The Rootes Group was a British automobile manufacturer, which was based in the Midlands and south of England. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Rootes was the parent company of many well-known British marques, including Hillman, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam, Talbot, Commer and Karrier. Hillman was a famous British Automobile Marque, manufactured by the Rootes Group. Humber was a British Automobile Marque which could date its beginnings to Thomas Humber 's bicycle company founded in 1868 Singer was an Automobile company founded in 1905 in Coventry, England Sunbeam was a Marque registered by John Marston Co Ltd of Wolverhampton, England, in 1888 Talbot is an Automobile brand whose history is one of the industry's most complex Commer was a British manufacturer of commercial vehicles which existed from 1905 until 1979 Karrier is a marque of car and commercial vehicle the origins of which can be traced back to Clayton and Company a 1904 company from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire At its height Rootes had plants in the midlands at Coventry and Birmingham, in the south at Acton, Luton, Dunstable and Maidstone, and in Scotland at Linwood. Coventry ( is a city and Metropolitan borough in the County of West Midlands in England. Birmingham ( ˈbɜːmɪŋəm Ber -ming-um Acton is a place in west London, England situated west of Charing Cross. Luton ( is a large town in the east of England, 32 miles (51 kilometres north of London. Dunstable is a Market town in Bedfordshire, England. It lies on the eastward tail spurs of the Chiltern Hills, 30 miles north of London Maidstone is the County town of Kent, England, south-east of London. The company no longer exists, having been taken over in stages by Chrysler, and subsequently sold to Peugeot and, in part, Renault. Chrysler LLC is an American Automobile manufacturer that has been producing Automobiles since 1925 For the article about the bicycle manufacturer see Cycles Peugeot. This is about the company for other uses see Renault (disambiguation.
Originally founded in Hawkhurst, Kent in 1913 by William Rootes as a car sales company. Hawkhurst is a village and Civil parish in the borough of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. KENT (1400 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Adult Standards/MOR format William Edward Rootes 1st Baron Rootes GBE ( 17 August 1894 &ndash 12 December 1964) was a noted Coventry motor manufacturer The firm moved to Maidstone by the First World War, and during the war was involved in the repair of aero engines. Maidstone is the County town of Kent, England, south-east of London. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All By 1924 Rootes was the largest truck and car distributor in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located  Rootes grew and took over other companies, and became one of the earliest advocates of the policy of "badge engineering". For a list of vehicles that have been badge engineered see List of badge engineered vehicles. Among take-overs were Hillman, Humber and Commer in 1929; Clement, Talbot and Sunbeam in 1935, British Light Steel Pressings (1937) and Thrupp & Maberly (1939). Hillman was a famous British Automobile Marque, manufactured by the Rootes Group. Humber was a British Automobile Marque which could date its beginnings to Thomas Humber 's bicycle company founded in 1868 Commer was a British manufacturer of commercial vehicles which existed from 1905 until 1979 Talbot is an Automobile brand whose history is one of the industry's most complex Sunbeam was a Marque registered by John Marston Co Ltd of Wolverhampton, England, in 1888 British Light Steel Pressings Ltd was a company in Acton, London producing bodies for the vehicle industry Thrupp & Maberly was a British coachbuilding company based in London. Hillman was intended to be the basic brand, Singer slightly more upmarket, Sunbeam was the sports brand, while Humber made luxury models. Commer and Karrier were the commercial vehicle brands, with Commer manufacturing light vans with the Karrier badge appearing on heavy vans and light duty trucks (mainly for municipal use). A van is a kind of vehicle used for Transporting goods or groups of people
Rootes was best known for manufacturing solid, dependable, well engineered middle-market vehicles. Famous Rootes models include the Hillman Minx, Hillman Hunter, Humber Super Snipe and the Sunbeam Alpine. The Hillman Minx was a series of middle-sized family cars produced under the Hillman Marque by the Rootes Group between 1932 and 1970 Rootes Arrow was the manufacturer's name for a range of cars produced under several badge-engineered Marques by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler The Humber Super Snipe was a car produced by the British based Humber car company part of the Rootes Group. The Sunbeam Alpine was a sporty two seat open car or Coupé from Rootes 's Sunbeam car Marque.
William Rootes built the Rootes Group using specific brands for each market niche.
