U.K. Motor & Weapons Manufacturing
After the demise of MG Rover Group in 2005 mass car manufacture in the United Kingdom ended. Familiar brands such as Austin, Jaguar, Land Rover, MG, Morris, Rover, Triumph and Vanden Plas momentarily ceased to exist.
For the British government this was something of a Godsend because although unemployment soared, the troublesome workforce was no longer a concern. Government’s are not interested in a workforce that wants fair pay for a fair day’s work. No matter the political party of your choice it ain’t gonna happen. Government’s want to see a workforce work for the least amount possible so that a manufacturer can grab as much profit as possible. Doing so allows the manufacturer to employ thousands more through low wages so that government can then claim that unemployment is at an all-time low. That is exactly what is happening now in the 21st century. Government’s support business ahead of the welfare of the people.
So, what happened to all those previously big-name motoring brands?
Clearly, deals were done behind closed doors between politicians and businessmen. The U.K.s membership of the European Union (EU) allowed for European countries to be offered marques that were globally recognised as valuable. Germany took the cream taking Jaguar, Land-Rover and Mini while China scored with Austin, Morris, MG and Vanden Plas.
The remainder are history.
Motor Manufacturing Factories 2019
Many of the motor manufacturing factories have been demolished and the land used for redevelopment. However, a few still remain operating under foreign ownership:
- Birmingham Castle Bromwich. Assembly of Jaguars.
- Birmingham Longbridge. The Research & Development centre for Nanjing.
- Burnaston-Derby. Toyota Auris, Avensis
- Cowley, Oxford. Assembly of the Mini.
- Ellesmere Port. Vauxhall Astra
- Solihull. Jaguar & Land-Rover plant.
- Sunderland. Nissan Leaf, Juke, Note, Qashqai, Infiniti Q30
- Swindon. Mini body panelling.
- Swindon. Honda Civic, CR-V
Being a part of the global network of the manufacture of motor vehicles rather than as the motor manufacturer originator should not be seen as anything other than a backwards step for the U.K. The demise of the British motor manufacturing industry was not simply about economics in its truest sense, rather it was more concerned with political expedience which resonated within an Establishment that was finding it harder to suppress and control an increasingly sophisticated and demanding large proportion of the total workforce. Hence the appeal of selling off vast swathes of a turbulent industry was far too great for the morally empty political heads at the time. Additionally, it also adhered to Margaret Thatcher’s vision of a service industry nation with its focus on the financial arena.
However, the same politicians were shrewd enough to realise that dumping the motor industry would leave a huge vacuum in an area in which technological advances were being made and, for the UK to remain in that particular endeavour the country still required the manufacture of products that attracted a necessity for technological advances. They looked no further than the weapons manufacturers.
To be continued.