What Has Happened To The Famous British Car Manufacturers?
The Great British Empire used to rule the world and then became the richest nation in the world. But of course time moves on and we would expect change and wealth to be spread throughout other nations. But one of the major blunders of last century has got be the creation of famous motoring marques and the inability to keep these famous car manufacturing brands afloat. Can you imaging Ford, Chrysler, GM motors in the USA ever stop making cars? Could you imaging the Japanese such as Honda, Nissan, and Mazda ever stop making cars? Then when you come back to Europe, could you imagine Italy allowing Fiat or Ferrari to close down and stop making cars? Of course you couldn’t and the fact is, it just wouldn’t happen and this would be the case in several other nations around the world. Several manufacturers in the States have at time been in financial trouble, have got through those time because it was essential to survive. Fiat in recent times, have been in trouble because of unreliable cars, but they are still here. However in the UK we don’t seem to see the value in maintaining our motoring heritage, if it can’t be profitable, then it must die, it does not matter about the marque or how the world sees the UK. Ironically from a nation that has so much history within such a small island, you would also think that it would mean much more. Here are some examples Austin 1905 to 1986 Hilman 1907 to 1976 Lagonda 1906 to 1990 Alvis 1920 to 1967 MG 1923 to 2005 Morris 1913 to 1984 Riley 1906 to 1969 Triumph 1923 to 1984 Sunbeam 1899 to 1976 There are some names still around, Lotus owned by GM motors, Mini owned by BMW, Land Rover owned by BMW, Jaguar owned by Ford and of course James Bond’s favourite car the Aston Martin, which has just been bought by a consortium back from Ford. Lets hope it remains in the UK! The MG may also find its way back on to the UK roads but owned by a Chinese company, Nanjing Automobile, which is quite a horrifying thought as these cars will probably be made in China, but from a positive point of view, I doubt Nanjing will ever go bust. The Chinese just won’t let it. Ironically in Sunderland in the North East of England there is a Nissan factory that produces some of Nissans smaller cars. This factory regularly beats other Nissan factories around the world in quantity and quality, so the issue in the UK is not about the workforce, within the right environment we can match anyone. The issue is around management, controlling costs and the support from the government, that all large businesses need a hand from time to time. A lot of British Marques disappeared in the seventies when many of the brand names came together as British Leyland. This was probably the biggest mistake in British car manufacturing, as cars were badly made, suffered from strikes for bad working conditions and benefits and there was just no pride in the brand. Yet in the 21st century we can make foreign brands with a pride and a high standard for other brands. Lets hope we hold on to the names that have survived, even if they are owned by foreign manufacturers, at least there is a chance, just like Aston Martin they may eventually return to British ownership.
Asked By: Leo J - 10/14/2008
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Answered By: Bill W - 10/14/2008
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Answered By: Love Love - 10/16/2008
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