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

  1. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    A personal view, perhaps, but one that is widely held and with good reason.

    On the other hand, why "the Japanese"? Why not (in particular) Peugeot?

    Also, many of the best sports cars ever made were British, especially at the affordable/mass end of the market: MG, TR, Austin Healey, even arguably Jaguar.


  2. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    I do have a car its a Ford I believe it was made in Spain....I have never had an interest in cars but I needed one for work. Before I retired 10 years ago I worked for one of the biggest car hire companies Europe so I got to drive nearly all the cars that most people could only ever dream of, their biggest collection of brands were mainly fords because they were reliable and rarely broke down and before people question this yes some of them did break down every so often,besides fords they did have many other makes, which leads me back to the original thread, the British car industry went the same way has the British motor bike industry it was swamped with cheap plasticky shiny chrome plated bikes at prices way below the British bikes and soon companies went out of production the same happened with cars, when I first bought a Jap car the guy in the sales room said take one out for a day and see what you think of it, then he said how much can you afford a month, and then the killer punchline we have one in stock it will be here tomorrow....after ten years I eventually went back to Ford but as I said I have never really been into cars and now I am a retired person I am looking forward to the day when my garage can be turned into a extra comfort room....oh by the way when I was in India the best transport was a horse and cart, then a tuc tuc (a twostroke 3 wheeler) which got me out and about......I cant ever recall seeing a car park, but of course nowadays things are very different.....
  3. saxacat

    saxacat Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how aggressively Peugeot marketed its cars in the UK back then. In the early 70s an aunt and uncle of my then girlfriend were returning from a number of years teaching in Kenya. During their time in Africa they had owned a couple of Peugeots and highly rated them, for their build, reliability and ruggedness; however, they struggled to get what they wanted back in the UK and were disappointed with what was on offer. I can't remember all the details, just that they were huge Peugeot fans and disappointed they ended up with something else.

    Fast forward 10 years and I am posted to Germany and able to buy a tax free car, woohoo! :). I had a friend who had a TR7 (the current Triumph offering at the time), but it was not a particularly reliable car so he traded it for an Escort RS2000; this is what I wanted; however, Ford had just stopped making them and replaced them with the XR3, which is what I bought in the end (the only new car I have ever owned). Most of the other service personnel were buying Datsuns; one factor was that most of what I was paying for as extras on my Ford, came as standard on the Datsuns.
    There was one guy that bought a Morris Marina which was OK, but seemed fairly dated.

    So from my very narrow and personal perspective, it seemed that it was mainly the Japanese that the UK marques (mainly just BL by then) had to compete with.

    One other memory; I seem to remember researching that for a little more than I spent on my XR3, I could have bought a Morgan, but I would of had to wait about 10 years for it, as their waiting list was quite long :(
  4. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Her philosophy lies at the root of many of our current problems - and is by no means limited to the failure of car manufacturing. :(
  5. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Time for a rousing redition of "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead"? (Best sung outside your local Conservative Association's AGM) ;)
    Trannifan, peterba, saxacat and 2 others like this.
  6. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    The (to me) weird thing about the British car industry is that HMG was more than happy to fund the rebuilding of VW after WW2, (Via the Royal Engineers) whilst our manufacturers were eventually nationalised which didn't, in the end, do any of them any favours. HMG was a major 'shareholder' in VW and by all accounts 'sold off' it's involvement in VW (probably for a lot less than they could/should have got) because their involvement in VW was deemed 'unpatriotic', ... Not long after this, VW sales rocketed, leading the company evolving into what it is nowadays.
  7. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    I will never forget it was about 1975 ish this guy was at the roadside messing about under the bonnet of his 1 week old large Peugeot, I asked if I could be any assistance he replied yes if your god! I asked what he meant by that he calmly apologised and said this f...... load of junk hasnt moved for three days and I have only had it a week......with that he lifted the boot lid got a folding bike out and said these come highly recommended with a Peugeot he then got on it and rode away.....of course Peugeots today are very reliable cars, no we wont even mention the Skodas of old, you will have to ask Jasper Carrott about them....
  8. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    You missed the worst generations then Roger. When I was at university age, a Peugeot 106 or Citroen AX (I had an AX GT) or Renault 5 then Clio were seen as the affordable small cars. Some folk got Polos, but they were generally the children of well-off parents. Cheap and cheerful, in that they were generally really good to drive but the electrics were good for about as long as a Gitane burns when sucked on hard. Everyone I knew had issues with their French cars. Mine was central locking, electric windows, ignition system. My dad had fond memories of driving a 404 or 504 (I don't recall which) all over southern Africa with no issues but on returning to UK ended up with a succession of inferior vehicles. He switched to Renault and fared slightly better, although I recall serious issues with two of those again based on electrics and ECU. Now he's driving a Japanese car.

