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U.K. auto industry waits on U.S. results

Stephen Beard Dec 8, 2008
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U.K. auto industry waits on U.S. results

Stephen Beard Dec 8, 2008
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Steve Chiotakis: Nevermind all the babble in Washington over whose hand is out and whose clock is ticking toward bankruptcy. In Britain, one big car parts maker has gone bust. From London, Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen BEard: Wagon Automotive supplies parts for the European factories of Ford, Honda and General Motors. Today, Wagon entered the British equivalent of Chapter 11, after the company’s bankers refused to bail it out.

Wagon has been struggling in the worst business environment for more than two decades. British car sales have slumped by 37 percent over the past year.

Professor David Bailey is with the Birmingham Business School. He says Britain’s mostly foreign-owned car industry is in crisis and crying out for help:

David Bailey: It’s getting to the point where the government will have to decide whether it wants a substantial car industry, auto industry in the U.K. And if it does, it’s going to have to intervene to support it.

BEARD: He says the British car industry is watching the progress of the American bailout plan closely. If that goes through, demands will grow for British government assistance.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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