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Title: The British motor cycle industry, 1935-1975
Author: Koerner, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3601 404X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1995
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Between 1935 and 1975, the British motor cycle industry declined from world supremacy to bankruptcy. The industry blamed its troubles on government policy, specifically taxation and regulation. These, it was maintained, had weakened and manufacturers' ability to effectively meet foreign competition, particularly after 1960 from Japan. The existing historiography has identified boardroom mismanagement as the main culprit. However, what the literature lacks is a wider perspective, especially one which extends to the period before 1945. Those years are critical to understanding the nature of the industry. This dissertation provides such a perspective combined with an analysis based on extensive primary research, particularly amongst recently opened trade and company records, as well as government documents at the Public Records Office. Although no single factor was entirely responsible for the industry's downfall, this dissertation will offer several explanations of varying importance. The failure to develop a cheap, lightweight motor cycle is particularly significant. This, in turn, reflected a 'management culture' which prevailed within many company boardrooms. The 'culture' was closely related to and influenced by a deep seated dedication to motor cycle sport and resulted in a narrow view of the market and the 'typical' consumer, both in Britain and abroad.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions ; TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics