British Leyland and Chrysler UK: Lock-In, Path Overlap, and Dysfunction, 1968–1977
BLMC, Chrysler UK, and British Leyland operated in a national and world economic macroeconomic environment, shaped by the petroleum shortages of the 1970s, pronounced swings in car demand, escalating price inflation, and low economic growth rates. The British economy was affected by particular problems of low growth rates in personal disposable income and employment as well as unstable currency exchange rates, adverse balance of payments, active trade-union movement, and uncertainty of entry into the EC. BLMC and CUK management blamed these external factors for the decline of their firms. This chapter analyses the corporate troubles that afflicted these car makers. The problems of CUK and BLMC were historically developed, multifaceted, and pervasive. The rescue programmes were simplistic. The methods, beliefs, and operations of the 1940s and 1950s were overwhelmed by the changing competitive environment of the 1960s and 1970s.
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