The Wolseley Motor Company, car manufacturer of Birmingham
Chronology of Automobile production
- 1894-1901 Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Co
- 1901-1914 Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co
- 1914-1975 Wolseley Motor Co
See also -
1901 February 18th. Company registered. Vickers, Sons and Maxim took over the machine tool and motor car side of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Co works, and commenced trading as the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co. Herbert Austin was general manager. Alfred Arnold Remington was chief draughtsman.
1905 Herbert Austin resigned, taking some of the senior staff with him to form Austins. Remington was appointed chief designer.
1905 Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co purchased the Siddeley Autocar Co, with founder John Davenport Siddeley in charge. Siddeley took control of the merged concern, renaming the marque Wolseley-Siddeley. These stately models were used by Queen Alexandra and the Duke of York, the later King Edward VII.
1907 Alfred Arnold Remington was appointed chief engineer.
1910 Production ended at Crayford, being concentrated at Birmingham.
1911 A. J. McCormack became joint managing director with Hopwood (resigned in November 1923)
c.1912 Motor sledges, designed and patented by Major B. T. Hamilton, were constructed for Scott's expedition to the South Pole; they were field tested in Norway with the help of Engineer Commander R. Skelton
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Marine Motors see the 1917 Red Book
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Petrol Motors see the 1917 Red Book
1913 Wolseley was Britain's largest car manufacturer selling 3,000 cars.
1914 The company officially became the Wolseley Motor Co.
1914 Formerly the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co. The company officially became the Wolseley Motor Co, still part of Vickers. It also began operations in Montreal and Toronto, Canada as Wolseley Motors Limited. This became British and American Motors after WWI.
1914 January. Factory extensions opened giving an additional 85,000 sq. ft. The whole factory now covers 21 acres. Will manufacture 2,000 four-cylinder and 1,000 six-cylinder cars this year. In addition there will be 1,500 Stellite cars produced in Birmingham. 5,500 men are employed in the works. A. McCormack is technical director and E. Hopwood the business director. Sir Vincent Caillard is Chairman.
1926 Finances were strained and the company faced receivership in October.
1927 February. Wolseley was purchased by William Morris for £730,000. Other bidders included General Motors and the Austin Motor Company. Morris renamed the company Wolseley Motors (1927) Ltd and consolidated its production at the sprawling Ward End Works in Birmingham.
1935, Wolseley became a subsidiary of Morris' own Morris Motor Company and the Wolseley models soon became based on Morris designs.
1938 It became part of the Nuffield Organisation along with Morris and Riley/Autovia.
1951 Exhibitor at the 1951 Motor Show in the Car Section.
1968 After the merger of BMC and Leyland to form British Leyland Motor Corporation, the Riley marque, long overlapping with Wolseley, was retired. Wolseley continued in diminished form with the Wolseley Six of 1972, a variant of the six-cylinder Austin 1800, the Austin 2200.
1975 Wolseley was finally killed off just three years later in favour of the short-lived Wolseley 18-22 series saloon, which was based on the Leyland Princess (also known as the 18-22 series) and never even given a clear name, being badged just "Wolseley", and sold only for seven months until that range was renamed as the Princess.
Today, the Wolseley marque is owned by Nanjing Automobile Group, bought as part of the assets of the MG Rover Group.
Sources of Information
- The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
- The Autocar 1902/02/08
- The Autocar 1902/02/15
- William Worby Beaumont, The Industrial Electric Vehicle, Griffin, 1920, p4
- The Times, 16 November 1908
- The Times, Oct 16, 1919
- Newcastle Journal - Monday 29 June 1914
- The Autocar 1914/01/31
- The Engineer of 2nd April 1920 p345