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Austin Metro Description
Manufacturer : Austin Rover Group       Year : 1980

The Metro is a supermini economy car that was produced by the Austin Rover Group division of British Leyland and its successors. It was launched in 1980 as the Austin miniMetro. It was intended to complement the Mini, and was developed under the codename LC8.

During its 18-year lifespan, the Metro wore many names: Austin Metro, MG Metro and Rover Metro. It was re-badged as the Rover 100 series in January 1995. There were also van versions known as the Morris Metro and later, Metrovan.

At the time of its launch, the Metro was sold as an Austin. From 1982, MG versions became available. From 1990 until its withdrawal in 1997, the Metro was sold only as a Rover.

Although the new Rover 200 (introduced in 1995 and smaller than previous 200 models) had originally been designed as a replacement for the Metro, it was not marketed as such after its launch. A direct replacement in the supermini class did not arrive until 2003 with the CityRover. The Rover 100 finally ceased production in 1997, being out-lived (by two years) by the original Mini it was meant to replace.

On 8 October 1980, BL introduced the Austin mini Metro. It was intended as a big brother, rather than as a replacement, for the Mini, the earlier Mini replacement project, ADO88, having been replaced in late 1977 by a new project, LC8, for the development of a larger car which could compete more effectively with the successful superminis, such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Chevette.

Plans for a replacement for the Mini had been afoot since the early 1970s, but none of the concepts conceived early on ever reached production, largely due to a shortage of funds at British Leyland.

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