|Leyland has a
long and distinguished history dating from 1896, when
James Sumner and the Spurrier family founded the
Lancashire Steam Motor Company in the town of Leyland, in
North West England. This company's original product - a
1.5-ton-capacity steam van - was the start of what was to
become an long heritage of engineering and production
excellence that stretches directly to the Leyland Trucks
In 1907 the Preston-based engineering company, Coulthards was taken over and the business was renamed Leyland Motors Ltd.
The production of steam-vehicles continued until 1926. By 1933 diesel engines were in full production.
Gradual growth through the first 20 years of the company's existence was followed by dramatic increases in headcount and capacity during and after the First World War and again in the build-up to and immediately after the Second World War. The company supplied both civilian and military customers with an ever-widening range of vehicles, up to and including Centurion tanks.
In the next 20 years the company continued to expand its scope, dominating much of the world's bus market and growing to become the fifth-largest vehicle producer in the world. Albion Motors was taken over in 1951, and Scammell Lorries in 1955. The ACV group was bought in 1962 and the resulting combine was named Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd.
A long period of rationalization and de-merger began in the mid 1970s, and in 1987 the company was sold to Dutch DAF. (see DAF entry for history between 1987 and 1998).
The Leyland Bus Group Ltd was sold to Volvo in 1988.
Today Leyland Trucks operates from the Leyland Assembly Plant in North West England. The company is employing 1,000 people and turns out some 14,000 trucks per year. The 600,000 sq. ft plant has two chassis lines, three 'rolling road' test booths and a high bay components warehouse, with a storage capacity of over 3.2 million cu ft, which is the home of PACCAR Parts in the UK. Leyland Trucks designs and assembles a range of vehicles including the light and medium weight trucks which form the core distribution models in DAF's product range. Leyland Trucks is also designing an expanding series of urban delivery vehicles for sale in North America by Peterbilt and Kenworth and has taken over assembly of all Foden models - a range of medium and heavy duty commercial and military vehicles.
Leyland Trucks Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of PACCAR Inc - one of the world's largest truck manufacturers. Since Leyland Trucks was acquired by PACCAR in 1998, it has become the Group's established center for light and medium trucks. It designs and produces trucks from 6 tons upwards for each of PACCAR's established international brands - Kenworth, Peterbilt, DAF and Foden.
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