Austin Motor Company Limited was a British manufacturer of motor vehicles, founded in 1905 by Herbert Austin. In 1952 it was merged with Morris Motors Limited in the new holding company British Motor Corporation (BMC) Limited, keeping its separate identity. The marque Austin was used until 1987. The trademark is currently owned by SAIC after being transferred from bankrupt subsidiary Nanjing Automotive which had acquired it with MG Rover Group in July 2005. A project to design a "Car 4x4 5 cwt FV1800-Series" (Austin_Champ) was launched in 1947, and the Nuffield Organisation built three prototype designs known as the "Nuffield Gutty". Testing of these revealed serious shortcomings and the design was improved by a team at the government Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (FVRDE) under the leadership of Charles William "Rex" Sewell. The suspension system was designed by Alec Issigonis, who went on to design the Morris Minor and the Mini.
"The Austin Gipsy was built by Austin, part of BMC, while Land Rover was part of the Leyland group. This meant that both vehicles were now being produced by the same company, thus the Land Rover's popularity proved that it would survive to be the companyТs sole 4WD, while the Gipsy would be relegated to the history books. Today, the vehicles are a reminder that the Land Rover was not the only 4x4 to come out of the British Isles. Despite the unceremonious death of AustinТs 4x4s, the vehicles do hold a special character as odd, forgotten vehicles that had their own part to play in the explosion of all-terrain vehicles started by the Willys Jeep."

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