Diary

Let's look at the British auto bailout . . .

My first car was a very ancient, very rusted MGB convertible that I bought for $1200. It had split batteries (always running dry) that you could only access by removing the rear jump seat. It was beautiful to look at but an engineering nightmare. Its basic design was from the days when cars were driven for fun, only on weekends, and only by the rich, and car owners had a “man” living over the garage to take after their horses and dogs and tinker with whatever broke on the car. It was not a good car for a college student who couldn’t fix it himself.

The manufacturer of this vehicle was British Leyland.

British Leyland Motor Corporation was created in 1968 by the British government.

The government financed and encouraged the merger of existing private British Motor Holdings (BMH) and Leyland Motor Corporation (LMC). The Government hoped successful LMC would revive the ailing BMH.

“The merger combined most of the remaining independent British car manufacturing companies and included car, bus and truck manufacturers and more diverse enterprises including construction equipment, refrigerators, metal casting companies, road surface manufacturers; in all, nearly 100 different companies.”

The combined company offered a range of dated, unreliable and unwanted vehicles (including the Morris Minor, Austin Cambridge, Morris Oxford) and, thanks to government protection, had neither the inclination nor intent to replace these elderly designs.

Most cars they sold were either unprofitable (the Mini) or outdated (Austin/Morris). Again, with government financial backing, no changes were deemed to be urgent. The company was created and government financing given for the purpose of saving jobs, not manufacturing good or profitable cars.

Ultimately, the failure to develop new mass market models led to the failure of the scheme. They had no new models to compete with more popular foreign rivals.

In 1975, to protect its investment, the government created British Leyland Ltd and nationalized the company. Despite owning the Jaguar, Rover and Land Rover lines, financial troubles continued. By 1986, it was renamed Rover Group, then MG Rover Group, and then went bankrupt in 2005 (ending mass car production by British owned manufacturers). The company was eventually broken up and sold to businesses from the US and Germany, and ultimately to Chinese and Indian manufacturers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Ley land

Why would we follow this model in “bailing out” Detroit?

CROSS POSTED AT FAR RIGHT DEMOCRAT http://farrightdemocrat.blogspot.com/ and anywhere else they’ll let me