Jump to content

Why did we lose car wars?


postnote

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know the real reason we lost our entire British car industry when the rest of our European partners kept there’s?

 

Please don’t tell me it was build quality as the Fiat group have more build quality issues than most.

Even when BMW, Audi and VW arrived in UK their build quality was not up to much.. So why has Europe kept their car industry and ours lost for ever.

 

These industries were the backbone of British employment.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pelmetman
Because our politicians have no backbone*-)............They gave away our fishing industry as well............the sooner we're out the better:D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Peter James

You only had to look inside the factories to see why (and I did). Longbridge was like a museum in comparison to the German factories.

Restricting building to force up property prices made matters far worse. Why risk all by putting your money into manufacturing when you could put it in rock solid bricks and mortar, and be guaranteed a profit however bad a businessman you were?

Of course there are still those who blame Red Robbo, despite the fact he was sacked 17 years before Rover was driven to bankruptcy by the incompetent Phoenix 4 stripping the assets to pay their bonuses. Such is the blind prejudice against the trade unions - who were/are far stronger in Germany than they were/are here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see the glass half full doom and gloom merchants are at it again (lol) “Where did we all go so wrong – boo hoo hoo sob sob!

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-15673466

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/engineering/8539874/Jaguar-Land-Rover-profits-hit-new-high-of-1.1bn.html

 

"Jaguar Land Rover has recorded a 26 per cent increase in global retail sales for September 2011 with China delivering another record month with sales up 157 per cent for Jaguar and 85 per cent for Land Rover.

 

Highlights from Europe include; France,up 33 per cent for Jaguar thanks to an exceptional 84 per cent year on year increase in XF sales - driven by the new 2.2l diesel. Land Rover sales in France were also up an impressive 115 per cent thanks to the Evoque. Germany delivered a strong monthly performance with sales of Jaguar and Land Rover up 52 per cent and 11 per cent respectively and the Netherlands retails are up 65 per cent for Jaguar and 84 per cent for Land Rover.

 

China remains Jaguar Land Rover's third largest market with retails up 60 per cent for the year to September. This record performance has been driven by sales of the XJ following the introduction of the 3.0l engine and a continuing strong performance from all Land Rover models. This positive news comes as China is set to open its 100th authorised dealership in Zhengzhou.

 

The UK continues as Jaguar Land Rover's leading market with retail sales of 10,896 up 12 per cent collectively. Jaguar UK sales for the month were up across all product lines* with the new XF 2.2 diesel accounting for one third of total UK registrations. Land Rover UK sales for the month were up 12 per cent thanks to the introduction of Evoque and a 97 per cent year on year increase for Range Rover".

 

 

 

..................................

 

So we have JagLR doing good things, we have Nissan building cars in Sunderland that even the Japanese love because they handle better than their home built versions, also there is Honda building in the UK.

 

So I fail to see any inherent lack of ability in a UK workforce as being the issue. Lack of investment certainly was a problem - with Land Rover certainly and what they did in the past with the first Discovery was a "Parts Bin Masterpiece". Thank goodness for Tata with its commitment and investment.

 

The new Defender will be built throughout the world as befits a basic workhorse, and will build upon the success that JagLR has become thanks to a management that takes its philosophy from the glass half full emerging markets example rather than the sort of whinging and lack of credit where credit is due b0ll0x we see so much of.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The previous was more from the financial side - this from Autocar mag:-

 

 

 

"Jaguar Land Rover has reported a sales growth of almost 14 per cent over the first half of 2011 compared to the corresponding period last year.

 

JLR sales for January-June stood at 130,090 units, representing an increase of 13.8 per cent over January-June 2010. This was attributed to a better product and market mix allied with strong growth in China and Russia.

 

The new 2.2-litre diesel engine introduced in the Jaguar XF saloon was a major boost for the firm, as was the high demand for the much-vaunted Range Rover Evoque, which had racked up 7700 sales up until September of this year.

 

JLR’s profits before tax for the third quarter of the 2011-12 financial year were up almost nine per cent to £287million, while revenues were up 30 per cent to £2.9billion compared to the third quarter of 2010.

 

The financial results follow the news that JLR has created more than 1000 new jobs at its manufacturing plant in Solihull.