    Why were British manufacturers competing with the Japanese you ask? Well because they had the bells and whistles and they tended not to break down just by looking at them. People like that in a car more than they care how it drives it seems. Factor in the rise of Toyota as a manufacturing giant and their advances in production techniques (read The Machine that Changed the World for more on Taiichi Ohno and the TPS) and the difference was huge. Toyota could build a Lexus model (with no faults requiring remedial work) in less time than Mercedes took just to do the remedial works on its equivalent model. They were making more, quicker, and better than even the 'great' names in Europe and the US. Their domestic competitors followed suit and eventually the Europeans and Americans started to try to catch up. By that time the British marques were dead, dying or being sold off. Could say they missed the boat.
    Trannifan likes this.
  9. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I was not talking about ownership, but the mechanics. Which my garage assures me are largely Renault. Personally I could not tell the difference, could you?
  10. Mark101

    Mark101 Well-Known Member

    On British cars, I remember those Like the BL Princess my Dad owned that all ended up having their suspension glued with super glue. The Morris Marina with lack luster engines and designed as a stop gap between models, Range Rovers and Land Rovers with electrical faults, Mini's with leaking floor pans and generally letting in water ..... to name just a few. Oh speaking of water. I once had a Vauxhall as a company car, that used to get water in the floor pan to a depth of two inches and they never sourced the leak .

    My last car was a Nissan Qashqai, and can Sunderland build cars better ? Not in my opinion. sharp edges to the metal work around engine area and filler, which I managed to cut my hand on, an infotainment system from hell, failing auto hand break and the interior design qualities of a prison cell. Thankfully I've now got a new Peugeot 3008 with which the Company has upped its game aith a good looking car of quality.
  11. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Who made them? How many lusty Aryan faces have you seen in a German car factory :)
  12. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    You believe the opposite could have compensated for the 50%+ less that Japanese workers earned at the time? Price killed our car industry faster than anything else. Japanese were better and cheaper. And they didn't have to re-engineer to export to a right hand drive market.
    Zou likes this.
  13. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The Volvo car brand is Chinese owned iirc, Geely is the name that comes to mind. Dacia is a Renault brand now, Skoda and Seat are both VW brands with much commonality mechanically.

    We produced the Austin Allegro, VW produced the Golf, it's obvious why our native car industry failed. Japanese cars were arriving here as well, fully loaded with kit and they didn't break down, yes they rusted, but so did ours.
  14. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    They would also remember the long distance Peugeot taxis. Some did Mombasa to Kampala and back, with overnight stops in Nairobi. They did this for weeks at a time and usually very well laden. Others were used on routes which were not as long but were on murram rather than tarmac, and the murram surface was often corrugated. British cars had a bad reputation of braking up at the spot welds. I ran a Renault Roho for nearly five years out there and only got rid of it when cracks appeared at the base of the A pillars. With those welded up I expect that it gave good service to its new owner as a local runabout on tarmac for several years. Renault and Peugeot seemed to take that type of market seriously and built their cars accordingly. One British vehicle that did well was a bus designed and had parts manufacted by Leyland in the UK but was assembled by Leyland Kenya out at Thika. I guess Leyland in the UK got lots of feedback about what was needed.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Um... 106 is AFTER 504 and 309 (the latter is mechanically very similar to a 205). Yes, the smallest, cheapest bottom of the line models could be described as "cheap and cheerful", especially when loaded for export with features that the French had more sense than to buy. But that is hardly the whole of Peugeot production!

    Incidentally, what boring friends you must have had at university. I recall Triumph TRs, Rover P4s, P5s and P6s, Minis, MG T-series and As (Bs were a bit too new) and various "specials" such as Rumblebum, a Mk. V Jaguar chassis (as far as I recall -- it might have been some other Jaguar) with a giant Lotus 7 type body on top. The suspension was rock hard but by God it accelerated! For that matter one of my cars was an ex-Glasgow FX4D taxi. Then there was my chum who when he left university worked for BL and drove to South Africa (and back, and there again, and back again) in his Land Rover. This ignores the rich kids such as Mustang Andy/ Lotus Elandrew -- both of which he stacked up so his father bought him something cheaper.


  17. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    What's that got to do with anything? It's still a German car maker.

  18. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    VW are indeed a German car maker, who make cars in Brazil, Mexico. South Africa and a number of other countries, with rather varying quality levels between plants. I believe their products are now over-rated, speaking as someone who has owned and driven quite a few over the years, I now drive Italian (not Ferrari:)), the total blandness of feel and design of German cars nowadays just does not appeal.
  19. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Here in the antipodes, British cars are a late unlamented memory - although I owned a Ford Sierra station wagon, back in the 1990s, that wasn't too bad. After protective manufacturing tariffs were withdrawn, here, the car assembly industry vanished. The government then allowed the import of used cars from Japan. My car is one of these - a 1996 Toyota Corolla, which was imported in 2007.
  20. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There are a number of cars imported into the UK from Japan, the cost of the work required on them in Japan renders continued use of these vehicles uneconomic. Particular favourites seem to be the Mazda Eunos (MX5) , the camper type vans and the more exotic such as Nissan Skylines. It helps that the UK is a right hand drive market.

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