Industrial Ruin


I wonder how many readers of MOTORSPORT realise that they are witnessing the demise of the British motor industry. With the imminent replacement of the Metro, Maestro and Montego by Honda-inspired models, there will be no wholly British cars in quantity production. Foreign manufacturers may have assembly lines in Britain, but they employ relatively few skilled workers or technical staff. So the British motor vehicle designer will become an extinct species. There will be no-one to follow in the footsteps of Issigonis, Gryles, Haynes, King and the others who gave us such splendid cars.

Who is responsible for this melancholy state of affairs? Principally the people who buy foreign cars. This statement will of course bring forth a storm of protest, all of which will add up to "it's not my fault." Passing the buck is another factor contributing to the decline of British industries.

President Truman had a notice in his office reading "The buck stops here". This was a mistake; it should have read "The person who lets the buck reach here is fired." The fact that British people buy foreign cameras, radios, televisions, electronics, motorcycles and cars has ruined us as an industrial nation.

The one thing we can still do is create museums, and that is what Britain is fast becoming.

JOHN B. PERRETT St Austen, Cornwall