William Rootes started in car sales and by 1924 was one of the biggest distributors in the UK. In 1925 the Rootes brothers bought out Thrupp and Maberley the coachbuilders; it was not unknown for big dealerships to have tie-ins with coachbuilders and to purchase one was a shrewd move. In 1927 Humber and Hillman had adjacent factories and both were failing in the economic conditions, so the Rootes brothers purchased Hillman in 1927 and Humber (with Commer) in 1928, and very quickly streamlined the businesses. However, attempts to bring the business to profit faltered until the launch of the Hillman Minx in 1932 which competed favourably with Ten horsepower cars from Austin and Morris. The Anglo-French STD (Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq) combine failed in 1934, and the Rootes brothers were already creditors to this business and so quickly took over Sunbeam Trolley buses and Sunbeam cars. The Hillman Minx was adapted to become the Talbot Ten. Rootes bought out failing Singer in 1955, but as the 1960s dawned a number of bad things happened, including failure to adapt to a changing market or to match competitors. Rootes tried to arrange a merge, but in the end their shares were grabbed by the American giant Chrysler seeking to gain a foothold in Europe in 1964. In 1967 Chrysler took over Rootes, and in 1975 all the Rootes names gave way to 'Chrysler' badges, and in 1978 Peugeot bought out the French and British Chrysler operations and rebranded everything 'Talbot'.
Hillman Minx Series III - badge on bonnet
Rootes Arrows, Hunter, Rapier, Sceptre, Vogue
Hillman Minx, Husky, Singer Gazelle and Sunbeam Rapier
Commer and Karrier Trucks
Hillman Super Minx, Humber Sceptre and Singer Vogue