 

The 25 per cent boost in workforce is thanks to a multi billion pound investment in new models, which will deliver “40 significant product actions over the next five years”, according to JLR."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with CliveH's comments. I read just the other day that the British car industry contributes about £86 billion to the econoimy so is not chicken feed by any means. l also I read a good while back that the Japanese exported the cars made here back to Japan as the quality of assembly was better so pats on the back for that. It is nnot as if we are cheap labour when compared to the Chinese on a bowl of rice a day.

 

Remember that at the start of the industry we had many excellent innovative manufacturers but amalgamation lost many of them along the way and those that were left suffered the excesses of union activity during the 60's and 70's. Once the overseas makers such as Nissan, Honda, Peugeot came along then the workers showed the skills they always had. I don't accept the comment that the management was bad as we still have senior management from the UK, and it all seems to work fine.

 

I tend to come back to the point that unionisation stiffled any desire to progress, which seems to be still the case in the public sector 'a la' the strike about to unfold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, OK, but. We may still have some of the jobs, but we no longer have the industry. All these success stories are now owned by others, and the profits go back to the parent - with as little tax paid to the UK exchequer as they can manage.

 

Besides which, this still begs the question: why the decline until acquired by others? As the labour is now OK, it seems it probably always was OK.

 

There is a book, long out of print, called The Car Makers, author Graham Taylor, originally published Eyre & Spottiswoode (then Methuen, Pelican, Penguin), that analysed the problems of the British motor industry from the war to the '60s.

 

The main culprits he identified were the likes of the Lords Nuffield and Rootes, who would not invest, preferring to run their plants with high labour levels and ageing techniques and machines, because they could hire and fire at will to suit production volumes to fluctuating demand. They also exported to a post-war Europe hungry for cars, against little competition, showing low regard for quality.

 

Thus, they trashed the reputation of the British product abroad, and engendered appalling labour relations within the industry at home. Later managements tried to buy off the bad labour relations by appeasing completely unreasonable demands: enter Red Robbo and others. Quality never reached adequate standards while others, notably the Japanese, developed and improved.

 

So, having largely lost a huge, wide open, post-war European market through a reputation for unreliability (of quality and supply), the same came to haunt them at home, with more and more people buying frankly awful Japanese cars simply because they were so much more reliable.

 

My take on that lot is that it was British management, at first arrogant and complacent, latterly desperate for survival and short of cash because of falling sales, who would not take on the now unionised factories from which they had to try to produce, because they could not, by then, afford to do so. Result? No UK surviving car makers of note. Problem is, that story was not limited to car manufacture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pelmetman
Dave225 - 2011-11-22 4:42 PM I tend to come back to the point that unionisation stiffled any desire to progress, which seems to be still the case in the public sector 'a la' the strike about to unfold.
Yep:D in my view the unions have in the last 40 years done more damage than good;-)..........I expect we could run the national grid of the way the "Toll Puddle Martyrs" must be spinning in their graves............and without the public sector they would of died a natural death*-)  
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a much simpler answer as to why we lost the car industry to the europeans and those from the east, and it has been subtly mentioned.

When the european factories such as bmw or fiat or audi faced a bit of hardship and sales were down, the workforces agreed to freeze wages and even take paycuts, whereas our british workforce, led blindly by union leaders stuck in the dark ages,demanded unsustainable pay rises and went out on crippling strikes when they didn't get their own way.

When the likes of Peugot discovered the plant at Coventry cost them twice as much to run than the ones in France, it was a no brainer.

We screwed it up with our work practices, dont keep blame the bosses all the time, the workforce are just as much to blame, the likes of bmw saw the weaknesses and capitalised on it.

The very same workforce are at Solihull for the LandRover plant now owned by bmw as were there when it was part of the rover group, but now they work to the german way of operating things, and you can now see the difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

donna miller - 2011-11-22 7:17 PM

 

We screwed it up with our work practices, dont keep blame the bosses all the time, the workforce are just as much to blame, the likes of bmw saw the weaknesses and capitalised on it.

The very same workforce are at Solihull for the LandRover plant now owned by bmw as were there when it was part of the rover group, but now they work to the german way of operating things, and you can now see the difference.

 

One way or another Donna we all get screwed...The difference is wether your smiling or not! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Bad unions are created by bad management.

 

If and when the management and workforce respect each other, and work as a team, unions are co-operative and the company thrives.

