First published in 1980, this book considers the British Motor industry over the period between 1945 and 1979, analysing the ways in which the industry suffered a considerable decline in the post-war era, when compared to motor industries of other countries or to most other British industries. Rather than blaming labour and management, as has frequently been the case, the author argues that the decline can be traced back to poor government policy. Tracing how, when and where government policies affected the industries the book examines policies clearly directed at the motor industry, such as transport legislation and motor taxation. In addition the work considers the consequences of many policies which were targeted only indirectly at the motor industry as the author argues that whilst government policy may have succeeded in its aim, e.g. improving employment for the balance of payments, the motor industry may have suffered as a consequence. Written in non-technical language, the reissue will be of interest to those concerned with post-war UK economic development, the UK motor industry in particular and the history of government policy in general.
1. Introduction 2. The Nature of the Post-War Motor Industry 3. Post-war Developments: An Apparent Success, 1945-52 4. Modest Progress, 1953-59 5. Feeling the Squeeze: Stagnation, 1960-69 6. Succumbing to Pressure: Decline, 1970-75 7. Recent Development: Starting Again in a New Order, 1976-79 8. Conclusion