The British Motor Trading Corporation

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The British Motor Trading Corporation
On May 8th 1919, the British Motor Trading Corporation listed on the Stock Exchange. Incorporated under the Companies Acts, 1908 to 1917, with a capital of 2,000,000, divided into 2,000,000 shares of 1 each, of which 1,000,000 were offered for subscription at par, payable as follows:

On application: 2s. 6d.
On allotment: 2s. 6d.
One month after allotment: 5s. Od. and
the balance of 10s, as and when required by calls not exceeding 5s. each.

The Corporation was formed under the auspices of The Motor Union Insurance Co., Ltd., with the directors, and their friends, applying for over 600,000 shares.

The directors were:
CHARLES HAFFENDEN DODD, Arkley, Holyport, Berks, Solicitor. (Chairman of the Motor Union Insurance Co., Ltd.)
JONATHAN EDWARD HODGKIN,. M.I.E.E., Shelleys, Darlington, Consulting Engineer
WILLIAM REES JEFFREYS, Brecon, Christchurch Park-, Sutton, Surrey, late Secretary to the Road Board.
ALBERT EDWARD NEWTON, Oakwood, Ember Lane, Esher, Surrey, late Manager, Automobile Lubricants Department, Vacuum Oil Co., Ltd.
BRIGADIER-GENERAL FRANCIS CONWAY-JENKINS, C.B.E., 25 Jermyn Street, London, S.W., Brigadier-General, Royal Air Force (Retired).
HUBERT JOHN WHITCOMB, Campions, Harlow, Essex, General Manager of the Motor Union Insurance Company Limited,
LLOYDS BANK, LIMI1TED, 16 St. James's Street, S.W., Head Office and Branches.
BARCLAY'S BANK, LIMITED, 54 Lombard Street, London, E.C., and Branches.
DODD and BLAKER, 16 Friar Street, Reading.
SLAUGHTER and MAY, 18 Austin Friar Street, E.C.
TRITTON, LABOUCHERE and CARO, 33 Old Broad Street, E.C.
HELMORE, HELMORE and CO., Chartered Accountants, 185 Piccadilly, W.
HENRY MAUDSLEY ORGIAS, 22 King Street, London, S.W.

The purpose of the company was "to maintain a widespread organization, at home and abroad, for the purchase, sale, repair, maintenance, letting on hire, and garaging of motor-cars, cycles, commercial vehicles and, agricultural motor machinery and the provision of motor accessories and supplies of all kinds." The directors realized a huge need for "improved supply, repairing and garage facilities to meet the great expansion in both private and commercial motoring."
Within the first five months of 1920, The British Motor Trading Company had achieved the manufacture and delivery of 1,000 Vulcan commercial vehicles and cars; establishing a new record for the British Automobile Industry. By October that year increased production and economic viabilities enabled the company to reduce the price of the four-cylinder, three gear, 10 h.p. Swift from 550 to 495. But the projected economic wealth and demand could not be realised. The company dealings involved several motor manufacturing companies that, like Harper Bean, suffered from oversubscribed shares on the stock market (subscription listing December 1, 1919) and failed to reach profits at a desired level. Many would-be investors with applications for large blocks of shares found these were far in excess of what they proved to pay for and take up.

Harper Bean invested 3,699,670 3s 7d in the purchase of whole or large portions of companies such as Vulcan Motor and Eng. Co., Ltd., British Motor Trading Corp., Ltd., Swift (Coventry) Ltd., Rushmores Limited, Ransome and Marles Bearing Co., Ltd., and Gallay Radiator Co., Ltd. The purpose of controlling these companies was to manufacture motor cars, as never achieved before in the U.K.; moreover the mass production of the Bean car. The British Motor Trading Corporation was acquired for the purpose of sales when 500,000 fully-paid shares were obtained from the company British Safety Blades, Limited. The purpose was to concentrate on production of motor cars and leave the marketing and sales in the hands of the British Motor Trading Corp. In their annual report, July 1921, Harper Bean believed there was total lack of co-operation and co-ordination when taking over the British Motor Trading Corp. (B.M.T.C.) They stated that although no cash changed hands with the share deal, it was "expensive and grandiose" and proved to be an inefficient organisation. Unfortunate transactions were entered into hampering success and in November 1920 several personnel changes took place. The 50,000 shares of Rushmores Limited, were purchased from the B.M.T.C.

Sir Thomas Polson, a recent director, presided at the first ordinary general meeting of Harper Bean. His opinion was outlined with a restructuring of the companies and the ability to discharge the receiver, describing the current market as depressing; indicating two years breathing space to get Harper Bean back on the right financial path. Leading up to 1923 many car manufacturers in Britain went broke with only larger companies surviving. In 1926 Harper Bean were taken over by Hadfields, and the company became known as Bean Cars. From 1927 the cars were sold as Hadfield Bean.

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