William Richard Morris, later Lord Nuffield, (1877 - 1963) , was running his own bicycle repair business. In 1909, he created Morris Garage (MG) for repairing bicycles, cars as well as he was dealing in the sale sale of cars - Wolseley, Humber, Singer and Standard cars.
In 1912, he decided to enter in to manufacturing cars and founded Morris Motors. Morris Motors manufactured cars by sourcing components, engines, gearboxes from other manufactures.
A 1913, Morris Oxford car -
The car was named as Oxford after his hometown and came to be known as "Bullnose" in view of the design of the radiator grill.
In 1927, Morris Motors acquired Wolseley Motor Company.
In order to meet the competition from Austin 7 model of Austin Motors, Morris Motor company introduced the Morris Minor in 1928.
Few more small car designed follow from Morris Motors, Morris 8 being one them.
A 1936 Morris 8 -
By 1935 , Morris Garage (MG) has transformed itself in to a separate car company, mainly involved in making re-bodies Morris cars as well converting Morris cars to sports versions. MG Company was integrated in to Morris Motors in 1935.
In 1952, a major merger between Austin Motors and Morris Motors created the British Motor Corporation (BMC).
Sir Alec Issigonis , a well known Automotive Engineer, was recruited back in to BMC and given the task of creating a small car. This project led to the creation of Morris Mini Minor in 1959.
The Morris Minor had many path breaking design innovations, some of which were -
- Front wheel drive
- Transverse mounted engine
- Radiator on left to use engine driven cooling fan, where the fan was pushing air on to the radiator
- A boot lid which opens downwards to increase space
- Sliding windows so that the inside of doors can be used as storage space
- Rubber cone suspension instead of springs
The Mini became one of the most famous marques , next only to Model T.
The Oxford range of cars continued to evolve and were produced in India by Hindustan Motors.
A 1948 Morris Oxford MO aka Hindustan Fourteen in India -
A 1950 Morris Oxford II aka Hindustan Landmaster in India -
A 1956 Morris Oxford III aka Hindustan Ambassador in India -
The Morris Motors went through a series of mergers and take overs - In 1966 merger of Jaguar and BMC created the British Motor Holdings(BMH). In 1968 Leyland Motors and BMH merged to form British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC). In 1975, BLMC was renamed as British Leyland (BL). In 1986 , BL was renamed as Rover group.
In 1989 , the Rover group was purchased by British Aerospace and later, in 1994, sold off to BMW. In 2000, owing to financial difficulties, BMW sold the Rover brand to a consortium who named the company as MG Rover.
In 2007, Nanjing Automotive group purchased the MG brand.
The Morris Motor Logos -