Buying British used to mean you would expect quality much as the German marques reputedly deliver these days.
It all started going wrong in the seventies when the cars were just thrown together. It was the Japanese who showed that cars could be reliable and well-equipped.
British Leyland fell into chaos - the cars the public would
buy - competed with cars they also made which the public wouldn't
buy. The only commonality was that they were poorly built.
In the eighties & nineties, this poor reputation was only compounded by the inherent flaw of the 'K' series engine - and its propensity to overheat & warp the head gasket.
Then in this decade, they had no money left for re-investing in new products - so they just tacked on more plastic wood & chrome. Or produced meaningless cars like the MG SVT.
They were too big to be niche, and too small to be profitable. If only they had downsized and concentrated on one or two new products...
Very interesting to compare BL (then) with VW Group (today) as they were of similar size and contain different brands.