It’s all too evocative,” said Leon Brittan, a top official in the government of Margaret Thatcher, the free-market-minded prime minister who nevertheless backed the rescue. “I’m not telling the U.S. what to do, but the lessons of the British experience is don’t throw good money after bad. British Leyland carried on for a few more years, but they’re not there now, are they?”Other experts are sounding the same alarm.
“The British Leyland experience is a relevant and cautionary one,” said John Casesa, a principal in the automotive consulting firm Casesa Shapiro Group in New York. “The government got in the business of trying to make a winner out of a structurally flawed company. That’s the risk in the U.S. as well."