Britain's Labour Government announced on Friday (6 December) that it will take a stake in the giant British Leyland Motor Company (BLMC), which has run into a grave financial crisis.
GV ZOOM OUT TO LV EXTERIOR BLMC works
GV PAN Cars waiting for delivery
GV Sign "Austin Morris Group" ZOOM OUT TO GV PAN EXTERIOR Factory (2 shots)
GV PAN AND GV Iron pallets stacked and lorry loaded with iron pallets (3 shots)
GV New cars awaiting delivery
GV PAN Transporter carrying new cars away from factory
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Background: Britain's Labour Government announced on Friday (6 December) that it will take a stake in the giant British Leyland Motor Company (BLMC), which has run into a grave financial crisis.
The company is reported to have asked the Government for financial help and it is said that GBP 50 million. (120 million US dollars) is needed just to keep going next year. BLMC's cash requirements for the next few years are reported to involve several hundred million pounds.
BLMC employs 160,000 workers, mainly in the midlands of England. The company produces Jaguar, Rover, Triumph, Austin and Morris motor cars and a range of transport vehicles.
BLMC's biggest problem in recent years has been labour disputes -- both at its own plants and at those of component suppliers. This has caused a drop in production figures.
Although BLMC retains the biggest share of the home market (having lost briefly to Ford during one part of this year), it has suffered badly from foreign competition and now finds exporting more difficult.
The Government's move to take shares in BLMC is part of a general policy to help industry, while simultaneously increasing state ownership to mould a more socialist Britain.
The most accurate assessment of BLMC's difficulties comes from its current share price on London's Stock Exchange -- a mere six-and-a-half pence (about 16 US cents); two years ago they were worth more than 50 pence (1.15 US dollars).