By Robert Head
Strikes in the coalmines, docks and car factories – to mention but a few – knocked British Leyland Motor’s profits from £32 million last year to between £25 million and £30 million this year. No wonder the boss , Lord Stokes , said yesterday that if he weren’t “an optimist, and a patriot“ he would have jumped from his third floor flat or his sixth floor office long ago.
Whatever profit British Leyland finally shows this year , it won’t add up to much more than £2 on every £100 worth of the company’s sales. By contrast, Marks and Spencer make makes £12 on every £100, Woolworths £11, Butlins £18. Even Tesco in the cut-throat supermarket trade makes £6.
There is more money and less risk in selling things than in making them. Lord Stokes said yesterday: “Building up an industrial organization is not an in and out operation like property speculation.”
Funny he chose those words – for a year ago I called British Leyland “an in and out share rather than a lifetime’s investment.”
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.