After establishing the motoring business of Wolseley Herbert Austin founded his own motor company, Austin of England. Austin quickly established a range of quality cars favoured by the upper and middle classes, in 1922 it rewrote the rules with the introduction of the Austin Seven.
The Seven brought motoring to the masses and was followed by a succession of other small cars (7, 8 and 10HP) selling alongside the larger saloon models. In 1952 the company merged with the Nuffield Group (Morris, MG, Wolseley and Riley) to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC), at the time one of the most successful car firms in the world.
Austin continued to grow its range of cars and commercials throughout the 50's and 60's, however by the beginning of the 1970s had become part of the British Leyland company. The 70's were an unhappy period for the once mighty British car industry suffering from quality problems and industrial action, by the 1980's the British Leyland company had undergone another name change, Austin Rover.
The last Austin models were the Metro, Maestro and Montego, none of which benefited from the association with BL. By the mid-80's all Austin's were renamed "Rover", a brand which was perceived as being "more upmarket".