The Rootes Group

A Survey of a Great Enterprise

[Image: Rootes Symbol]

I don't know the origin of this piece, except that it was found at an autojumble by Peter Hoyle, and reprinted in Coventry Spires, Jul/Aug 1993. I would guess that it was produced by Rootes, and that it dates from about 1960.

I've divided it into three parts, beginning here with the Introduction, The Individual Companies, and The Development of the Company


Standing among the bicycles in his workshop, Mr William Rootes, father of two boys named William and Reginald, decided that the time had come for him to start selling the noisy machines which were frightening the horses in the Kentish lanes around his home. "There's a future in motor cars," he said.

The time was the turn of the century and Mr Rootes was a better prophet than he knew. Motor cars were to become one of Britain's greatest industries and his two sons were destined to emerge as industrial leaders and as builders of their own motor empire.

The decision taken by Mr Rootes that day in his shop at Hawkhurst, Kent, was the seed from which grew the Rootes Group, an assembly of companies formed for the manufacture, distribution, sales and service of cars and commercial vehicles. Today, Lord Rootes and Sir Reginald Rootes, the sons of the Kentish bicycle manufacturer, are Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the group

Rootes Motors Limited is the parent company controlling the interests of the group. The manufacturing undertakings are:

Humber Ltd., Coventry
Hillman Motor Car Company Ltd., Coventry
Sunbeam-Talbot Ltd., Coventry
Singer Motors Ltd., Birmingham
Commer Cars Ltd., Luton & Dunstable
Karrier Motors Ltd., Luton & Dunstable
Thrupp & Maberly Ltd., London
British Light Steel Pressings Ltd., London
Tilling-Stevens Ltd., Maidstone (Kent)
Tempair Ltd., Maidstone (Kent)
Rootes (Scotland) Ltd

A number of other Group companies are devoted to the sale and service of Group vehicles at home and abroad and for arranging finance and hire purchase facilities. In addition the Group has one of the largest car-hire organisations in Europe and its own driving schools in London and the provinces.

ROOTES logo used with permission of T.J.Higgins of the Rootes Index Page

Go to [The Individual Companies] [The Development of the Company]

Go to [Hillman/Rootes Information / The Hillman Page