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British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is well laid out a year at a time and model by model and is full of facts and figures which can be hard going especially if reading late at night. As someone with a big interest in the British car industry I found the content of this book excellent if somewhat depressing and a lesson to all those in the industry and how not to run it.
I only have one criticism and that is the production quality. This book was obviously produced down to a price which I can understand as it is of limited interest however the few photographs in the book are quite poor quality which as they are incidental doesn't really matter but the cover is very poor being on thin card and laminated which makes it curl. By the time I was halfway through the book the laminate was starting to peel off which does spoil it.
This book ought to be publicised through the classic car magazines and the owners club of the various BL marques and I am sure it would sell very well, I came across it by accident while looking for another title, but please put a better cover on it even if you have to put the price up a bit.
The author has managed to cover a wide-ranging topic in a well structured way. In general it is presented chronologically; detailing the internal and external decisions that impacted on the company that was formed by the merger of BMC and Leyland Motors. There are also additional sections giving more information about specific, and now iconic, models such as the Allegro and Marina. He has also include quotes from the media at the time of the launches; the Marina being 'What happens when Britain's best engineers set out to build a beautiful car'.
The view presented appears to be completely objective with regards to the reasons for the failure and eventual collapse of BL. The disruption caused by the strikes prevalent in the 70s is quantified, the decisions made by management relating to the design and production of the models as well as the quality control is critically analysed and the role of the various governments and their stance on interference in industry discussed. The fortunes of BL are also compared and contrasted with those of other major car makers of the time.
The conclusion that is drawn seems to indicate that the collapse may have been avoidable, but there were so many contributing factors that it was unlikely to remain afloat.
I have to qualify this review by stating that I am not a car nut; I have a passing interest in Wheeler Dealers and I found a trip to the Coventry Transport Museum fascinating, but, although it was heavy going in places, I loved this book. I never realised how many strands and inter-relationships there were in the British motor industry, but they were all pulled together brilliantly in this book.Read more ›
This being said, the text itself is simply amazing in parts and mostly it's a wonderful read with an array of information that is informative, impactful and at times distressing for those, like me, who have always bought British cars - until they disappeared. I would have liked more pictures, in colour if possible, and certainly much larger than the postage-stamp-sized ones that one has to squint at in order to recognise. There is quite a lot of repetition and at times the text duplicates what has already been discussed either a bit further along, or in another section.
All in all, however, people like me, of a certain age who grew up with what I considered to be amazing cars will be able to see the wonder contained within the book's pages. For sure, many errors were made by management, by politicians and by bloody-minded unions; who must have surely assumed that the business was too big to fail. Notwithstanding all this, though, were some simply amazing engineers creating world-beating ideas and products that had they had the resources and the investment and more co-operation would still be leading the field today.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book.very sad but inevitable decline of what could have been a great company if not for strikes and governmentPublished 1 month ago by Stephen B.
This book is absorbing, comprehensive, balanced and extremely well written and researched.
It's very easy to start reading expecting a simple answer to a simple... Read more
Very interesting book, believe it or not. A lot of people are fascinated with the history. Great xmas presentPublished 7 months ago by Mrs J
Great story of such an underestimated car manufacturer and tells the story of how our British car workers played silly buggers over issues that lead to their strikes which... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Neil Franklin
This is a very readable and well researched summary of the events that surround BL in the period. The complaints around production quality of the book are surprising given the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Phil Bennett
Beautifully chronicled history of the fall of one of the greatest motoring industries in the world. Such a shame.Published 10 months ago by Johnny Oz
would have preferred more illustrations and did labour some times. But overall quite good and would recommend.Published 14 months ago by sharon
This book gives a lot of background information to the causes of the British Leyland debacle. An interesting read.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
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