It was a very sad story and illustrates perfectly the type of crack-pot, top-down management that is endemic today.
The two perfectly timed strokes that REALLY brought the British motorcycling industry to its knees were the Labour Strike in 1968 and the introduction of the Honda's CB750 Four Cylinder bikes. There was enough brand loyalty at that time to sustain the Brit-bike industry IF the production had been there to try and counter Honda's revolutionary new machine ..... and there was new technology in the wings (HAD been, as pointed out in an earlier post ...) but the "perfect storm" beat the remaining life out of the most iconic motorcycles ..... except for our beloved Enfields, whose very survival we owe to the hard-working India fellows who thought enough of the design of the Bullet to keep making them. I TOTALLY agree about the "MBA vs. Engineer" management these days .... C'est la Vie ..... in India, the Engineers still have the say, I think!
I was a die maker for G.M.I began ,in that trade,in 1974.At that time G.M. had a workforce so huge the numbers do not sound realistic.I saw the company bleed out.Looking back on it,I can say that at the time we thought we were doing our best and whatever was necesary.I t is always thus.When a company loses real vision,if it is huge it can take a long time to fail.It always seems terrible to those close to it,and the closer you are the harder to accept.But it is the way of all things to have a season.There are always the reasons,the missed cues and so forth.What is hanging in the balance here at the moment is our entire western way of life.Manufacturing and profit are what gave us all we had,we are losing it.
One of the biggest reasons that we are losing manufacturing jobs SO quickly is that the "chosen few" in the country are promoting "intellectual" and "service" trades over the vocational. This country was FOUNDED on the very principles that we have abandoned in the last few decades. Countries like India, Mexico and China are all too ready to take up the slack here. Their manufacturing capabilities have equaled - and some would say, surpassed ours at the present. We still have the upper hand on the engineering, I believe - so we COULD, potentially, get it back. We'd have to get the younger crowd to give up the X-Box for the machine shop - but the dividends could be very real for the long-term of our economy. Just call me "Old Fashioned" ...... or even crusty ...... !