Reign of Elizabeth II: How British car manufacturers went bankrupt or were bought out

Reign of Elizabeth II: How British car manufacturers went bankrupt or were bought out

With Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, the British auto industry ruled the world. At the beginning of the 1950s he was far behind the American, but in the world he was a brilliant second. Rivals rarely rise from their ashes. The German industrial tool is almost destroyed, France is just recovering, like Italy. However, Austin, Morris, Riley, Hillman, Standard have a virtual monopoly in the vast British Empire. It is true that the Americans Ford and GM – via the Vauxhall brand – produce part of the British production. But in return, the English have prestigious brands: Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, the most refined in the world. And that, while Mercedes, barely recovered, is almost boycotted because he has made company cars available to the Third Reich. BMW is then a dwarf with fragile finances.

What remains of this prestigious past today? The UK produced fewer vehicles than its former dominion Canada in 2021. In Europe, the United Kingdom, with 932,500 vehicles produced, is only just the sixth largest producer behind Germany (3.31 million), Spain (2.1 million), France (1.35), the Czech Republic (1.11) and Slovakia (1 million). just ahead of Italy (796,000). Britain even returned to…1953 levels in July 2022 when Elizabeth II was crowned. But then world production reached 12 million units. Today it is 80 million! Most of the so British labels that smelled of leather and wood have collapsed. And those that remain are all in someone else’s hands. Jaguar and Land Rover are part of the Tata conglomerate of the former Indian Empire. Mini and Rolls-Royce are owned by BMW, Bentley by Volkswagen. Aston Martin is linked to Mercedes. Even the London taxis made by LEVC today are owned by China’s Geely.

Reference: www.challenges.fr

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