The history of the British car industry is a fascinating one. From Britain’s the top-of-the-heap position through the 1960s down to a mere footnote by the 1990s, the rise and fall has been analyzed to death. But, most of that analyzation has been from the outside. Only recently have those actually involved in the industry begun to come forward and tell their tales. British Leyland Motor Corporation 1968 – 2005 The Story From Inside by Mike Carver, Nick Seale and Anne Youngson is just such an insider story.
This book tells the story of the constituent parts of British Leyland, later Rover Group, from the merger in 1968 to the end of production of the last MG Rover in 2005. The story has been told before, but this account is different. It is told by three people who were part of it, in senior roles, with the opportunity to observe and understand what happened and why. It is not another neat analysis by journalists or academics, using facts in the public domain and fitting them to a theory. The story is a complex one, and the authors’ views are not necessarily those held by academics and previous commentators. There is still much that is relevant in a re-telling of the path leading up to this, for economy and society today.
A bit about the authors. Mike Carver became Group Executive Director in charge of strategic planning. He was responsible for setting up the relationship with Honda and was awarded the OBE for services to the motor industry in 1986. Nick Seale joined Ford as an engineer, moving into finance. Later he returned to engineering, heading up the Rover Power Train under BMW. At Land Rover he ran concept engineering of future products. Anne Youngson started in sales and marketing at Longbridge, moving to Pirelli Tyres, but returned to work on Honda. She moved to project management for Land Rover and Rover and was the only woman at this level. Her final position was head of Land Rover Special Vehicles Operation.
Title: British Leyland Motor Corporation 1968 – 2005 The Story From Inside
Author: Mike Carver, Nick Seale, Anne Youngson
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: The History Press (June 1, 2015)