(Associated Equipment Company) was established in
Walthamstow, East London in 1912 to manufacture and
supply bus chassis for the London General Omnibus Company
During the 1914-18 War, the LGOC was required to provide buses for the military and in 1916 the AEC was asked to design and produce lorries for the War Effort. The factory at Walthamstow became a "controlled establishment" under the "Munitions of war act" in 1915. Besides busses and lorries shells and radiators for American Lorries were produced.
By the conclusion of hostilities AEC was ready to produce and sell both buses and lorries for the wider commercial market, not simply for the LGOC. The great amount of surplus lorries on the market let AEC to buy and and recondition its own vehicles.
In 1926 AEC teamed up with Daimler to make ADC, or Associated Daimler, vehicles for a couple of years, after which the two firms went their separate ways. AEC moved to Southall in 1927 and the FWD company in Slough was bought in 1929.
The AEC became a totally separate company in 1933 and supplied most of the London busses. In 1948 AEC purchased the Crossley Motor Company and the Maudslay Motor Company under the umbrella title of Associated Commercial Vehicles (or ACV), which was to handle sales for the group. Maudsley vehicles was phased out during 1950, replaced by AECīs.
During the 1950īs AEC developed export business throughout the. Plants were established in South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and South America. The Thornycroft company was taken over in 1961.
In 1962 the ACV group itself was merged with rival Leyland Motors Ltd. of Leyland in Lancashire, the new grouping being known as the Leyland Motor Corporation. Leyland was obviously the dominant force in this merger and by degrees the design and manufacturing facilities of AEC Ltd. in Southall were sidelined, until in 1979 the plant in Southall was closed, bringing the AEC marque to a premature end.
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