The History of British Cars
The history of British cars is long and varied. In the early twentieth century, there were over 100 car manufacturers in Britain. However, most people today assume that their cars are manufactured abroad. While it is true that some car makers do have plants in the UK, most are not actually based there. There are even some small car manufacturers in the country that are actually owned by German or Chinese corporations.
For most of the twentieth century, British sports cars dominated the automotive scene. Aston Martin was one of the most iconic cars of this era, and the company still makes a range of models that are used in James Bond movies. Bentley has also been a popular name for luxury vehicles. Lotus was founded by Colin Chapman and was a very successful business.
By the early 1970s, there were more and more companies in Britain that were producing cars that were less conventional. Several of these new models were widely criticized by the motoring press. This led to a decrease in BL’s share of the UK market. At the same time, BL was handicapped by internal rivalries. It was no longer a large and powerful company, and its profits were decreasing. With the help of the government, BL continued to produce a range of mass-market models.
In the late 1970s, the number of carmakers in the UK declined. Many of the best-selling cars on the market were available with hatchback bodies. These were particularly popular with the younger generation. Some of the new cars that BL was able to introduce were popular with buyers. They included the Mini, which remained a top seller for many years.
The 1980s brought with it an increased amount of competition from foreign carmakers. Renault and Volkswagen were especially popular in the UK. Another strong competitor was Kia. Hyundai also enjoyed success.
Honda’s Civic was popular with young performance enthusiasts. The company was also a major player in the budget-priced Asian market. Their Civic was a popular model with the Fast and the Furious movie franchise.
In the 1980s, the company introduced a series of sporty models. The Triumph Acclaim/Honda Ballade was launched in 1981, and the Rover 800 Series followed in 1986. Ford also entered the people carrier market in 1995 with the Galaxy. Vauxhall also released a few cars.
In the 1980s, the company also introduced a new model line: the Austin Metro. It was a hatchback and featured a modern styling. Other cars from this era include the Hillman Imp and Austin/Morris 1800.
Although the company was reduced in size in the late 1970s, it continued to produce a wide variety of cars that sold well in the UK. The Morgan Plus Six, for example, is still handbuilt in Malvern, Worcestershire, and is now available with electric motors.
Today, the vast majority of British cars are sedans or SUVs. However, there are still a few other carmakers producing sports cars in the country.