. All three men remained with the company until Austin died in 1941. Herbert Austin and Frank Kayser held the initial shares.
1906 January. Purchased old White and Pike factory at Longbridge on a 2.5 acre site with an additional 8 acres.
1906 June William Harvey Du Cros joined to become governing director.
1906 Produced the first car under the Austin name. In their first full year of production they made 120 vehicles and employed 270 persons
1906 March. Description of the works at Austin: 1906 Report
1906 May. Details of a visit to the works and the announccement of the 15-20 and 25-30 models 
1907 Private limited company formed. In the eleven months until 30th September 1908 the turnover was £119,744 and 254 cars were sold 
1908 Austin was producing 17 different models.
1909 Vehicles made were the 18-24, 40, 60 and the 15 hp models.
1912 FY ending 30th September. Turnover was £354,209 and 886 cars made. 1,800 persons employed
1912 Became involved with speed boats. Thomas Sopwith won the Harmsworth Trophy with 'Maple Leaf IV'
1913 882 cars made of which 295 were the Model 10
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Petrol Motor Commercial Vehicles see the 1917 Red Book
1914 Became a public company called The Austin Motor Company (1914) Ltd. Directors and subscribers were Herbert Austin, Harvey Du Cros, Kayser, Albert Ball and H. Marks got 250 preference and one ordinary share each; F. S. Goodwin and P. H. Carter had one ordinary share each. Turnover was £400k and they had 2,000 employees producing around 1,000 cars a year. 
1914 The company turned its resources to the war effort. Received a contract from the Russian government valued at £500,000 for 48 armoured cars, 18 equippen workshop vans, 16 20hp tank wagons, 8 binned spare parts lorries, 140 ambulances and 100 2-3 ton lorries. It was completed and shipped in three months.
1914 Started building new works (the North and West with the existing being referred to as the South) for the building of munitions.
1915 October. Bought Walker Horrocks and Co for their three patents dated 1909 for lighting sets for houses.
1915 The new No. 9 building erected
1916 Name changed.
1916 April New press shop started work
1916 July. Work on the North works situated on the Birmingham side of tyhe railway line commences with the machine shop completed by December and the forge in the following March
1916 December. Work on the West works situated on the opposite of the Bristol Road commences
1917 Block No 6 completed
1918 Early in the year 10,000 men went on strike for a month over the removal of Arthur Peacock
1914-18 At the end of the war the company had produced around eight million shells (from 210mm to 18-pounders), 2,000 aeroplanes, 2,500 aeroplane engines, 2,000 2-3 ton lorries, 480 armoured cars, 148 ambulances, 750 cars and light vans, and numerous other items. 
1919 Decide on a one model policy and produced the Austin Twenty. This enabled the same engine to be used for tractors and lorries
1920 January. The company's capital raised to £5 million
1920 April. Issued catalogue on the 'Glandless' petrol pump. 
1921 April. Arthur Whinney was appointed receiver and manager of the business
Company growth up to 1921
|1906||£14,771||11 months ending 31st October 1906|
|1907||£84,930||12 months ending 31st October 1907|
|1908||£119,744||11 months ending 30th September 1908|
|1917||20,000||Most employees on munitions work|
Figures are for FY ending 30th September
1922 March. The directors of the re-formed company were Herbert Austin (Chairman), Harvey Du Cros (Deputy Chairman), R. G. Ash, Sir Arthur Hardinge, A. T. Davies, T. D. Neal, C. R. F. Englebach and E. L. Payton.
1922 The Baby Austin was launched in 1922 and offered for sale at £225 putting it within the budget of customers who had never owned a car. Output of the Baby Austin reached 25,000 annually by 1925; the price was reduced each year. The company was the largest car factory in the UK with more than 58 acres of floor space.
1924 May. Entered talks about merging Austin with Morris and Wolseley but the talks failed mainly due to the reluctance of Morris who were the most profitable of the companies by some considerably amount
1925 Formed Austin Electric Co to continue the business they had been developing based on the purchase of Walker Horrocks and Co in 1915.
1926 Herbert Parkes joins the board and left in 1932.
1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.
1928 The sales manager Sammy Holbrook left the company and Herbert Austin took over leadership of the sales function. Rootes lost the London and Home Counties dealership to Car Mart and the Austin showrooms in Oxford Street. George Heath lost the Birmingham area, which was then handled direct from Longbridge
1932 Herbert Pepper becomes a director
1934 See Austin: 1934 Review
1936 25,000 persons employed at Longbridge
1938 October. Started production of medium-sized commercial vehicles
1939 Longbridge site was now 100 acres.
1941 Ernest Payton became Chairman
WWII Produced over 2,500 fighters and bombers to the RAF, including Balltes, Spitfires, Hurricanes, Stirlings and Lancaster.
1946 On the death of Payton, Lord became Chairman of the company
1948 Opened a non-profit making company at Tiryberth, South Wales for ex-miners suffering from silicosis
1950 Introduced the Loadstar 2 and 5 ton trucks
1950 Record year with 142,723 cars and 23,000 commercial vehicles produced.
1950 September. George Harriman appointed Deputy Managing Director
British Motor Corporation
1961 Employed 21,000 persons. Capital was £5 million.
1966 Part of British Motor Holdings
1968 Part of British Leyland Motor Corporation
1975 Part of British Leyland
1977 Part of BL
1986 Part of the Rover Group
Sources of Information
- The Times, Tuesday, May 01, 1906
- The Austin 1905-1952 by R. J. Wyatt. Published 1981. ISBN: 0 7153 7948 8
- The Times, Monday, Feb 09, 1914
- 1914 Whitakers Red Book
- British Motor Cars 1950/51
- The Times, Jan 12, 1968
- Ministry of Munitions War Production Figures issued Decemebr 1918
- The Engineer of 30th April 1920 p438
-  Wikipedia
- The Engineer of 10th December 1920 p582
- 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises: Motor, Motor-Cycle and Commercial Vehicle Manufacturers
- Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5