With the onset of the Second World War Rootes, like most other British car manufacturers, became involved with the production of armaments. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including In 1940, under the Government's shadow factory scheme, Rootes built its massive assembly plant in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry, initially manufacturing aircraft, one of the first types being the Bristol Blenheim. Ryton-on-Dunsmore is a Village and Civil parish in the Rugby district of Warwickshire, and is south-east of Coventry, England Coventry ( is a city and Metropolitan borough in the County of West Midlands in England. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Production included another RAF heavy bomber, the Handley Page Halifax. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Rootes also manufactured military vehicles, based on the Humber and Commer.
Rootes had a rare lapse of business judgement shortly after the end of War II: when he visited the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg to consider its value for war reparations, he considered it – and the Beetle – had no value. The Volkswagen Beetle, officially known as the type 1 and originally called ‘Käfer’ is an Economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen
Following the war, Rootes also sponsored satellite manufacturing operations around the world, notably in Australasia and the Middle East. Australasia is a Region of Oceania: New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and neighbouring Islands in the Pacific The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The best known example of the latter was the Iranian-built Paykan, based on the Hillman Hunter. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. The Paykan ( was an Automobile produced by the Iranian company Iran Khodro (formerly called "Iran National" Industrial Group Rootes Arrow was the manufacturer's name for a range of cars produced under several badge-engineered Marques by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler In 1950 it acquired Tilling-Stevens, a truck and bus manufacturer based in Maidstone, Kent. WA Stevens was established in Maidstone, Kent in 1897 and had by 1906 built its first Petrol-electric vehicle Maidstone is the County town of Kent, England, south-east of London.
Rootes successfully sold a range of cars which were priced at a slight premium to their major home market competitors, justified on the basis that they offered a level of superiority in design and finish.
Studebaker stylist Raymond Loewy was a design consultant to Rootes; evidence of his influence is most readily seen in the 1956 Audax range of cars, which included the contemporary Hillman Minx, a model also produced under license by Isuzu of Japan. Studebaker Corporation, or simply Studebaker, was a United States Wagon and Automobile manufacturer based in Raymond Fernand Loewy ( 5 November, 1893 - 14 July, 1986) was one of the best known Industrial designers of the 20th century The Hillman Minx was a series of middle-sized family cars produced under the Hillman Marque by the Rootes Group between 1932 and 1970 ( is a Japanese car commercial vehicle and heavy truck manufacturing company, headquartered in Tokyo.
In 1954, Rootes introduced a novel supercharged diesel engine, based on a Sulzer Brothers concept. A diesel engine is an Internal combustion engine which operates using the Diesel cycle (named after Dr This was the TS3 2-stroke 3-cylinder engine, with 2 opposed inward facing pistons per cylinder, which drove the crankshaft through rockers. The 3. 25 litre engine developed 90 hp (67 kW), equivalent to contemporary 4-stroke diesel engines of more than twice the capacity.
The engine was used in Commer trucks as well as an industrial engine. Production ceased in 1968 after the Chrysler takeover.
During the 1950s, Rootes's promotion included a strategy of participation in major UK and European car rallies. Stirling Moss was their top driver, and the Sunbeam Talbot 90's win in the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally was the most significant victory. The Monte Carlo Rally (officially Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo) is a Rallying event organized each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco who also organize
In 1968, Rootes entered a factory team in the London-Sydney Marathon, driving a Hillman Hunter. Rootes Arrow was the manufacturer's name for a range of cars produced under several badge-engineered Marques by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler Andrew Cowan gained what was regarded as a surprise victory against stiff competition from factory teams with bigger budgets.
During the 1960s, Sunbeam's Alpine convertible was moderately successful in the United States market. Rootes considered that the Alpine's sales would be improved with a more powerful model. As a result, in 1964 they introduced the Tiger — a V8 derivative of the Alpine, powered by a 4. 2 litre Ford V8 engine. Ford Motor Company is an American Multinational corporation and the world's fourth largest automaker based on Worldwide vehicle sales, following A Petrol engine or Gasoline engine is an Internal combustion engine with spark-ignition designed to run on petrol ( Gasoline) and similar volatile Carroll Shelby was involved in the development of the Tiger prototype. Carroll Hall Shelby, (born January 11, 1923 in Leesburg Texas) is an American racing and automotive designer and former racing driver
A 4. 7 litre model followed in 1967, but few were built, as it was considered inappropriate for a Chrysler vehicle to be powered by Ford. Consideration was given to installing a Chrysler V8 in the Tiger, but their engines were larger and heavier than the compact Ford power plants.
