Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Automotive Products Group

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September 1962.
October 1962.
September 1968.
October 1994. AP Racing.

Automotive Products Group of Tachbrook Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

Successor to Automotive Products Co

1961 Construction of new factory at Banbury to house the service and spares parts division, serving customers needing Lockheed, Borg and Beck, Rockford, Thompson, Purolator, etc parts[1]

1965 Automotive Products Group offered[2]:

1966 The Automotive Products Group was known as AP. It supplied[3]:

  • Components for cars, commercial vehicles and other vehicles on land
  • Hydraulic controls and actuators for shipping
  • AP precision hydraulics and undercarriages for aircraft.

1968 The parent company of the group was Automotive Products Associated[4]

1973 The name of Automotive Products Associated was changed when a reorganisation and streamlining of the UK businesses was introduced. The business changed its name to Automotive Products (otherwise known as AP).[5]

1980 Exhibitors at the Motor Show included:

  • Automotive Products Co (Banbury)
  • Automotive Products
  • Automotive Products (Autela Components Division)
  • Automotive Products (Filter Division)
  • Automotive Products (Friction Material Division)
  • Automotive Products (International Auto Safety Centres Division)
  • Automotive Products (Parts and Service Division)
  • Automotive Products (Pressings Division)
  • Automotive Products (Rubber Division)
  • Automotive Products (Silencer Division)
  • Automotive Products (Springs Division)

1982 After a period of improved performance, AP, maker of vehicle and aircraft equipment, returned to losses in the first half of the year[6]

Losses continued and the company in Britain shrank, although some of the overseas subsidiaries picked up business with their local car manufacturers.

1986 Acquired by BBA Group in an agreed bid. The Preference shares continued to be traded on the Stock Exchange.

1989 The business had returned to profit, particularly the aviation hydraulics part of the business which continued to perform strongly[7]

1995 BBA sold its car brake and clutch division to its management. Would also sell the aircraft undercarriage business if it received a high enough offer. The company had 4 subsidiaries including AP Racing, which supplied clutches and brakes for Formula 1 cars, and AP Borg and Beck, which was one of the largest clutch manufacturers in Europe[8]

2000 The company was then acquired by Delphi Automotive Systems.

Subsequently Lockheed Hydraulic Braking was sold to an Indian consortium which used the name Caparo AP Braking.

Another company called AP Racing is totally separate.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Apr. 12, 1961
  2. The Times Dec. 6, 1965
  3. The Times June 24, 1966
  4. The Times , Mar. 1, 1968
  5. The Times 15 June 1973
  6. The Times Aug. 14, 1982
  7. The Times Oct. 21, 1989
  8. The Times Apr. 12, 1995