Author Topic: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA  (Read 636 times)

Online Pete Gray

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Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« on: 19.12. 2020 10:09 »
Featured on a BBC documentary the other evening this Youtube clip shows the excesses of Lady Docker and her husband leading to the inevitable demise of BSA.
Some evocative, but short, sequences from the factory as the A7SS Flash machines roll off the production line.

https://youtu.be/HFxWu7QRfkM

Pete

1961 Swinging arm A7
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Online Rex

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #1 on: 19.12. 2020 10:20 »
I think the demise of the BSA group was rather more complex than just the idiotic excesses of the Dockers.

Online Pete Gray

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #2 on: 19.12. 2020 11:38 »
Absolutely, the documentary did go further in discussing the reasons for the decline in 'traditional industries'
None the less, Gold plated Daimlers were perhaps taking things a tad too far !

Pete

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Online berger

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #3 on: 19.12. 2020 11:59 »
sir Philip green is just another one of many, and don't get me started on charity bosses salaries, tax evaders , and jacob rees mogg, infact all of those born with a mapped out life *bash*

Online bsa-bill

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #4 on: 19.12. 2020 14:16 »
The Dockers may not have been totally responsible for BSA demise but they certainly did not help, decades on some things haven't changed
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #5 on: 19.12. 2020 22:30 »
Shame the volume was so poor , but a little interesting .
The Docker Daimler was actually exceedingly good value for money from a marketing point of view if you are trying to compete in the over crowded super luxury car market.
As the repeater noted, it was in the newspapers every week , on he radio and also in the theatres as well .
Gold plating is not very expensive to do .

The demise of BSA is a classic case of consolidated capital crippeling a company and a lack of proper management that always comes from consolidated capital taking control of any busness.

When the gun makers were the board, the company had a clear purpose, to make quality fire arms at a cheaper price & making motorcycles was just what they did between wars to keep up debt repayments.
Then post WWI BSA expanded to become a general war supplier because it was very profitable to supply the war office with as many different products as you could because wars don't last forever .
As all of the old men retired they got replaced with money men, who knew everything about avoiding tax & maximumizing profit from the least amount of capital expenditure
And that is the root cause of the collapse.
Everything else stems from the lack of clear vision as to what BSA actually was and by the time the board understood that they were now principally a motorcycle maker & not an ordinance supplier, it was too late.
From the end of WW II BSA kept on acquiring businesses that would be in high demand when the USA & the USSR declaired WW III which unfortunately for BSA never happened .
For any company to survive and prosper the board has to be diverse but BSA like most of the current big businesses had a board of mirrors, each just a reflection of each other so no one challenged bad decisions , no one understood the vast markets that BSA was in .
Barclays & Midlands Banks both had an appointed member and their job was to protect the banks depositers, not BSA
Coopers also had an appointed members and his job was to protect Coopers .
So there were 3 ( 4 I think because Barclays had 2 seats ) of an 10 member board were all money men .

We like to find scapegoats because that makes us feel secure cause it was "their" fault, and not the system so it will not happen again & we are all secure.
The whole system of consolidated capital which goes back to the British East India Company is structually flawed  anti innovation, ponderously slow and unbelievely inefficient.
But it suits the purposes of the megga wealthy and allows a means for their future generations to perpetuate the family wealth at the cost to ordinary investors so it will remain .
Just look at the auto industry .
Almost no real innovation for decades till a sole trader ( Musk ) comes along who is not interested in "the system" or "controlling the market" so is not spending all of the companies resources  buying up competitors or bribing governments to get favourable legislation passed.
Nor is he tied to fund managers demanding x% return on their investment so if Tesla needs extra cash to follow a developement line it can do it now not wait 23 weeks for consideration by a board who has no understanding about what the money is being used for .

Any one with 1/2 a brain would have taken the loss on the tooling for the C series singles and not put a pre war bike into full production post war when they were presented with a new design that was cheaper to make, reduced the cost of the current A series production, drastically reduced production inventory and produced a substantially better motorcycle at a higher profit margin, but BSa did because the money men could no allow the tooling to be scrapped without having paid for itself
Bike Beesa
Trevor

Online Rex

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #6 on: 20.12. 2020 10:16 »
Hindsight is a wonderfully accurate thing. If only if only and why didn't they....

Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #7 on: 20.12. 2020 12:20 »
It’s said that when Daimler got rid of Docker, they found that many of their customers had been buying Daimler luxury cars because they were friends of Docker.


Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #8 on: 23.12. 2020 19:30 »
It’s said that when Daimler got rid of Docker, they found that many of their customers had been buying Daimler luxury cars because they were friends of Docker.
Yes I read that too in one of the Daimler histories .
Selling opulent goods in a time of austerity is not an easy task.
As a war department supplier, Daimler did the company well supplying lots of light trucks and ambulances .
But in peace times, finding  market was very difficult as the top end luxury car market had way too many suppliers for the size of the market
Bike Beesa
Trevor

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #9 on: 23.12. 2020 20:10 »
Hindsight is a wonderfully accurate thing. If only if only and why didn't they....

Not exactly hind sight.
More os a management philosophy and it is still current.
A founding board has a clear objective.
This tends to carry on into the second board ( defined as starting when the last of the founders retire )
By the time the tertiary board is elected the company now makes profits out of the investors capital, not motorcycles out of lron steel & aluminium.
You can look at almost any large business and you see the same thing happening.
Funding for research & developement become very restricted and the man investment is to acquire all of their competitors in order to control the market and make the best returns for the investors, push up the share price , the value of which generally determines the renumeration of the said board.

A perfect example is the USA auto industry.
When there were lots of small players there was a lot of innovation and large amounts of profits went into product design
Then the money men took over and most of the undistributed profits went into mergers, buyouts & take overs .
The bulk of the research went into making the same product cheaper to produce greater profits .
Thus there has been little change in USA cars since they all went over to monocoupe structure .
The odd concept car made it to motor shows but almost none went into production because the boards could not see them making more money than last years model with a bigger engine and louder radio.
Then look at Tesla, a private company ( ok just reciently floated ) but still with its original board .
Every time Musk needs more money & issues more shares, his control will diminish and the new investors are not there to make ground breaking state of the art electric vehicles. They are there to make PROFITS and in particular to make more profits TODAY that they could by putting their money any where else.
If GM suddenly came up with an offer of 3 times what the new investors paid for their Tesla shares , today in cash , with the plan to bull doze the factory & build a chain of Covid hospitals or Covid free resorts , tesla would vanish off the face oof the planet tomorrow.
This is the way Conosolated Capital works and this is the way the controllers of consolodated capital think, it is how they thought in 1750 , how they thought in 1850 , how they thought in 1950 and how they will think in 2050 should we not have polluted our way into oblivion .
Bike Beesa
Trevor

Online RDfella

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #10 on: 23.12. 2020 21:50 »
Agree, Trevor. Put an accountant in charge of a company and watch it fail. Of course there are exceptions, such as Len Matcham and Cope Allman.
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Online Rex

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #11 on: 24.12. 2020 09:18 »
It read more like a synopsis of some Business Studies student's thesis.
It could be condensed down to the harsh reality of -
"BSA were producing bikes that weren't selling sufficiently in a Japanese-dominated market"

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #12 on: 24.12. 2020 11:38 »
It read more like a synopsis of some Business Studies student's thesis.
It could be condensed down to the harsh reality of -
"BSA were producing bikes that weren't selling sufficiently in a Japanese-dominated market"

Except they had abandoned the "unprofitable" segments of the industry where Japanese bikes dominated
Bike Beesa
Trevor

Online Triton Thrasher

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #13 on: 24.12. 2020 12:58 »
It read more like a synopsis of some Business Studies student's thesis.
It could be condensed down to the harsh reality of -
"BSA were producing bikes that weren't selling sufficiently in a Japanese-dominated market"

Except they had abandoned the "unprofitable" segments of the industry where Japanese bikes dominated

Not during Lady Docker’s tenure.

Online JulianS

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Re: Lady Docker and the demise of BSA
« Reply #14 on: 24.12. 2020 15:08 »
300 odd page thesis on the subject of decline;

https://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/77/1/Heaton07PhD.pdf