a talking car that wouldn't belt up From St Helens Star BRITISH Leyland wasn't exactly awash with money in coach outlet salem the late Seventies. In late 77, chairman Michael Edwardes took one look at the future models plan. and knew the company was in trouble. Work on an Allegro replacement started in 1975, but progress had been agonisingly slow as the drip feed of money was turned on and off. According to engineering boss Spen King, the plan was to create something 'utterly conventional' and simple. "We had no good reason for doing anything. complicated," he confessed. WHO'S SORRY NOW? ' Mr and Mrs Morris' (presumably no relation to Morris Motors Ltd) travelled from Bangkok (!) to be the first to collect the keys to a new Maestro. Mr M said: "I'm sure it will attract a lot of attention." Yep, on the hard shoulder. Joan said: "The finish is terrible. There are paint ripples, rubber seals hanging off, the electric windows jam and the sun roof rattles." Doors didn't fit, the bodywork was dented, the engine revved wildly (another BL 'innovation' was an electronic carburettor that messed up the fuelling) and interior fittings broke. No wonder the supplying dealer said wearily: "We have done our utmost best to put things right. but if Mr Dennis wants to discuss a replacement or getting some money back we are quite willing to talk to him." The Northern Echo's motoring critic didn't agree. When he tested a Maestro 1.6 coach outlet sale 4 july he commented: "This generation of cars takes to the road without coach outlet store locations texas the stigma of poor reliability." And it did, for a couple of weeks at least. The test went on: "The Austin Maestro Mayfair proved to be one of the smoothest and most likeable models I have driven this year." But the coach outlet sale 8x lethargic 1.6 litre engine's performance (0 60mph in a yawning 13 seconds) was described as "unexciting" and there was little response in top gear. A stereo radio cassette (remember those?) with four speakers helped cover up the din coming from beneath the bonnet.
BL quickly ditched the voice synth (but Renault persevered with the technology for several years) and the digital dashboard, but it was too little, too late. Fleet managers who had been expected to buy Maestros in the thousands simply shopped elsewhere. Austin Rover's UK market share plunged from 20 per cent to just 14 per cent.
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