It’s indeed somewhat ironic to see that Nanjing Automobiles from China is now buying the Rover car plant in the United Kingdom for 50 million pounds.
Once upon a time, under the name British Leyland, the Longbridge plant was a pride of the proud British automobile industry.
But then things started to go wrong, and one of the things that seems to have started to bring Longbridge down was the more or less constant wildcat strikes organized by the militant and Maoist trade unions there. For them, this was a scene of the cultural revolution, intending to bring down capitalism and all of its profiteers.
Well, to some extent they did bring down at the least this plant. It has now passed many hands and been a source of constant concern also for the British government. One of the latest owners was German BMW, but they didn’t succeed with it either.
Enter China. No less than two Chinese car companies competed for the plant, and Nanjing automobiles won. It’s owned by the Nanjing regional governments, in all probability financed by the regional more or less broke but publicly-funded banks and de facto controlled by the regional branch of the Communist Party of China. That’s the way things are.
So things seems to have gone full circle. The Maoist revolution did have its share in bringing down at least the Longbridge plant, but the capitalist spirit took over the Communist Party of China.
And now the workers at Longbridge will be assembling Rover cars essentially from components manufactured in China.
The world isn’t what it used to be. As a matter of fact, it is much better.