As much as we don’t like it, the fields full of new unsold cars currently expanding across the country has been predicted by MTI for some time. The government simply must help with some much needed financial relief whether in the form of loans or a government stake holding, which would help save thousands of UK jobs in the car industry.
We have already seen factories making cutbacks in production and voluntary redundancies, and we now hear Vauxhall are the latest company to put staff on alert that they may have to accept substantial pay cuts in order to cut costs. The sad reality is that although almost all UK based factories are foreign owned it equates to nearly 1 million UK jobs which will be affected by this meltdown.
This downturn in car manufacturing unlike in the 70s where the plants were in the grip of the unions, crippled by inefficiency and basically just producing bad cars, is now a result of the fact that we have become so good a turning out modern, well built cars at a fair rate of knots – a victim of improvement, efficiency and increased production.
The worlds governments now have a decision to make, do they assist in at least safeguarding some jobs (it is inevitable that major job losses will occur even with help) like they have seemed all to happy to do with the banks that created this financial landslide, or do they let them all drown and at a stroke potentially decimating the car manufacturing industry. What needs to be considered here is that the major banks around the world created their own problems by reckless lending and short-termism but the car industry, especially in the UK has at least operated streamlined efficient production lines which have given us major choices in our motoring options and allowed a substantial amount of people realise the dream of owning a brand new car, something that 30 years ago was an option for only the privileged few.
Finally is the reluctance to help the workers in car factories really about status?
White collar vs. blue collar make up your own mind!