Like many in Michigan, I felt a profound sense of shock and unreality at yesterday’s filing by GM for bankruptcy. It will probably come as a surprise to no one that Michigan will feel the brunt of the effects:
In the latest round of cutbacks, announced Monday as part of GM’s historic move to file for bankruptcy, an estimated 8,900 jobs will be lost at GM facilities in Pontiac, Orion Township, Livonia, Flint, and Ypsilanti Township. The cuts will follow the closure of a Grand Rapids stamping plant on Friday that employed hundreds more. Nationwide, GM plans to eliminate 21,000 jobs at 14 plants, plus three warehouses, in eight states.
Michigan’s share of the total job loss: 42 percent. And that doesn’t count the trickle-down impact on suppliers, stores, real estate and other segments of the state’s economy.
Your source for information on the Carpocalypse, Jalopnik, has a map of GM plant closures and a list of the 10 vehicles they think bankrupted GM. The Detroit Free Press lists what we know and what we don’t, and Tom Walsh looks at the GM that might emerge from bankruptcy. Bloomberg looks at how little the nation appears to care about GM’s bankruptcy and says that although the 2 month strike on GM in 1970 had major impacts, the nationwide effect of this filing will probably be a lot less:
…GM has been reducing payrolls for three decades. Its U.S. employment peaked in 1979 at 618,365, when it was the nation’s largest private employer and auto manufacturing accounted for 4.1 percent of GDP. At the end of this year’s first quarter, autos were 1.5 percent of the economy, and GM had 88,000 U.S. workers.
In Requiem for the General, Jack Lessenberry muses about General Motors’ Albert Sloan and his slogan “a car for every purse and purpose” and that he doesn’t think that any of GM’s most vocal critics like Ralph Nader and Michael Moore ever through they’d see this. Of course Raph Nader and Michael Moore have something to say that I think you will find interesting and perhaps a little unexpected.
The Wall Street Journal headline blares GM Collapses Into Government’s Arms and notes that General Motors will be removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (to be replaced by Cisco). The New York Times looks ahead with the ad campaign for the “new” GM which is already under way. They had a link to a YouTube video which appears to have been removed. You can see the video (replete with iconic imagery) and also read GM’s FAQ on their bankruptcy at GMreinvention.com.