Unlike the US who had come through the Second World War with their production facilities unscathed, UK car makers had to cope with significant infrastructure reconstruction before they could get back into full production- a process that took several years.

By the early Fifties, the UK car industry was getting back on its feet, just in time to meet a rise in demand from the domestic market. A situation that appealed to the typical UK motorist who were happy to support local industry.

Ironically two of the largest and most dynamic UK car manufacturers during the Fifties were Ford UK and Vauxhall, both of them wholly owned subsidiaries of the US auto giants.

As the Fifties progressed, competition from mainland Europe was on the rise, although the UK factories could still sell all they could produce.

Sadly a few established UK companies didn’t make it through the Fifties, with the best known among them Jowett of Bradford, who closed their doors for the last time in the mid-Fifties.

Even though the industry was feeling the first effects of the unprecedented boom for new cars as the Fifties progressed.

Things got steadily more desperate for the smaller UK independents, who had failed to keep pace with developments in the industry.

A number of them sadly failed to survive far into the Sixties, being swallowed up by larger companies or winding down as they were unable to compete with mass production and the high levels of production and logistical efficiency coming from mainland Europe and increasingly from the Far East.

Instead of raising their game to compete with the big players, these family owned enterprises began to lose their relevance as centralized branding took an increasing grip on the UK car industry.

AC Motors

On the upside, some smaller companies sprung to prominence during the Fifties, notably Lotus and Jensen, who went on to play a significant part in the style and performance revolution in UK auto industry during the Sixties.

 As the decade was drawing to a close, the UK economy was entering into a " mini-boom" with the car industry playing their part.

During the Fifties, the UK car industry evolved into a complete different entity to what it had been in the pre-war years and even the late Forties. The industry had become much less of a non-linked chain of mostly family-controlled enterprises, increasingly dominated by international conglomerates, a situation that would bring long-term ramifications that would prove to be catatonic.

Although the UK car industry began the Fifties in a period of austeritym by the second half of the decade, major advances had been made in terms of production efficieny and design innovation. The public had money to spend during this decade of renaissance for the UK industry, creating a major upturn in demand for the future.

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