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The British Motor Industry, 1945-1994A Case Study in Industrial Decline$
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Timothy Whisler

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290742.001.0001

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Reconversion: Confirming the Inter-War Course, 1945–1950

Reconversion: Confirming the Inter-War Course, 1945–1950

(p.13) 1 Reconversion: Confirming the Inter-War Course, 1945–1950
The British Motor Industry, 1945-1994

Timothy R. Whisler

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses British motor industry between 1945 and 1950 by focusing upon the debate between Tiratsoo and Barnett concerning the role of the government's reconstruction policy. The relationship between the government and the motor industry during the period of reconstruction was defined by the intersection of the following: risk, uncertainty, time frame, objectives, prevailing institutions, and the Labour government's sometimes cloudy political assumptions. Government policy-makers, facing a complex and critical short-term macroeconomic situation, required an immediate contribution from the motor manufacturers to ‘national interests’, which were defined by Labour as exports to hard-currency markets, full-employment, defence readiness, tripartism, and consumer choice. There was no evidence to suggest that this period marked a watershed in the decline of the industry, especially in view of the profits and sales of the 1950s and early 1960s.

Keywords:   motor industry, Tiratsoo, Barnett, policy makers, motor manufacturers

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