In 1963, Rootes introduced the Hillman Imp, a compact rear engined saloon with an innovative all- aluminium OHC engine, based on a Coventry Climax engine design (originally used for a fire pump). The Hillman Imp is a compact rear-engined saloon car that was manufactured under the Hillman Marque by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler WikipediaNaming It was intended to be a response from Rootes to rival BMC's popular Mini, and a massive new factory in Linwood in Scotland was built for its assembly. The British Motor Corporation (BMC was a UK vehicle company formed by the merger of the Austin Motor Company and the Nuffield Organisation (parent The Mini is a small car that was produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC and its successors from 1959 until 2000 Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The move to Linwood was forced upon the company by the British government, which had introduced the principle of "Industrial Development Certificates" (IDCs). By their use, it was intended to concentrate new factory building in depressed areas of Britain. Thus, Rootes were not allowed to expand their existing Ryton plant (itself provided by the Government for war production), but instead were obliged to build in an area of Scotland where there was a shortage of work. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. The Linwood plant was a disaster for many reasons — chiefly the Glaswegian workforce who had no experience in motor vehicle assembly, and the build quality and reliability of the cars inevitably suffered. Glasgow (ˈglæzgoʊ is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom Another problem was that the component suppliers were still based in the Midlands, and the company incurred further costs in transporting half-finished engine castings from Linwood to be machined at Ryton and returned to Linwood once they had been assembled — at the same time as completed Imps returned south again, resulting in a 600-mile (970 km) round trip!
The Imp itself was underdeveloped, and the aforementioned build quality and unreliability problems, coupled with buyer apathy towards the quirky design was reflected in poor sales. After a reasonably successful start in 1963-65, the Imp's fortunes in the marketplace went into terminal decline. Lost production caused by constant strike action by the Linwood workforce only added to the problems, and the mess was further exacerbated by crippling warranty claims. Rootes had no money left to develop its other models, which soon left the company in an uncompetitive position.
It has been suggested that the demise of Rootes began with losses due to industrial relations problems at the BLSP plant in London, with knock-on problems down the supply chain. British Light Steel Pressings Ltd was a company in Acton, London producing bodies for the vehicle industry  By the mid-1960s, Rootes was progressively taken over by the Chrysler Corporation of the United States, following huge losses amid the commercial failure of the troubled Imp. Chrysler LLC is an American Automobile manufacturer that has been producing Automobiles since 1925 The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Chrysler was also only too keen to take control of the struggling firm as it wished to have its own wholly-independent European subsidiaries like arch rivals Ford and GM. Ford Motor Company is an American Multinational corporation and the world's fourth largest automaker based on Worldwide vehicle sales, following General Motors Corporation ( GM) ( is a multinational automobile manufacturer founded in 1908 and headquartered in the United States. Chrysler took over Simca of France at the same time, merging it with Rootes (now renamed "Chrysler UK") to create Chrysler Europe. Simca redirects here for other uses of that term see SIMCA (disambiguation. In the 1960s Chrysler sought to become a world producer of Automobiles The company had never had much success outside North America contrasting with Ford 's worldwide The Rootes name had largely vanished by 1971, and soon its other brand names were progressively phased out as the 1970s progressed. Only Hillman was left by 1977, when it too was shelved in favour of the Chrysler name. The Commer name was also phased out in the 1970s, the group's van and truck models mostly assuming the Dodge nameplate by 1976. Dodge is a United States -based brand of Automobiles Sport utility vehicles and Trucks manufactured and marketed by Chrysler LLC
In his autobiography ("Iacocca — an Autobiography") former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca was disparaging of the Rootes operation, saying Chrysler should never have bought it. Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca (born October 15, 1924) is an American businessman most commonly known for his revival of the Chrysler UK soldiered on with a range of worthy but increasingly outmoded rear-wheel drive family cars like the Hillman Avenger (introduced in 1970) and Hillman Hunter (introduced in 1966), while the Imp – which by now had most of its teething problems ironed out – was largely ignored by the new management. The Hillman Avenger was a rear-wheel drive Small family car originally manufactured under the Hillman marque by the Rootes Group between 1970 and 1976 Rootes Arrow was the manufacturer's name for a range of cars produced under several badge-engineered Marques by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler
In the late 1960s, Chrysler endeavoured to market the Rootes cars in the US. These efforts proved unsuccessful. Marketing in the US was impeded by an inability to offer cars for sale during part of 1968, as the Rootes cars could not comply with exhaust emission requirements.