 

British automotive management realised that, but only after studying Japanese methods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

malc d - 2011-11-22 9:15 AM

 

What we lost was not the British car industry - just British management.

 

:-|

Bloody good job an' all, they were gutless and useless, with no support from the upper eschelons of the companies. Who were only interested in getting out on the golf course with their mates. They wouldn't have lasted five minutes in an american company.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

donna miller - 2011-11-22 7:17 PM

 

The very same workforce are at Solihull for the LandRover plant now owned by bmw as were there when it was part of the rover group, but now they work to the german way of operating things, and you can now see the difference.

 

Donna,

 

I'm very sorry but I'm going to have to correct you on the owners of Land Rover.

 

BMW sold LR to Ford (USA) in 2000 who then sold LR and Jaguar to Tata (India) in 2008. So JLR as it is now called has been in Indian ownership for over 3 years and all the German ways of working are long gone.

 

Have a look at Wiki for more details.

 

Keith.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keithl - 2011-11-22 8:06 PM

 

donna miller - 2011-11-22 7:17 PM

 

The very same workforce are at Solihull for the LandRover plant now owned by bmw as were there when it was part of the rover group, but now they work to the german way of operating things, and you can now see the difference.

 

Donna,

 

I'm very sorry but I'm going to have to correct you on the owners of Land Rover.

 

BMW sold LR to Ford (USA) in 2000 who then sold LR and Jaguar to Tata (India) in 2008. So JLR as it is now called has been in Indian ownership for over 3 years and all the German ways of working are long gone.

 

Have a look at Wiki for more details.

 

Keith.

 

BMW only bought Land Rover for the range rover technology, they then sold it to Fork, again raped Range Rover technology before selling to the Indians.

 

The only difference between BMW , Ford and Tata is that Tata is the only company to invest in Range Rover. As I said BMW and Ford raped Land Rover for their technology. Tata are using the same people to make the RR so why did we sell Land Rover. All down to share holders wanting a quick buck...

 

Don't knock Donna as she does try. Well her hubby say's she is trying.

 

:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say Keith alone is correct.

 

But to add a bit more to the history Land Rover has been variously owned by:-

 

1948—1967 Rover Company

1967—1968 Leyland Motor Corporation

1968—1986 British Leyland Motor Corporation

1986—1988 Rover Group

1988—1994 British Aerospace

1994—2000 BMW

2000—2008 Ford Motor Company

2008 to Date Tata

 

Far from "raping" Land Rover, its various owners added to the Mix with things like engines that have always been in short supply for Land Rover.

 

BMW supplied the Td4 engine for the Freelander 1 and the same vehicle had the petrol Rover 1.8 and 2.6 engines.

 

My favourite engine of all time is the ex Buick V8 that went into the Defenders, Discovery’s and Range Rovers. Re-engineered from the American design it morphed into several versions but ultimately gave way to a 4.4 L BMW petrol unit.

 

The Td200 and Td300 in the bigger vehicles were Land Rover designed as was the later Td5 in the Defender and Discovery. The previous diesels to the Td200 were very agricultural and lacking in power.

 

But the Td6 in the RR was the six cylinder BMW engine - albeit highly modified with extra oil galleries to prevent oil starvation in the engine when the vehicle reaches angles normal for a Land Rover but totally outside the design parameters for a BMW.

 

When Ford tookover it was interesting to see Ford parts in our then brand new Freelander - just as it was interesting to note that things like the power steering system on my 1996 Discovery was exactly the same as my sons BMW.

 

As things progressed Ford supplied a V6 diesel engines and to distinguish them from the previous BMW Td6 - this V6 diesel was labelled the TDV6 (big D).

 

For the Defender, the Transit well proven 4 cylinder engine with a Ford 6 speed gearbox was fitted and is a staggeringly good choice proving to be one of the best engine and gearbox combinations ever and rejuvenates what is clearly the aging design of the current Defender range.

 

This engine is tall. Therefore modern Defenders have a substantial power bulge in the bonnet.

 

The BMW diesel engines have been dropped now and in addition to the TDV6 there is now a TDV8 and a TD4 engine (Freelander 2) , again from Ford as a deal has been agreed between Ford and Tata. The deal is good for Ford as some Tata vehicles in India are destined to have Ford engines in the future. A market that Ford was not really a contender until Tata bought Jag/LR.

