British Industry Leads to World

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Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
No, it's not just you. The Germans quickly learned the lesson about innovation and product planning that the Japanese dished out. Hell, even the French figured it out in the end. Historians have even written books about it, yet Jaguar management constantly think they know better. They're always late to the party, and when they do turn up a decade late it's usually with a "new" product that is creakingly old once the wrapper is removed. I'm amazed they're still in business at all, and without a series of wealthy benefactors over the years they'd have long gone, and deservedly so.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
There used to be a very good website called something like Austin-Rover, which was all about how dismal British Leyland actually was. I have searched but can't find it now, wish I could because it was hilarious.

Did you know for example that some bright spark at BL decided it would be a good idea to make a standard door so all the models like the Maestro, Montego, Allegro, Princess etc. had the same doors? This would tie in with the fact that BL built Land Rovers were just a hotch-potch of parts from the BL parts bin bolted into the same old Birmabright aluminium body.
 

dan_bo

How much does it cost to Oldham?
Location
Failsworth
No, it's not just you. The Germans quickly learned the lesson about innovation and product planning that the Japanese dished out. Hell, even the French figured it out in the end. Historians have even written books about it, yet Jaguar management constantly think they know better. They're always late to the party, and when they do turn up a decade late it's usually with a "new" product that is creakingly old once the wrapper is removed. I'm amazed they're still in business at all, and without a series of wealthy benefactors over the years they'd have long gone, and deservedly so.
It's almost as if Honda et al didn't tonk the Brit bike industry out of the park in the 70s isn't it.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
Actually it is the car industry as a whole that lags behind. The stuff I work on won't be in a production car for at least 6 years. A disruptor like Tesla has only starting making cars because traditional car companies are not fast enough, they would far rather be making only the batteries.
 

Paulus

Started young, and still going.
Location
Barnet,
The same happened back in the late 60's early 70's with the British motorcycle industry. BSA, Norton and Triumph to name a few failed to modernise their machines with the influx of 12 volt lighting and electric starting that the Japanese had on the bikes they were producing as standard.
 
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Phaeton

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
There used to be a very good website called something like Austin-Rover, which was all about how dismal British Leyland actually was. I have searched but can't find it now, wish I could because it was hilarious.

Did you know for example that some bright spark at BL decided it would be a good idea to make a standard door so all the models like the Maestro, Montego, Allegro, Princess etc. had the same doors? This would tie in with the fact that BL built Land Rovers were just a hotch-potch of parts from the BL parts bin bolted into the same old Birmabright aluminium body.
https://www.aronline.co.uk/ ?
 

ozboz

Veteran
Location
Richmond ,Surrey
The same happened back in the late 60's early 70's with the British motorcycle industry. BSA, Norton and Triumph to name a few failed to modernise their machines with the influx of 12 volt lighting and electric starting that the Japanese had on the bikes they were producing as standard.
I once heard that the designer of the original Honda 750 4 cylinder engine was a guy who worked at Triumph who couldn't get the management to take him seriously. never found any proof though
Many years ago I watched a programme that was in the main about one of or the engineer that had a big Input into the Mini, he was from memory an Irish Man, he was passionate about motorbikes also , as I recall he was either at the TT in the IoM , or some other circuit in the UK , he had a designed a more proficient exhaust system for racing bikes , the British , Triumph, BSA , Norton etc had rejected it : at the said Racetrack he spoke of it to Japanese people and virtually within days the new system had been produced, prototyped and tested then went on to be fitted on a World beating Japanese machine ,
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
Many years ago I watched a programme that was in the main about one of or the engineer that had a big Input into the Mini, he was from memory an Irish Man, he was passionate about motorbikes also , as I recall he was either at the TT in the IoM , or some other circuit in the UK , he had a designed a more proficient exhaust system for racing bikes , the British , Triumph, BSA , Norton etc had rejected it : at the said Racetrack he spoke of it to Japanese people and virtually within days the new system had been produced, prototyped and tested then went on to be fitted on a World beating Japanese machine ,
There are just too many stories like this, and you can't help but think most of them are true. I recall a documentary in this sort of area which featured a very quiet and mild-mannered geek who developed a computer-modelling programme to assess the behaviour of gases in and from cylinders, enabling the operator to test a dozen configurations an hour, at virtually no cost. He took it to all the British bike manufacturers, none of whom showed any interest. They knew how to make motorbikes thank you very much, and you didn't need any of these new-fangled computers. So they kept on fabricating & testing new designs, while he took his work off and sold it to Yamaha, I think it was, who said thanks very much and put it into use straightaway.
 

Smudge

Über Member
Location
Somerset
As we've touched on motorcycles. I think the big four Jap manufacturers are still better than the modern Triumph now.
I bought a brand new Triumph in 2005 and had more issues with it than any new Jap bike i've ever bought. Not only that but Triumph will argue the toss on any warranty claim to try and get out of doing it. BMW aren't much better in reliability and can have poor after sales.
I stick to Japanese motorcycles these days and wont buy anything else.
 
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Phaeton

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
Errrr What British car industry, even Morgan has been sold off now. :cursing:
Have they?

I remember a programme years ago with John Harvey Jones, he went in to help, suggested quite a few things only to be told that they knew best, but to be fair I think they have lasted longer than he suggested they would, at the time they had a 4 year waiting list which no other manufacturer had.

Edit:- Bugger https://www.independent.co.uk/life-...ompany-sold-italian-firm-bought-a8810156.html
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Probably applies to EU manufactured bikes too... my brother in the USA has just bought a brand new Moto Guzzi Stelvio, lovely looking sports tourer for his favourite pastime of long camping trips. On the first trip it dumped all its engine oil in the road; the dealer stripped the engine and found that the gasket between crank case and gearbox hadn't been fitted. On the second trip the electrics blew. The dealer found that some cheap Chinese running lights had melted down and fused the lot. My brother - an automotive engineer - stripped the bike and found dozens more shoddy electrical connections, all of which he re-made or improved. Poor guy is beginning to regret selling his Honda.
 
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