Monday, October 10, 2016

the downfall of the British car manufacturing

Taxes, unions, and morons.

In 1947, the taxes on a new car were 33% for car that cost under £1000, and 66% for a car costing more than £1000

In 1950 the tax was a flat 50%

From then til 1979 (not much worth mentioning was made in England) it varied from 60% in 1955 to 17%.

Installment payment method was a ridiculous 50% down, the rest in 24 months in 1956, and by the 1961 was 20% down the rest in 36 monthly.

Union work stoppages, were so out of control, they killed off the car makers almost by themselves. In 1977, British Leyland lost £150 million from just one work stoppage.

Back in the 1950s they wanted to get low employment areas to work, so they moved factory jobs to Wales and Scotland... but that just slowed production as the raw materials were all in the midlands.

Through the 50s, BMC had 13 different engines, at the same time. That wasn't stupid enough, they had 23 body styles.

They didn't learn what a foolish track they were on, and by the 70s they had twice as many models as GM, but only 1/5th the production. The market share dropped by 1/2 in the 1970s malaise era, from only 40% to 20% of the British Market.

Whatever marvelous quality that the British once had when they conquered the world and created the most enormous empire the world ever had has disappeared. The genius of car making that created the Rolls Royce quality and the Jaguar sports car, it dried up, or had been used up. The brighter the flame, the faster the candle burns out.

The Automobile Age, James J. Flink, pages 315-319


  1. Try hitting the option key and the "pound" sign (AKA: hashtag). It should come up with a British pound sign. (£) Or on an iPad, hold down on the dollar sign and other options appear.

    1. Thanks! But my hashtag key only has the number three as an option, and I haven't been able to afford an Ipad yet. Maybe one day, they sure do look like they would be fun and easier than a laptop

  2. In the 1960's one of the great events in the workplace was the 'brain drain'.
    This was the exodus of British talent, particularly from the scientific and technical sectors, to the English speaking countries, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, Canada and the United States.
    The fear was that the country was being drained of its most skilled people which threatened its status as a major innovative, industrial power.
    The brain drain was fueled by high taxation, the abysmal industrial relations and lack of opportunity in the UK.

    1. good point! Same thing happened to Germany when Nazism motivated so many rocket scientists left, and way way back in history, when the arabs switched to calling science and numbers heresy... and suddenly they went from being the innovators and inventors of science, math, etc to being completely out of the running for good on all matters mathematical and scientific for the rest of time until now, and for the foreseeable future. Choosing fanatical religion put them back in the stone age and caves, metaphorically speaking.