State and industry in the 1940s: The Spanish automobile industry
The decade of the 1940s was one of the darkest periods in the country's history, with years of famine, repression, general misery, and impoverishment of all aspects of national life ranging from culture to the economy. During those years plans were made to establish a Spanish motor industry once the Civil War had come to an end in 1939. It seemed a propitious moment for private enterprise and various foreign motor companies presented proposals for manufacturing their entire vehicle range, from cars to trucks. However, the government plans were for a State monopoly, a policy which meant that any private projects which did not contemplate the regime taking management decisions were rejected out of hand. From 1941 onwards, any new initiative was required to meet the plans set by INI. The main argument running through this paper is that one can only understand the development of the modern Spanish motor industry if one grasps the haggling between motor companies and government regarding market entry and the impact of the regime's autarchic policies in the 1940s.
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