AUTOCAA 28 March tg68

L-^ , I

28 MARCH 1968 vor r28 No 3703

Edltol Olputy Edttor Ar3irt rli Edltor F.itul.! Edito?

Spottr Edltol Arsl.t nt T.chnlc.l Edltor

I,IAURICE A. sMITH, OFC PETEB GARITIER LEOilARD AYTON ATUART EI.ADOI{ INNES IRETANO GEOFFBEY HOWARO.

8 S c,( End, ACG l. G I M cchE

Edhorlal JOHN OAVEY

GRAHAM ROBSON, MA(Oxon) MABTIN LEWIS MICHAEL SCARLETT WARBEN ATLPORT

Mldhrd Edltot

Art Edltot llamheotor Officr

EOWARD EVES

HOIYAND VYOE

HAROLD HOLT, AMIMI, AMAET

Spscisl Contribulo6

BONALD AARKEf, ROGER HUNTINGTON. A SAE ( DETM iI) EOIN YOUIIG (Spon)

Itl.nrglng Olrector H. N. PRlAUlx. ,UAf

MAIN FEATURES FORD ESCORT ESTATE ROVER'S NEW P6BS TEST: JENSEN FF EXPORT BY EXPERTS EFFECTS OF DEVALUATION OPPOBTUNITIES IN AMERICA BUILDING A CAF FOR EXPORT MILTION POUND INDUSTRIES SPORTING EXPORTS CKD PACKING ACCESSORY PEOPLE REACTION AT THE TOP SEBRING 12.HOURS BARC SNETTERTON

Page

2 5 ll 18 22 26 30 35 38 39 41 45 55 6t

REGUI.AR ITEMS DISCONNECTED JOTTINGS THE SPORT NEW PRODUCTS STRAIGHT FROM THE GRID NEWS AND VIEWS TRADE AND TNDUSTRY CORRESPONDENCE POST.BUDGET NEW CAR PRICES

9 53 58 82 65 6!' 70

Last pages beforo back cover

TUEXT WEEK'S ISSUE FEATURES*P 72

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STABILIZED-AT LAST? lT lS appropriate that this important Export lssue of Autocar should coincide with the recent Budget announcements; but during its production period we-like the motor industry itself-have had to make revisions in our thinking as each successive influence has been brought to bear. First came devaluation, then the gold crisis, and now the Budgetadvance warning of which had produced a false boom in home sales at a time when devaluation was beginning to boost our exports, so that even full production could not meet the demand. Consistent throughout this changing period has been the emphasis on exports. So far as the motor industry has been concerned, each new move has had among its objectives to increase, and increase again, this emphasis. Now, we hope, the position has stabilized. The industry had already been given the "Go!";now it gets a new boost-off. Where are we going ?

Before turning to exports, a word on the home market where there is a general pricing-up of luxuries. Private motoring, as the Chancellor pointed out, must come under this heading-though at least he conceded that motoring was desirable. Naturally, as motorists-under the "luxury" heading as well as professional-we are as unhappy as anyone that our pockets are hardest hit. ln addition to all the taxes that everyone carries, we are now each contributing an extra f 1 4 to f22 a year for our motoring. Since 1 964 we have had 'l 0 separate increases in the rates of tax. and three separate cuts in road expenditure. Total revenue from the road user will be f 1,561 million for the coming yearf526 million more than before this series of increases. Since 1964 the annual cost of motoring has risen by between f29 and f37 on taxation alone.

Since the export effort received its first main impetus as the result of devaluation, figures show that all manufacturers are reporting excellent results, and are predicting big actual-as well as percentage-increases in their export figures. Generally speaking, they have used devaluation's 14.3 per cent to achieve three main advantages: To reduce priceg making them more competitive: To step-up sales drives and advertising locally in the countries importing their cars: And to make the operation profitable so that it can be maintained. ln the past, while earning foreign currency, many markets showed no profit so that the companies had to depend entirely on a healthy home market as a foundation.

As will be seen in the article Right Car, Right Place, Right Time in this issue. the change to an export emphasis cannot be made overnight. Many countries require left-hand-drive, of course, and most have their own special legal requirements. lt is not a simple case of diverting all the production to the docks, instead of to U K dealers'showrooms. But once the changeover has been made and manufacturers can start to increase volume into export markets, these can become profitable as well as earning us foreign currency; and this will offset the loss of profits from a reduced home market.

We have invited the leaders of the motor industry to give us their views on the effects of the Budget; these will be found on pages 45 to 48.