The British motor industry is a sad story. We still make cars. Plenty of them. But not as many as Russia or Thailand. Nor Iran or Canada. Add Spain, France, Italy, India, Brazil and South Korea to that list. Germany is a given. Even Mexico makes more cars now than the UK. Japan and the US sit 2nd and 3rd in the global list. But China makes more than those two put together.
This is a slight aside to this post, but I can’t help feel the real symptom behind the economic woes of the West is that they’ve forgotten they actually need to make things. Service economies are often a sign of a power on the down. Or is it just a coincidence that the Germans, who do still manufacture on a grand scale, are the one major economy of the traditional West than is really on the up?
Britain’s car industry does still have one thing going for it. Heritage. Past and present. Rolls Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover and the Mini are all still designed and made in Britain. Aston Martin is actually British owned again. Partly, anyway. Rolls and Bentley might now have Germanic blood in them. But that’s not a problem, nor nothing new. They are the kings of the road, and our kings (and queens) have long had German blood flowing through them.
Heritage past is still very evident on British roads. MGs, Austins, Morris’, Triumphs, Healeys, Wolseleys and Lotus’ adorn our roads along with the marques I’ve already mentioned. And it’s not a rareity for gatherings to occur, with enthusiasts to suddenly descend with their prized motors to show off the gleaming paintwork, restorations and pristine engines. One such gathering took place on the cliff top overlooking Bournemouth’s golden beaches on Sunday afternoon. Although owners of Cortinas, Escorts and Capris really should be taught the difference between ‘classic‘ and ‘old‘. And stay at home. Click here for the photos.