Austin is a brand introduced by the Austin Motor Company, a British automotive manufacturer, founded by Herbert Austin in 1905. In 1952 Austin merged ownership with Morris Motor Limited, building The British Motor Company. The marque ‘Austin’ was used till 1987 when the Austin Rover division became just the MG Rover Group. After many turbulent years the brand is currently owned by a Chinese corporation, SAIC, though the chances for its revival are rather low.
This notable British brand was most famous for affordable economy family cars but Austin had started from selling luxurious car models. Among their customers were European aristocrats: British nobles, Russian dukes, Princesses, Bishops and high officials of the governments. However, the real success came with introducing a small economy car, the Austin 7 in 1922. ‘Baby Austin’ appeared to be one of the most popular British cars at that time and sold well worldwide conquering, for instance, Japanese market. Another revolutionary Austin design was an icon of the 1960s British popular culture, the Mini. The car was manufactured from 1959 to 2000. Other famous Austin car models are the 1960 1100/1300, the 1973 Allegro, the Princess, the 1983 Maestro and the 1980 Austin Metro, known for being a Princess Diana’s car and a once-popular supermini which huge sales literally saved the company.