By Patrick Mennem
British Leyland chairman Lord Stokes lashed out yesterday at the ‘faceless minions’ who will design motor vehicles of the future.
He was speaking at a conference in London on the European motor industry.
He said that the public would want the industry’s products for a long time to come. ‘But,’ he declared, ‘the products will become increasingly less what the industry would like to produce, and increasingly more what the ever growing numbers of bureaucrats, Eurocrats and United Nations-crats want.’
Lord Stokes warned: ‘It is my strong belief that we are hurtling towards a situation where we, as individuals, companies, even nations, have no say at all in the forming of our future.’
The British Leyland chief said he still believed that Britain’s future lay with Europe. But he had not envisaged that membership of the Common Market would result in loss of identity, initiative and enterprise and ‘an ever increasing mass of harmonization legislation.’
People wanted to be individuals. Lord Stokes went on: ‘Why are we hell bent on forcing a man to be like everyone else, to lose his individuality and to make sure that if he drives a car, the headlights must be 16 centimetres from the ground – or whatever the latest whim of the Eurocrats dictates.’
‘Please let us have a little bit of excitement left in our lives, in the shape of a car which suits our personal needs and whims.’