The Innocenti company initially began as a machinery company in Italy in 1920. It manufactured the first of a number of models of the famous Lambretta motor scooters after World War Two. In 1961, Innocenti would begin to build the BMC Mini under license from the British Motor Corporation. The company received the name Leyland Innocenti during this period. For the next 15 years this arrangement would produce a number of Mini models and the Innocenti Spyder two-seater which was built near Milan from 1961 to 1970.
British Leyland Motor Company, formerly BMC, would buy Innocenti in 1972. Innocenti car sales were near the top of the European auto market with only Fiat with more sales. British Leyland had high hopes for the expansion of Innocenti, but the British company itself went broke by 1974. The De Tomaso Group of Italy would reorganize and rename the company to Nuova Innocenti. Innocenti introduced the Bertone Mini which maintain strong sales though the remaineder of the 1970s. The five-seater was available with 998cc and 1275cc engines from Leyland.
Exports began to end in the early 1980s. France had been Innocenti's largest export market, but sales stopped in 1980 with sales in Germany ending in 1982. Fiat would take over the company, which would cease to exist by 1996.
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