I started my professional metallurgical career being sent in to close down 2 foundries & shift another so you are not telling me anything I did not already know.
In the UK industry was a mess.
The plants were all too small to be run efficiently on a high volume low margin basis which was needed to meet the competition from Japan & then Europe.
Same story with steel plants most were too small to run economically
When I read the histories of different RR , Bently & Daimlers cars, most of them spent more time on trucks being shifted all around the country than they did on the productin line.
British industry has grown up from the industrial revolution where lots of people worked in relatively small factories built almost on top of each other.
If you troll thrugh period films of British & Japanese factories the difference is obvious
In the UK parts are taken out of a stillage, some thing is done to them and go back into another stillage to be either stockpiled or moved to a different part of the factory to have some thing else done to them
In the japanese films, there are no stillages in the background full of 1/2 made parts.
machines are organised so parts go from one directly to the other, originally by being passed between the two operaors and latter by robots ( transfer arms if you like ).
The BSA factory was built to make firearms, not motorcycles.
Every building was carefully designed to efficiently make firearms and when not making armaments the motorcycles had to be shoe horned in .
From what I have read & heard nearly every other British factory was the same.
Jag bought Daimler off BSA for one reason only, so they could get the space to build a new modern strait through assembly line, not because they wanted to make Daimlers and that should be blaitlently obvious by the poor badge engineered Daimlers they made, which were just Jags with a slightly more luxurious interiour and softer suspension.
Same story with Rolls Royce & Bentley
As for blaming the government for the rise of Japan & the fall of the UK that is beig so simplistic it is not funny.
There were hundreds of Japanese motorcycle & vehicle builders . And just like in the UK they merged, got taken over , went bust or changed industries .
The big difference is the cultural value of work & workers.
In Japan if a new machine put 20 people out of work, the factory found some thing else for those 20 people to do
In the UK, USA or OZ for that matter, if a company installed the same machine they sacked 21 to 30 people because culturally none of those countries value the employees.
GErmany eventually cotoned on and took employees into the management & board room and that made them the manufacturing powerhouse of Europe.
US UK & Oz managers were still considering themslves to be at war with the unwashed scum on the factory floor.
And this is what rocketed Japanese industry not government intervention, although providing low / no interest finance & keeping the Yen artificially low did help a lot
China is apparently doing the exact same thing right now.
And don't overlook the biggie.
Most UK & US companies were formed to avoid tax and in particular inheritance tax or death duties .
As such managment takes a massive amount of cahs out of these businesses.
last time I hear, the CEO of Ford still takes home more than the entire board of Honda & Toyota combined .
I would imagine it was the same for the excessive numbers of managers in Rover, Jag, MG , Morris, Austin, Singer, Triumph etc etc etc.
One of the places I worked at was Rowntrees both before & after the merger with Hoadleys & Sweetacres .
Hundreds of confectioners got sacked but not a single manager.
Thus there was a Minties manager , a Fantails manager , a Jaffa manager etc etc etc. Each of them had an assistant manager a sales manager an advertising manager etc etc etc .
managers wore different coloured caps while the workers wore plain white ones.
I can not remem,ber a single shift when there were were moe white caps visible on the floor than coloured ones, excluding the light blue foremans caps and the darker blue supervisors cap. About the only thing that did not have a full management team was the dunnies. British management at it's best.