Austin Motor Company (1914) Ltd
The Austin Motor Company Limited was an English manufacturer of motor vehicles, founded in 1905 by Herbert Austin.
Centered at Northfield, Birmingham, Warwickshire, Austin Motor Company (1914) Ltd engineering company became a War Office contractor for airplanes during the First World War, building over 2,000 subcontract aircraft. In 1917 the aircraft department, managed by J. D. North (best known for his later Boulton Paul associations) contemplated aircraft of original design. The Austin-Ball A.F.B.1 (fighter) and Osprey (1918) was a triplane single-seater designed by C. H. Brooks; the Greyhound two-seat fighter was flown after the Armistice; and civil types were the Kestrel side-byside two-seater (awarded 2nd prize in an Air Ministry competition) and the tiny Whippet single-seater, for which high hopes were entertained but only five were built. Aircraft activities ceased 1920, but in 1936 the "shadow factory" scheme ensured that the Austin name once again had aircraft connections. Production of Fairey Battles began October 1937; first aircraft tested July 1938.
In 1952 it was merged with Morris Motors Limited in the new holding company British Motor Corporation (BMC) Limited, keeping its separate identity. The marque Austin was used until 1987. The trademark is currently owned by SAIC after being transferred from bankrupt subsidiary Nanjing Automotive which had acquired it with MG Rover Group in July 2005.