Skip to comments.Government Motors 1975
Posted on 11/26/2009 5:40:27 AM PST by TigerLikesRooster
Government Motors 1975
America should learn from Britains disastrous takeover of its biggest auto company.
PETER MARLOW/MAGNUM PHOTOS
Striking became a way of life for British Leyland autoworkers during the seventies.
After the Second World War, the United Kingdoms newly elected Labour government resolved to build of Britain a New Jerusalem. It nationalized the commanding heights of the economy and inaugurated the cradle-to-grave welfare state. By the 1970s, the UK faced an economic crisis unrivaled since the Great Depression. Shabby and hopeless, Britain had become, in Henry Kissingers words, a tragedy of a nation, reduced to begging, borrowing, stealing.
British Leyland, Britains largest automaker, faced bankruptcy in 1975. Fearing that its collapse would leave a million workers unemployed, the Labour government nationalized it. The company remained a ward of the state for 13 years. During that time, the British taxpayers invested 11 billion poundsthe inflation-adjusted equivalent of $22 billion todayin a company whose only sign of life was a willingness to spend that money. Though the British economy recovered, British Leyland did not.
If this story sounds troublingly familiar to you, you appear to be nearly alone. Few of the policymakers currently nationalizing the American auto industry seem to remember the British experience, and fewer still seem to have learned anything from it.
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
Thanks for the ping, Slings.
Hubby had a 67 Sunbeam when I met him. He sold it to a friend of mine, and he has regretted it ever since.
It was a neat little toodler, but it used to break down every time he loaned it to his younger brother. Of course, not many cars could survive being loaned to his brother in those days.
I think pretty much everything over there used 20/50 during that time. not so sure about now, I haven’t lived there for 20 years and I guess a lot has changed. the worst car I ever owned there was an alfa romeo guilietta, the oil control rings had failed and it was blowing vast quantities oil out of the crankcase dip stick hole. I rigged a piece of hose to it and routed it to a catchment bottle in the engine bay. after every journey I would pour the contents of the bottle back into the engine. I used to refer to it as a “semi-dry sump” engine.
Somewhat misleading, snce it fails to mention that between the end of the War and 1975 Britain had spent more years under a Conservative than a Labour government. And Attlee's Labour government of 1945-51 didn't create an impoverished nation - it inherited a nation utterly bankrupt by the War. Its failure (and that of its immediate Conservative successors) was not to create a template for economic recovery, as German governments, from an equally dire beginning, were successfully doing at the time.
You’re welcome. My father had an MG for a while; he spent far more time working on it than driving it.
Yes, MGs. Another bf had one. He was 6’6” and weighed 250, so it was a riot to watch him unfold himself from that tiny car. Bf just before him was 5’4” and weighed 135. He had a huge GTX.
Oh. Sorry I brought an American car into the thread. Don’t throw me out, K?
Britain still made some good cars in the 70’s, some very good cars. Jensen’s, the Mini, Lotus, Triumphs....
The Jensen Interceptor:
Triumph Spitfire 1500:
Clarkson, who I generally do not like because of the fat American and bush cracks to make his BBC bosses happy..
UNTRUE. Clarkson is a loose cannon, he certainly does NOT say and do things to make anyone happy.
He’s an equal opportunity insulter too :)