Thursday, January 29, 2009

So you think you can sort out the British car industry?

According to The Times, 86% of the cars bought in the UK last year were imported and 78% of the cars made here were exported. Solution by the weekend, please.


  1. We make largely big expensive cars (Jaguars, Land Rovers, Nissan Quashquais) and buy a lot of smaller family cars (Focuses, Golfs etc). Solution is to make more of the latter and less of the former.


  2. When the population of the UK is 60,000,000 and the total population of the earth is 6,739,000,000, the UK car industry would be daft not to focus on the bigger market.

  3. Dukin' the stats, as they say...

  4. We do have quite a sizeable British car industry. The problem is that it largely isn't British.

    Honda, Toyota, Nissan have built huge plants and largely export the cars. The 3 door Civic is exclusively built in Swindon and exported worldwide (incl. Japan). So we must be doing something right.

    The cars we buy are largely different. Contrast this with the French. I'm always amazed by the small number of foreign cars in France.

    They have a strong 'French' car industry, we have a strong 'Japanese' car industry.

    Sorry to say it, but its our own fault.

  5. So not the fault of the unions, managers and succesive governments in the 1970s then, Kevan?

  6. Maybe the French have/had a more competent government, less powerful unions, better managers, etc, etc. I think not.

    Perhaps they are just more patriotic car buyers.

  7. Doesn't make their cars any good though, does it? And that matters a lot when people want to get to work in the morning and the car won't start.
    Which is where your Japanese manufacturers come in and the British car makers went out the window.

  8. The French are very patriotic buyers of everything. How else do you explain the career of Johnny Hallyday?

  9. A lot of patriotic people bought Rovers - which were rubbish (well mine was). My last 5 cars have all been Japanese and the only repair bills have been for crashes and vandalism. I'm not likely to go back - though my wife's x-type has been excellent so far (6 months).