Those BL Blues

A tempest over a tea break

The names still strike a nostalgic chord in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts: the MG and Triumph sports cars, the four-wheel drive Land Rover and the sleek Jaguar. But these days BL Ltd. (formerly British Leyland), Britain's one remaining large-scale auto producer, is only a pale shadow of its former self. MG production ceased a year ago, and the last Triumph was built in October. And now, the very existence of BL is in doubt.

Since it took over BL in 1975, the British government has invested $4.4 billion, much of it to modernize the company's production...

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