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Cars

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Roger Hicks, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    I've just come back from the bakery in the next village. The vast majority of the two or three dozen cars I've seen today (in two car parks, by the side of the road, and actually driving) were French: mostly Peugeot, lots of Citroen and Renault, plus one each of Mercedes and Rover.

    Why did (self-reportedly) hyper-patriotic Britons stop buying British cars, and for that matter, sell entire companies (Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls Royce and Bentley) to foreigners?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    When Government subsidies were withdrawn
    When quality went out the windscreen- allegedly
    When foreign car companies gobbled up ailing companies
    When foreign cars became better
    Or I simply have no idea
     
  3. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    It's complicated... From my non-ownership point of view, it seems that there are two main types of car buyer and a third minority type. First two are the status buyer (will buy German or prestige marques only) and necessity buyer (love Hyundai/Kia and other value-led brands). Third type is the loyal fan of brand x who will always buy brand x (Saab, Subaru etc, the fringe players). The problem is that the prestige market - into which the brands you mention all fall) is not huge volume. In Edinburgh there are Jags, RRs, LRs, Bentleys, AMs and even the odd Rolls all over the place, but come into the rural areas and it's a different story. Probably more Korean cars on my street than anything else. Peugeot/Citroen/Renault used to be happy with a cheap and cheerful image, but have tried to push upwards in recent times. Maybe in France they are still priced well but here (last time I checked) they were enough more than the Asian imports to make choosing them hard to justify. Citroen at least is going for a return to 'quirky' to appeal to individualists and the third type of buyer. We do see a lot of Minis around but again they are no longer 'British'.

    Why did these brands leave Britain? Pretty sure it was for economic reasons. Mostly cheaper to share components than engineer unique ones, so rather inevitable they would get snapped up?
     
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    A major reason is that the monolpolies commission prevented them all from merging to form a manufacturer of global clout at the same time as letting foreign cars with vastly lower cost base in. It was no contest. Note that the vast GM has finally admitted it can't support a brand as big as Opel/Vaux and has sold it to the French too, Saab has finally collapsed, Volvo is basically Renault, Skoda, Seat, Dacia and all other peripheral brands were sold long ago also.

    Our brands were tiny.
     
  5. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Although Germany and its car industry bounced back from almost totally destroyed after the war by making good quality machinery, whereas the British industry concentrated on making junk for the masses and a tidy profit for the shareholders. The same happened to the motorcycle industry, no investment, working practices dating from pre-Victorian times and badly made, leaky, outdated stuff.

    S
     
    Trannifan likes this.
  6. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Well I have WALKED down to the baker in my village and bought a hot sour dough loaf. If I had had to drive it would have been in an English built Nissan.

    So there.
     
  7. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    New entrants often succeed because they have no baggage to carry. I use a Hyundai because my top of the range model cost the same as the equivalent middle to bottom in the older brands. PLUS it came with a comprehensive 5 year guarantee. I think the manufacturer can do it because all their plant and working practices have been created from the ground up.
     
  8. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roger,

    So where?

    It's 3 .2 km to the baker in the next village -- 2 miles, or a 4 mile round trip -- so I normally cycle instead. What was your actual point?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Not really. Most people just want (and indeed, if they live outside a city, need) a reliable, durable car. Peugeot, in particular, build 'em. I've had two Peugeots, one in the United States (504) and one in France (309), and anyone who thinks they are or ever have been "cheap and cheerful" has absolutely no knowledge of the marque.

    How does Peugeot "share components" in a way that e.g. British Leyland didn't/couldn't?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Really? You don't remember British Leyland? And how and why did "foreign cars" have a "vastly lower cost base"?

    Maybe it's just that the French have enough national pride to put their money where their mouths are, whereas British national pride is all mouth and resentment.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Steve,

    And of course German car manufacturers have never made "a tidy profit for the shareholders"?. And the Morris Minor and Mini were "junk"? Perhaps, more accurately, British management was rubbish.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  12. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Ever driven an articulated Mini Traveller? It's interesting when the only bit holding the front to the back is the roof and offside..

    Having said that, both the Mini and Minor were pleasant to drive.

    S
     
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Mike,

    Um... No. In fact, about as wrong as you can be. Renault and Volvo TRUCKS (not cars) are made by a company that resulted from a Volvo-Renault merger in 1993; the Renault truck division has been owned by Volvo since 2001. Volvo CARS are separate, owned by Geely (China) Volvo Personvagnar Holding AB, Volvo Car AB. Renault CARS are 15% owned by Nissan and 19.73% state owned as being of "strategic importance".

    From the responses on this thread it is becoming clearer and clearer why the British car industry died: ignorance and indifference on the part of the British people and British government.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  14. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Steve,

    No, but a friend had a Mini Van with a rusted-through floor replaced with reinforced concrete... How did the Traveller in question get "articulated"? My parents had a couple -- one in Bermuda (1966) and one in Scotland (1971) -- and they were very good little cars, though the earlier one was much better looking.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  15. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    I drive a 17 yr old Rover 25.
    OK, it's the 1.8 gti version, so not the usual shopping trolly.
    My next car is likely to be a Seat Ibiza. But not a shopping trolly version.
    *shrugs*
     
  16. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="Roger Hicks, post: 1458653, member: 20496]

    From the responses on this thread it is becoming clearer and clearer why the British car industry died: ignorance and indifference on the part of the British people and British government.

    Cheers,

    R.[/QUOTE]
    Didn't I say that in the first reply?
     
  17. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Steelworm. Nothing held the front to the rear nearside. Only drove it like that for a day. Then there was the day driving to Scotland in another, pitch black, pouring rain, uphill, went to overtake the lorry in front and suddenly - nothing. No lights, no engine, no wipers. The only time I seriously thought I was going to die in a car. Luckily, it all came on after a couple of seconds, the water must have cleared from the electrics, but," ooo, mother".

    S
     
  18. saxacat

    saxacat Well-Known Member

    A purely personal view.

    Poor management led to, bad industrial relations, bad quality control, total lack of vision. Therefore, trying to compete with the Japanese was an uphill struggle.

    Poor government allowed all the above to happen

    Finally, the Wicked Witch of Grantham was quite content to allow our manufacturing industries to fail, in favour of her services economy and also as part of her vendetta against Trade Unions.

    As I say, personal view.
     
  19. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Yes national pride and protectionism (in Germany especially) had a role. But BL was tiny by world scale and couldn't even afford to develop a modern gearbox on its own. The cost base of Japanese cars was considerably lower than UK until relatively recently, when Korea took over that role. GM bought Daewoo to try to get some of that, but re-badging as Chevrolets fooled few people in Europe at least. Chrysler took over Roots Group and was not able to save it. The quality issue was real, but not entirely the fault of managements (who were definitely not the best). But real scale from export sales was key and only the Mini ever looked like achieving that. You could compare with Fiat who long ago lost No1 position in Europe, took over Lancia but couldn't save it, partly because local consumption didn't demand the standards that other markets did and they produced rust buckets for too long.
    Which is pretty much the story of US cars, which, despite massive nationalistic support, couldn't stop the rise of imports and became totally unprofitable.
     
  20. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    About 50 metres from my cottage. I am in Lyme Regis for a major family celebration
     

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