Here at last we start with the empirical material proper. The last chapter provided a general background to the domestic appliance industry during the 1979-85 recession and recovery. In this chapter and the next I shall focus on three leading British domestic appliance manufacturers - known pseudonymously as Rose, Homecraft and Exemplar. This chapter will begin by briefly introducing the three companies, giving basic data on their products, factories, ownership, management and markets. In this my aim will simply be to establish the broad similarity of their positions as they approached the recession. From here I shall go on to explore the internal characters of these companies, describing their top managements and the ideals that motivated them in their business activities. This section will reveal that superficial similarities in ownership, products and markets in fact conceal very radical differences in the internal characters of these three companies. It is to these internal differences that I will ascribe the divergent strategie choices to be described in Chapter 8. But before examining the companies' recession strategies, I shall conclude this chapter by considering the degrees to which the three companies had cultivated sufficiently strong positions in their various markets in order to enjoy the freedom of strategic choice.