Posts Tagged british leyland

Clarkson on Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher’s death earlier this week was been provoking many discussions on her policies and legacy. It might sound surprising, but that discussion should probably include Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson.

Before rebuilding Top Gear in his own image in 2002, Clarkson did a series of solo programs on different motoring topics. One of them was “Who Killed the British Motor Industry?”

Today, Britain’s car industry is pretty much non-existent; all of the big names are owned by foreign interests. It’s the fallout from the spectacular collapse of government-supported conglomerate British-Leyland in the 1970s, which Clarkson gives a blow-by-blow account of here.

We join the story via Youtube just before Thatcher’s rise to power, with massive strikes, foreign competition, and shoddy, outdated products crippling B-L. The Thatcher government’s solution to the problem was to sell off nearly everything, sparing only Rover, Land Rover, MG, and Mini.

Do you agree with Clarkson? Are we better off without rusty Austins and malfunctioning Triumphs? Speak your mind.

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