Tony Gilroy: Former manufacturing director at British Leyland's factory in Longbridge and credited with saving Land Rover and Rover car brands in the late 1980's, has died at the age of 85.
he was overshadowed by the likes of the former South African
chairman of British Leyland Sir Michael Edwardes (1930-2019) and
Austin-Rover chairman Harold
Musgrove who popularized the Rover SD1 and Austin Maestro/Montego in
the mid 1980's.
demonstrated a detailed knowledge of every aspect of the business,
identifying key issues and solving them.
1983 he was made head of the Land Rover division, which sold 73% of
it's cars to the Apartheid Government in South Africa, a big
controversy for the brand.
former prime minister Margaret Thatcher wished to sell Land Rover and
Rover in 1986 to GM, Gilroy launched the “Keep Land Rover/Rover
British Campaign” which lobbied the government to sell Land Rover
and Rover to a British company.
succeeded in that the Land Rover and Rover brands would be sold to
British Aerospace, on the strict understanding that neither could be
sold on again for 5 years.
former Land Rover employee stated: “If you had done your homework,
you were ok.
not, you were dead.
was true that Gilroy had zero tolerance for slackers at Longbridge
and later at Land Rover, but if he hadn't stepped in against selling
Land Rover to GM, we'd have likely lost our jobs”.