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  • The carfactoryis now owned byBMWand has been extensively redeveloped. It remains the largest industrial employer inOxfordshire. It was the original base of Morris cars when the marque was founded in 1912, and production continued at the factory until 1982, although the Morris marque was not abandoned until 1984 when production of theLongbridge-builtMorris Italfinished. The factory then became the production facility for theMaestroandMontego, which continued in production until 1994 by which time the facility was totally given over to production of theRover 600andRover 800. These models were replaced by theRover 75in late 1998, butBMWbroke up theRover Groupin 2000 and Rover 75 production moved to Longbridge, while BMW retained ownership of the Cowley plant to build the all-newMINIthat was launched in the spring of 2001. It has been the best selling car to be built at the plant since the Maestro and Montego in the 1980s.Despite successive companymergersand name changes, "Morris's" is still often used as the name of the car factory to this day. In 1952,Morris Motorsbecame part of theBritish Motor Corporation(BMC), in 1968 BMC becameBritish Leyland, in the 1980s the group was known asAustinRover, in the 1990s it wasRoverGroup and since 2001 the factory has been owned byBMW. But the name "Morris's" is ingrained in local culture and speech habits, particularly amongst older inhabitants.By the early 1970s, over 20,000 people worked in Cowley at the vastMorris MotorsandPressed Steel Fisherplants.Unipartis also a major employer in Cowley, with premises next to the car factory. Also notable is the high level of political consciousness within the working class based in and around the Cowley area. Indeed, the workers are well known for not accepting wage cuts, Trade Union busting or anything else of the sort. Among the militants involved in trade unionism at Cowley areAlan Thornett.In later yearsMorris Motorsand Pressed Steel became one company. Subsequently the Morris's site was closed down, demolished, and redeveloped as theOxford Business Park. The Pressed steel factory is now operated by BMW.

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