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A Daily Mail article from July 2nd, 1980

Moss Motors
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Ahmed Avatar
Ahmed Silver Member Ahmed EL Abasiry
Chestermere, AB, Canada   CAN
1958 MG MGA
1972 MG MGB
1979 MG MGB
Came across it while searching for something else. Sad!





"... the motor car, after woman, is the most fragile and capricious thing on earth." - London Daily Mail 1908

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Ahmed Avatar
Ahmed Silver Member Ahmed EL Abasiry
Chestermere, AB, Canada   CAN
1958 MG MGA
1972 MG MGB
1979 MG MGB
I guess I will have to post this one too, to go with it:




"... the motor car, after woman, is the most fragile and capricious thing on earth." - London Daily Mail 1908

ozieagle Avatar
ozieagle Gold Member Herb Adler
Geelong Victoria, Australia   AUS
1958 Wolseley 1500 "Wooly"
1966 MG MGB "Bl**dy B"
Very sad, for the workers and for us MGers.

Herb



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MGUK Paul Wiley
Watton, Norfolk, UK   GBR
Hi all from England.

By 1980 British Leyland (originally and mainly a truck builder) had taken over most of what then still existed of the British owned car industry here. MGs had done very well for the company initially but the designs then in manufacture were very old. Lacking funds for a major investment in new models, engines and other bits, they decided it was easier to stop making the specialist models and concentrate on the market for saloon cars. Trouble was, so did most of its competitors.

Gradually the loss of sales meant there was even less money available to develop even the saloon cars. Given that even they were only selling about 100,000 a year, development cost per car sold was too high to move forward with anything other than cosmetic changes.

This is a classic problem in the UK. I think (but who am I?) that the way the companies here are owned is killing manufacturing generally for this reason. Most of us save, mainly for a pension, by putting money into large investment managers and insurance companies. In their turn they decide which companies' shares to buy. But they think short term. Immediate profit is more important than long term share price. So the companies have to make an ever increasing profit from a restricted base of capital.

As I understand it, in countries like Germany, people buy shares directly, without an intermediate investment or insurance company. They buy shares in large, stable and well funded companies like Siemens, Mercedes and BMW. Their prime interest is to have the largest pile of cash for when they retire. Profit along the way is nice but not at the cost of closing down, being bought out or going bust. Hence companies have an adequate pot of cash to invest in new technologies and new products.

As a result, while we have a relatively large car manufacturing sector, it is almost all foreign owned by American, Japanese and now Indian, Malayan and Chinese companies. They are able to operate comfortably on a world scale often producing over 1 million cars a year. Look at Jaguar Land Rover. Years of struggling to get new models out the door, bought by an Indian company now with a range of competitive cars selling in considerable numbers. About all we are left with is Morgan and small specialists like McLaren, Caterham and Westfield.

Oh for the days of Alvis, Singer, Humber, Triumph and many others.

tvrgeek Avatar
tvrgeek Silver Member Scott S
Hillsborough, North Carolinia, USA   USA
1965 MG MGB
TVR is just going back in production with British ownership. Jaguar may have new cars, but I'd take a XJ-S over them for quality and reliability. There is a reason a 5 year old Jag is worthless.

I put half the blame on management, but the MGB was obsolete almost as soon as it was introduced. MG engineering was asleep at the wheel too. Come on, King Pins? But disk brakes and steering rack. By 1970, that they could keep selling such an old car is amazing* Little old Datsun introduced the 240 in 1970 and that was pretty much all she wrote. X-19 in 72, Opal GT in 68, 914 in 69. Even the TR-7 was a bit late to market in 75. They missed doing the roadster first and were way too late with the V8. A V8 roadster in 75 may have saved them. The Jensen Healey was criticized for being obsolete when it was introduced in 72. Heck, the P1800 came out in 61.

* A trick Morgan still pulls off and my great admiration for them doing so.



Cogito ergo sum periculoso

Lotus Avatar
Lotus Silver Member Roy Hodgson
Villeneuve, VD, Switzerland   CHE
1974 MG MGB "Butterscotch"
I vaguely remember a quote from some Lord Fauntleroy of Blatheringham (Lord somebody who was Chairman of one of the iterations of BMC) who, when asked what the British car industry needed to do to overcome the failure to export of British cars said "Australians are good chaps. They'll buy our cars". Says it all about the top management of British industry.


PS: Australia had a population of 14 million people at the time, most of whom drove Holdens.



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