Various Wolseley cars were
produced at Longbridge
Short History on the Company
When Herbert Austin
returned from Australia in 1893 and became manager of the Wolseley
Sheep-Shearing Machine Company. It was in 1895 that because of the
increased production needed the company moved to larger premises at
Aston in Birmingham and was called Sydney Works. This increase in
car production was only because of the man at the helm Herbert
Austin. Meanwhile the engineering company Vickers was looking into
how it could enter the growing car market, so in 1901 it took over
the Wolseley Sheep-Shearing Company and renamed the company the
Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Co Ltd, and made its base at a site in
Adderley Park Birmingham.
When Herbert Austin left the Company in 1905 to start up on his own, Wolseley which was part of the Vickers Group had to soon find a new General Manager. They then purchased the Coventry-based Siddeley Motor Company, and made John Davenport Siddeley the General Manager, a post he held for five years until resigning. Through out this period the cars were known as Wolseley-Siddeleys.
The company grow steadily through the coming years and in 1914 it decided to change its name to the Wolseley Motor Company. Very much like Austin it branched out into may other areas of manufacture. This led to a rapid expansion of the premisses at Adderley Park Birmingham in the order of six fold. So at these premisses commercial vehicles along with engines for other firms who were making locomotives, boats and aeroplanes. with the out-break of World War I, car production came to a halt for the manufacture of armoured vehicles, munitions and aircraft components.
For the next six years although things were expanding it was just a matter of time before the receiver would be called in. William Morris who was producing the Morris Cars was also selling Wolseley cars through his dealership in the Oxford area. With various car manufactures showing interest, not surprising Herbert Austin along with General Motors. An auction was held in October 1926 and William Morris bid of £730,000 won the day.
The restructured by Morris Cars soon got under way, and a new company was formed called Wolseley Motors 1927 Ltd. It was decided to make Wolsleley cars at the Ward End plant. This then allowed the Adderley Park Works to make the range of Morris Commercials.
We now move to 1948 when production of the cars were transferred to Cowley where Wolseley cars were just badge-engineered versions of Morris. The Ward End factory was then turn over to making Nuffield tractors.