The history of the Wolseley motor company began far away from the UK shores, in Sydney, Australia.

It was there where a young man by the name of Frederick York Wolseley made his first steps in the business world establishing a factory to manufacture sheep shearing equipment.

From the first days of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Machine Company Limited in 1887, things moved very fast - so fast that just nine years later Wolseley had taken his company to the UK and was running a car manufacturing plant in the “ motor city” of Birmingham, in the Midlands of England.

Still trading under the umbrella of the Wolseley Sheep Shearing Company, the Wolseley Motor Company did relatively well selling close to one hundred cars, before Wolseley decided the automobile business was not for him and sold out to Vickers Son and Maxim Limited, who eventually evolved to become the Rover Group,

After the sale of his auto manufacturing division, Frederick Wolseley returned to concentrating his talents and energies on the development and manufacture of sheep shearing equipment, eventually diversifying into the production of a wide range of agricultural machinery.

In the meantime, Vickers Son and Maxim Limited continued to develop and consolidate their car manufacturing interests.

The powers at be at Vickers liked the name so much, in 1914 they registered their car manufactuting as the Wolseley Motor Company.

In the years preceding and immediately after the end of World War I Wolseley began to expand their operations across the world selling their cars in the United States as well as establishing a working relationship with a massive shipbuilding concern in Japan, which gradually developed to become Isuzu Motors.

During the early Twenties, the Vickers Son and Maxim Limited, now known as just plain “Vickers” continued their massive expansion, which they eventually discovered in 1926 that they didn’t have the finance at their disposal to continue to operate such an enormous diversification.

Financially vulnerable, Wolseley found themselves facing the chilling prospect of bankruptcy.

That was the moment that UK auto magnate, William Morris, ever looking to expand his business, had been waiting for.

Morris swifty struck up a deal that absorbed Wolseley into his group, wasting very little time in transferring production to his extensive Ward End Works operated by in Birmingham.

Over the next ten years, Wolseley was gradually absorbed into the Morris Motor Company, becoming a subsidiary in 1935.

Three years later a full-fledged division of the Nuffield Organisation alongside the Morris Motor Company as well as a number of other Nuffield acquisitions, among them Riley Motors company.

At the end of the Second World War, both the Morris and Wolseley production was consolidated into a brand-new client situated in Cowley, in Oxfordshire.

By the early Nineteen Fifties, the Nuffield Group was one of the top three auto manufacturers in the United Kingdom.

To increase production efficiency, a process which became known as “ badge engineering” played an increasingly growing part in the group’s manufacturing policy.

This practice first came to light immediately at the end of the Second World War when the Nuffield group returned to producing cars for the domestic market.

The first pre-war Wolseley models, the 4/50 and 6/80 models,were very firmly based on the Morris Oxford MO saloon.

The infamous “ badging” policy continued throughout the Fifties, with Wolseley virtually becoming clones of either Morris, MG, and Riley models, all sharing a common chassis and body.

As part of their marketing policy, BMC’s designers were inclined to give Wolseley models improved specifications to create an atmosphere of luxury,- a strategy that ran on through the Fifties and Sixties till the brand gradually faded into history.

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