The Coventry Motor Industry
This work is an in-depth study of the development of the largest motor car manufacturing business in Coventry during the years 1910–50.
These years saw the evolution of the motor car from the point where it had become a serious mode of personal transport for the upper levels of society until it had become a universal object owned and found essential by all.
This book describes the technical advances, factory growth, and the constant improvements made by the machine tool industry which all contributed to the mass production of cars. The influence of the American car manufacturing industry is also considered. Financial matters are closely examined as a source of constant anxiety throughout the industry.
This period also saw the development of the commercial vehicle to a point where it made huge inroads into the market previously monopolised by the railway companies.
The growth of the motor car industry explains why the centres of the industry, Coventry and the West Midlands, enjoyed a higher standard of living during the depression of 1930–33 than the coal-producing districts of South Wales and the northeast of England.
The years dealt with in this book encompass the mergers and growth which took the Humber-Hillman organisation into the big six of the motor industry then operating in Britain – Austin, Morris, Ford, Standard, and General Motors (Vauxhall and Bedford).