In the early 1970s, with the rise of interest in sub-compact cars, Chrysler offered the Hillman Avenger in North America as the Plymouth Cricket. This attempt was aborted after only two years. At the same time, Chrysler's Dodge Division offered the Dodge Colt as its "subcompact" — sourced from Mitsubishi in Japan. The Dodge Colt and the similar Plymouth Champ and Plymouth Colt, were Subcompact cars sold by Dodge and Plymouth from 1970 (1971 The Colt proved a popular and reliable car, hastening the Cricket's demise.
However, Chrysler of Argentina commenced manufacturing the Hillman Avenger based Dodge 1800, and this car continued in production until 1990. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. In its last 10 years of production it was badged as a Volkswagen after that firm acquired Chrysler's Argentine business. There was also a Brazilian variant until 1980. |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld
Chrysler UK introduced several new models in the 1970s: a British-assembled Chrysler Alpine (sold in France as the Simca 1307/1308) was introduced in 1976, and the Avenger-based Chrysler Sunbeam 2-door hatchback was introduced in 1977. The Simca 1307 was the name under which Chrysler Europe launched its new Large family car in 1975 For the Sunbeam-Talbot or Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq cars see Sunbeam Car Company The Chrysler Sunbeam is a small supermini 3-door Hatchback Also, Chrysler UK made a significant contribution to the design of Chrysler's European range. As well as the Alpine and Sunbeam, there was the saloon derivative of the Alpine – the Talbot Solara – and Chrysler/Simca Horizon. The Horizon, was a Subcompact automobile developed by Chrysler Europe and was sold in Europe between 1977 and 1985 under the Chrysler, Simca Both of these cars were awarded "European Car of the Year awards, and the Horizon was the basis for the US Plymouth Horizon and Dodge Omni, which were very successful for Chrysler. The European Car of the Year award was established in 1964 by a collective of automobile magazines from different countries in Europe. The Dodge Omni and the similar Plymouth Horizon were Front wheel drive cars introduced by the Dodge and Plymouth divisions of Chrysler Corporation The Dodge Omni and the similar Plymouth Horizon were Front wheel drive cars introduced by the Dodge and Plymouth divisions of Chrysler Corporation
The Imp was finally laid to rest in 1976, and the Hunter followed it three years later (although it continued to be produced in Iran). Indeed, componentry for the Iranian version of the car was a successful UK export during the 1980s.
Only the Avenger-based Chrysler Sunbeam hatchback, launched in 1977 kept the Rootes lineage alive, although the Alpine name was still in use and later Alpine and Solara special edition models were given the old Rootes model names, Minx and Rapier. For the Sunbeam-Talbot or Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq cars see Sunbeam Car Company The Chrysler Sunbeam is a small supermini 3-door Hatchback The rights to the Rapier name remained with the successors of the company, and were eventually resurrected again on a few "limited edition" Peugeot models. For the article about the bicycle manufacturer see Cycles Peugeot.
Chrysler had spent much of the 1970s unsuccessfully trying to integrate its Rootes and Simca ranges into one, coherent whole. Simca redirects here for other uses of that term see SIMCA (disambiguation. The traditionally-engineered, rear wheel drive cars of the British division had limited appeal outside the UK, although the Avenger was relatively successful in New Zealand, and Hunter production continued in Ireland as well as Iran.
Unfortunately, with its problems in the US, Chrysler did not have the capital to invest in refreshing their entire product range, and sales of the older designs stagnated in the face of more modern competition. Also, the production facilities were outmoded, industrial relations problems were persistent, and the products had a poor reputation for quality.
In the face of massive losses, and the risk of significant unemployment if the factories closed, the Ryton and Linwood factories were the subject of frequent government bail-outs.