 

So far from Land Rover being "raped", I see it more that there is cooperation between manufacturers in the same way as Peugeot and BMW share engines for the Mini and the smaller Peugeots. It is true that BMW used a lot of the technology from LR on their X series 4x4's but the system was modified to simply give better road holding rather than true off-road ability.

 

Postnote - you seem to be suggesting that Range Rover and Land Rover are differing companies - they are not. They are one and the same.

 

Apologies for the anorak post (lol) but I am a self confessed Land Rover enthusiast. 8-)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest pelmetman
CliveH - 2011-11-22 8:56 PM Therefore modern Defenders have a substantial power bulge in the bonnet.
Yes..........I have the same problem:D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes but I hear that your bulge appears in the back of your pants Dave, not in the budgie smuggling department at the front and is therefore not at all attractive

 

(lol) (lol) (lol) (lol) (lol) (lol) (lol)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry!!!! - Dave - could not resist it!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clive,

 

An excellent post from an obvious Land Rover nut :D and I can go a bit further and say that JLR are, at last, investing in their own engine plant to remove the dependency on Ford for engines which at times has limited production due to short supply.

Have a look at this Link to a recent news clip. And the really good news is the investment is in the UK!!!

 

I have to add that I have a vested interest in JLR and have a vast knowledge of their products but am not quite such a nut as Clive as I don't even own one :-( but have driven many and in all parts of the world :-D

 

Keith.

 

Edit Spelling Grrrr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keithl - 2011-11-22 8:06 PM

 

donna miller - 2011-11-22 7:17 PM

 

The very same workforce are at Solihull for the LandRover plant now owned by bmw as were there when it was part of the rover group, but now they work to the german way of operating things, and you can now see the difference.

 

Donna,

 

I'm very sorry but I'm going to have to correct you on the owners of Land Rover.

 

BMW sold LR to Ford (USA) in 2000 who then sold LR and Jaguar to Tata (India) in 2008. So JLR as it is now called has been in Indian ownership for over 3 years and all the German ways of working are long gone.

 

Have a look at Wiki for more details.

 

Keith.

 

 

Yes, I'm sorry for that, it was supposed to be only a part of what I was trying to say about the history of LR, but I was continually being distracted and didn't take notice of what I wrote, my brother in law is a design manager at LR Solihull so I really should have realised what I wrote wasn't complete. :$

Link to comment
Share on other sites

malc d - 2011-11-22 7:38 PM

 

 

 

Bad unions are created by bad management.

 

If and when the management and workforce respect each other, and work as a team, unions are co-operative and the company thrives.

 

British automotive management realised that, but only after studying Japanese methods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry - I disagree.

 

Bad Unions are created by bad union members, who don't stand up to their Luddite, I'm-Alright-Jack, Loony-Left Union barons, whilst they demand everything for nothing, block every form of progress and efficiency improvement; and thus destroy, in death by a thousand cuts, the Companies that feed those very same members.

 

 

Just remind me, how many Union members were in the UK say 30 years ago?

And how many now?

 

In 1982 there were over 13 million Union members. By 2011 that number had shrunk to less than 6.4 million; (and since 2005 the number of women members has been more than 50% of the total).

 

That off-the-edge-of-a-cliff decline has happened even though the total number of people employed in the UK has risen hugely in that same period, as have average wages, and legal protections, Health and Safety, employee share ownership schemes, and occupational pensions.

What has happened is that those Companies and organisations inflicted with Unions have been saddled with higher costs, lower efficiency, lower competitiveness, and have ultimately gone out of business in the face of global change and international competition....with the loss of all those Union members jobs.

 

Those Companies and employees free from Union interference have, by comparison, on average, been far more successful, and have increased both the number of jobs created, and (interestingly) the average pay for those jobs has been increased by those Companies far faster than in Unionised workforces....as non-union employees have enjoyed relatively greater shares in the commercial success of the organisations that provide them with employment.

 

(Sources: http://www.niesr.ac.uk/pdf/010910_144250.pdf, and ONS. )

 

 

 

In reality, over the past 30 years, almost 50% of those Union members and their Loony-Left fat-cat full-time national officers have collectively, through their luddite behaviour, achieved only one thing, but they've achieved that one thing fantastically well: they've managed to destroy the businesses that employed them, and thus eradicate themselves/their jobs and indeed the Companies and industries they fed from, without any external help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...