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More job losses as UK motor industry circles the drain

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Over in America the property market crash and banking bailouts are old news for their economic agitators and malcontents, at the moment all eyes are on Detroit, home of the country’s once mighty automotive industry. It seems that US carmakers simply can’t compete with their leaner, more agile Asian counterparts and, having seen the massive taxpayer bailouts given to Wall Street, they’re hoping to cut a similar deal with the government in order to ‘save American jobs’.

But a lot of Americans don’t think these lumbering industrial giants deserve to be saved, since they’re unlikely to ever be competitive again. This is a harsh assessment, given the number of jobs that will be lost, but ultimately if the company’s can only survive by being subsidised with taxpayer money it seems pointless to prop them up. Let them die and let other, better businesses step in and fill the vacuum. The bailout money would be put to better use helping those who lose their jobs to survive the downturn and retrain for new careers.

Here in Britain we successfully destroyed our own motor industry decades ago, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely immune from this problem as the few manufacturers still operating here adjust to the grim business environment. Aston Martin today announced that it might have to lay off a third of its workforce because of the economic downturn, while Honda has announced that it wants to reduce its workforce by 1000 – hopefully through voluntary redundancy schemes.
It’s not looking rosy out there, every week we hear news of new layoffs. Where will it end?

  1. JKA on Economics says:

    Where will it end indeed. UK Car sales, new registrations were down almost 40% in November. The problem is demand and even where there is demand, the problem of access to finance.

    Housing and motor are key drivers within the economy, to lose one sector may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness and or disastrous.