Despite the government assistance, the weight of problems bearing on Chrysler Europe resulted in its collapse in 1977, leading to the company's 1978 takeover by PSA Peugeot-Citroen. For the article about the bicycle manufacturer see Cycles Peugeot. PSA soon wielded the axe over the troubled Linwood factory in Scotland, and exhumed the Talbot marque from the pages of Rootes's history to re-badge the former Chrysler models. Talbot is an Automobile brand whose history is one of the industry's most complex Whilst Ryton was saved, PSA took little interest in the heavy commercial vehicles and the former Commer/Dodge/Karrier truck and van factory was run in conjunction with the trucks division of Renault. This is about the company for other uses see Renault (disambiguation. After the withdrawal of the last Dodge-derived trucks (latterly badged as Renaults) it became a production plant for engines for Renault Véhicules Industriels. Renault Trucks is a French truck manufacturer with its corporate headquarters at Saint-Priest near Lyon.
The first Rootes model to be killed under Peugeot's ownership was the Hunter in 1979, and its production tooling subsequently went to Iran, where the Paykan went into local production, which continued until 2004. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. The Paykan ( was an Automobile produced by the Iranian company Iran Khodro (formerly called "Iran National" Industrial Group It remains a common sight throughout the Middle East, especially as a taxi. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The closure of Linwood in 1981 spelled the end (in Europe at least) for the Avenger. Chrysler had retained the rights to the car, and continued its production in Argentina. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. The Simca-based models (the Horizon, Alpine and Solara) continued to be built at Ryton using the resurrected Talbot badge for the first half of the 1980s. Eventually however, PSA abandoned the three marque strategy, and the Horizon replacement, developed as the Talbot Arizona became the Peugeot 309 in 1986, and was the first Peugeot badged car to be assembled at the Ryton plant. The Peugeot 309 is a Small family car designed and manufactured by Peugeot between 1985 and 1993 and between 1994 and 1997 in India by PAL-Peugeot Ltd The Talbot badge was discontinued on passengers cars in 1987 and commercial vehicles in 1995, whilst Ryton went on to assemble the Peugeot 405 and 306. The Peugeot 405 is a Large family car released by the French Automaker Peugeot in July 1987 and which continues to be manufactured under The Peugeot 306 is a Small family car built by the French Car manufacturer Peugeot from 1993 to 2002
Ryton began assembling its last Peugeot, the 206, in 1998. The Peugeot 206 is a supermini (subcompact car manufactured by the French Automaker Peugeot since 1998 At the height of the car's success, the plant was working at capacity to satisfy demand. Despite this however, Ryton's importance in PSA's overall strategy was always marginal at best — merely being an assembly operation with limited production capacity compared to PSA's main factories in France and Spain. The writing was on the wall for Ryton when Peugeot announced that the new 207 would not be assembled at the former Rootes plant, and in April 2006, after years of speculation surrounding Ryton's future, the PSA Group announced that residual 206 production would move to Eastern Europe. The Peugeot 207 is a supermini produced by the French automaker Peugeot and unveiled in January 2006
Production at the plant ceased in December 2006. It marked the end of nearly 60 years of car manufacturing at Ryton, and severed the motor industry's final remaining link with the Rootes Group. The plant was formally closed on 8 January 2007, and resulted in the loss of some 2,300 jobs. Events 871 - Battle of Ashdown - Ethelred of Wessex defeats a Danish invasion army Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
The last appearance of the name Rootes was at a garage, still extant in Maidstone, England, which bore the name. Maidstone is the County town of Kent, England, south-east of London. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland On 1 January 2007, in line with the other 40 dealerships within its business group, the name was changed from Rootes Maidstone, to become Robins & Day Maidstone. New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Robins & Day is wholly owned and operated by Peugeot UK as opposed to other Peugeot dealers that are operated like many car dealerships, on a franchise basis.
Rootes' contribution to Coventry's history is commemorated by the University of Warwick in the naming of Rootes Hall, one of its largest Halls of Residence, on the main campus site on the outskirts of Coventry. Coventry ( is a city and Metropolitan borough in the County of West Midlands in England. The University of Warwick is a British Campus university located on the outskirts of Coventry, West Midlands, England and is