General Motors announced plans to close three assembling plants, one in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario before the end of 2019.
I can not give the best to think about the launch of the Chevrolet Volt.
That car was my life for months. I covered General Motors post-bankruptcy for the Detroit Free Press – accumulating one company every day, every day. Sometimes through the night. That's how important GM was to my city.
In December 2010, I traveled to New Jersey snow to watch a real estate agent buy the first Volt. The people that I met along the way were erroneous in their expectations for the car. "Future". "Comeback kid." "There's a signal." "The main car for General Motors."
The Volt, an electric car with a back-end engine for long journeys, was supposed to regenerate GM. Show the world that Detroit could create revolutionary technology, compete with Asian automakers, produce something other than gas SUVs. Prove that the support supported by the government has been worthwhile.
In many ways, the Volt was also supposed to save Detroit. The company's last plant within the limits of Motor City would build the vehicle.
America's most notable manufacturer would use American workers to build a new type of American vehicle.
That dream is over now, likely to be good.
& # 39; Putting back jobs & # 39;
On Monday, GM started plans to close five plants, including the Detroit factory built by the Chevy Volt and the Ohio factory that built the compact car Chevy Cruze. It will kill that, and others, after the assembly lines shut down. Thousands of American workers are likely to lose their jobs, from closing factories and from the suppliers of parts, transport workers and those whose jobs support & # 39 ; r assembly plants.
We know what's like in this country. We've seen it from & before.
Ask the American employees who voted for President Donald Trump at the 2016. Either take my word for him: I asked myself, over, as a political correspondent covering Ohio during that campaign.
Trump promised to bring back jobs, when nobody else was satisfied. It acted as the economy finds it difficult, when other politicians (and fact-check journalists, including this one) highlighted the low unemployment rate. More than that, he understood that the desperate workers felt when their new job did not pay as their old one. The fear they felt when they were thinking about starting in their 60s.
Trump Michigan won in part thanks to those employees. Ohio won a landslide for the same reason for many. Trumbull County has voted Democratic in almost all elections since 1928. In 2016, the county supported Trump.
And now Trumbull County loses its plant appliances.
That is a problem for Trump. For now, it's annealing channel, the type of anger workers associated with her in 2016.
"They are better destroying a new plant open there very quickly," said Trump at Wall Street Journal on Monday, referring to Lordstown, Ohio, closing a factory. "I told them, you're playing around with the wrong person."
What happens when the employees are out of office?
More General Motors:
General Motors to close the Detroit, Ohio, Canada plant
The closure of Hamtramck GM plants reopens an old debate in Detroit
Targets lost, and new electric car
In the end, Americans did not want small cars. Or, as gas prices fall, there is electricity.
When I covered GM then – CEO Dan Akerson said he wanted the company to build more than 100,000 Chevy Volts per year. The company lost that target from the start; In private, GM employees admitted that it was never realistic. Last year, there were just 20,000 US sales …
"There is no situation that the Volt, which can be estimated as possible, makes any significant contribution to the GM forces for many years," wrote Steven Rattner, former head of Obama's administrative administration head book 2010, "Overhaul." Even that prediction was too generous.
GM now has a new electric car: the Chevy Bolt, built in the northern boroughs of Detroit. In some ways, he still lives the dream that the Volt started.
The Bolt does not have the Volt backup engine. GM engineers believe that a machine would help traditional car users to receive an electric vehicle.
As it came to an end, traditional car buyers would never buy Volt, a period. In addition, in the Bolt, you can drive up to 238 miles on electric power, so you're less likely to need the engine. Still, last year GM sold only 23,000 Bolts last year.
There is innovation in the U.S. auto industry. has taken a different direction, so the Lake Orion plant has arranged to produce a self-drive car next year. Again, GM is betting American workers can make a new kind of American car.
Wall Street analysts say that GM is on track – and that's important to keep the company profitable and keep its stock at a healthy price. That is the main position of CEO Mary Barra. On Monday, she was welcome to cut intense, painful costs instead of keeping historic plants and avoiding layoffs.
Pre-bankruptcy GM did not change fast-term strategies or lets dear-but-wild ideas fast enough. Bari wants her to be GM to be different. She wants her to stay around.
History of release?
Longevity – protecting an American icon – has always been part of a GM exchange. But it's more than that.
"The job is spiritual to me," said Mark Reuss GM in early 2010, when I worked for News Automotive.
Reuss, who was running the company's North America operations, had suffered more than a proportion of GM disorder. His father, former President of the GM Lloyd Reuss, was launched in a bathroom competition in 1992. Mark Reuss stayed with the company, just seeing it was still off and, finally, to ask for get government relief to keep closing in 2009.
After the automaker came to the expense of bankruptcy that year, Mark Reuss drove to the complex ruins of the Buick City factory in Flint with his son. Lloyd Reuss had run Buick from the complex, and Mark Reuss started his career there.
Younger Reuss asked: "Why did this happen, Dad?"
"I finally turned to my son and said," This happened because we could not compete, " Reuss says to his audience, cheating up. "I never think those words could come from my mouth."
For Reuss, at least GM offered a proposal to reuse history. To provide a living for American workers, building vehicles that they could be proud of. To use a company boom to invest in an American city.
Perhaps we should have expected the layoffs of thousands of American workers. But that was not part of the plan.
Crissie Thompson is a Pulitzer Prize journalist who serves as the education editor for the TODAY USA. He previously covered the car industry for the Detroit Freedom and Politics Press for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
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