A Brief History of British Cars
British cars are some of the most well known in the world. They are often used in popular films and TV series and are also famous for their style, luxury and extravagance. Some of the most famous british cars include Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Aston Martin.
The United Kingdom is a country that has been known for producing cars since the 19th century. During the 1950s the country was considered the second-largest car producer in the world, after the United States. However, as the 1970s rolled around the British car industry began to decline and it was no longer competitive with foreign automakers.
During the 1980s a number of foreign automakers started to make inroads into the UK market. These included Renault (France), Peugeot, Citroen (France), Volvo (Sweden) and Volkswagen (West Germany).
There were many other foreign manufacturers that were able to gain a foothold on the UK market during the 1980s, including Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan, Ford, General Motors, Suzuki and Opel. This helped to increase the sales of British-built cars, although these were still outstripped by their continental rivals in the long run.
It is interesting to note that even during this time the majority of British cars were still front-wheel drive, with only a few rear-wheel drive models being produced in the UK. This was probably a result of the fact that most manufacturers adopted this bodystyle later than their continental counterparts did.
The 1990s saw a revival of the sporty British car, with MG and Triumph sports cars becoming increasingly popular again. Some of these cars were also offered in coupe versions, a feature that was particularly popular in the US during this decade.
One of the most notable developments in the British car industry during this decade was the development of the supermini sector. The BMC Mini remained popular for many years, but successor organisation British Leyland started work on a more modern and practical alternative in the mid-1970s – the Austin Metro.
This new bodystyle was popular on the British market and became the standard for smaller family cars. Other manufacturers began to follow this trend, with the Vauxhall Chevette and Ford Fiesta both adopting the same bodystyle a year apart.
Another notable development was the arrival of purpose-built people carriers, which were also beginning to enter the British market during this decade. The Japanese Mitsubishi Space Wagon was launched in 1984 and was quickly followed by the market-leading Renault Espace, but these models had a very small share of the British market.
A few companies in the United Kingdom were able to create a niche product and succeed in this sector, including British Leyland with its Austin Allegro and Morris Marina family cars. These were both popular on the domestic market, but they were not as successful on export markets and the motoring media often complained about the quality of these vehicles.
One of the most prestigious and recognizable British cars is the McLaren F1, which is an amazing and highly popular model that is driven by many celebrities and aristocrats across the globe. It is a very expensive car to buy and very rarely comes up for sale.