Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 The Decline of Detroit (Fall of the Big 3) Previous Next
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Thewack
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Username: Thewack

Post Number: 210
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 9:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/bus iness/6346299.stm
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Hans57
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Username: Hans57

Post Number: 26
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 9:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

cool.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 853
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 11:41 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The article states that GM had 100,000 workers in Flint at its peak. Actually, it was more like 82,000. Still damned high, I know. The article also states that 28,000 workers lost their jobs when Buick City closed. Huh? Maybe that was supposed to read "2,800." Buick City employed less than 4,000 by the time work started getting phased out of there-- and most of those workers were able to transfer or retire. As far as spin-off jobs, I don't know how many were lost but it certainly wasn't 28,000.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 277
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

actually at its peak in the 80s buick city did employ 28,000, and that's probably where they got that number. (i can't even imagine that many people working in one place, even if it is just a few miles down the road from me). When they announced the closing about 15 years after its peak, it had gone down to 2900.

peak employment is definitely wrong, though, your number sounds correct.

funny, the article is titled 'The Decline of Detroit' but seems to be more about 'The Decline of Flint'
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Gene
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Username: Gene

Post Number: 22
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 12:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another factor in this situation is the loss of skilled tool and die type jobs lost in the big three's quest for cost savings. Remember all those small shops that used to make up the backbone of a lot of neighborhoods?

The unions and big three are to blame for the current mess.

Its too bad their greed has ruined Detroit and most of the State.
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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5526
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 12:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HAH!!!! The Big Three has been in a profit loss since the stag-inflation era of 1978.

Let's recall how the Big Three loss some money.

1. The OPEC oil crisis:

Most Arab oil barrens have issued a embargo to any nation who supported Israel. The U.S. is one of them resulting a gas shortage nationwide.

2. The U.S. staggerant ecomony:

There were more jobs and less demand for consumers. Ford, Chrysler and GM were making more gas guzzling CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANGS. But to the oil crisis there were not enough people buying their it. The Japanese came with a answer to the solve its world fuel ecomony. THEY STARTED TO MAKE FUEL EFFICIENT CARS! And we Americans are buying their CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANGS. As a result the jobs in the U.S. kept on hiring more people, there were less demand, inflation went dangerously high and most companies especially the Big Three had a lot of 1978 to 1980s models pilling up in their big ol' lots. AMERICAN PEOPLE WERE NOT INTERESTED OF BUYING GAS GUZZLERS ANYMORE.

As President Reagan cleaned up inflation. Chrysler started to make the minivan. It's sales went off the roof. Ford and Chrysler is still in profit loss. So far No Big three haven't make any fuel efficient cars.

In the late 1990s Chrysler Corp. is in a profit loss So Daimler came in and brought its shares Now becoming Daimler Chrysler. However the company is still a profit loss and its sold its shares to Mercedes Benz to become Daimler Chrysler Benz. the company. Over the years the company is still in the profit loss until this day. Why BECAUSE WE AMERICAN ARE STILL BUYING TOYOTAS AND HONDAS.

Ford and GM has suffered a profit loss, too and started to lay-off and closed more plants and offered buy-outs to its employees. Some accepted other rejected it. WHY BECAUSE WE AMERICANS ARE STILL BUYING TOYOTAS AND HONDAS!

Now there's a possibility that GM might buy some shares to Daimler Chrysler Benz. Is that going solve their profit problems NO!!!! What the Big Three should have 20 years ago is BUILD FUEL EFFICIENT CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANGS! BUT NOOOOOO!!!! THEY WANTED TO MAKE MORE GAS GUZZLERS. SUV's and Supertrucks! That are are worth selling.

Now we Americans are buying cars from the Japanese and they are actually eating our nation alive.

I hope the Big three has learn their lesson. WELCOME TO GLOBAL CAPITALIST ECONOMY TRADE.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 854
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 1:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr-- In the book "A Place Called Buick" (available at the Sloan Museum) there is a chart of Buick employment figures from the early days to 1982. The maximum employment at the site was 29,400 in 1956. With the recession the next year it quickly dipped below 20,000. The highest it ever got after that was 1969, with about 23,000.

In July, 1986, there were about 18,006 people employed at the old Buick site (according to a study prepared that year for the Mott Foundation)-- roughly the same number as in 1982. The total at Buick City itself (minus the north end engine/transmission/axle etc. plants and HQ offices) was about 9,839. These numbers are corroborated by Flint Journal articles from that year.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 527
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Flint, Michigan, Hq of GM, was once a thriving community"

Seems to me to not be a true statement from the article, but I haven't been to Detroit in a few months. When I was last there, their HQ was at the Ren Cen.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 856
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I also noticed that statement, Charlottepaul. Odd error. GM's headquarters offices (except in the earliest couple of years, perhaps) have always been Detroit or Detroit/New York City.

I suppose that Flint, back in the day, could have laid claim to "unofficial" headquarters of GM, with its largest employment and manufacturing base.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 618
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 1:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The article was written by a British dude for British readers...I don't think the author was too concerend about accuracy as Brits aren't in a position to nitpick on this subject...
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 857
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 4:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Getting the headquarters town of a company correct isn't nitpicking, no matter who is writing the article or where he is from. It's simply about getting basic facts straight. If I was writing an article about a British company I'd be sure to get the headquarters city correct.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 286
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 5:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Flint was the birthplace of GM, but hasn't been the home of the headquarters since at LEAST 1919, when the General Motors building was built. and they may have had headquarters elsewhere in Detroit before that point. However, I do believe (although i don't have a source) GM was in Flint when it was first formed in 1908. That's where Buick was, and that was the first of Durant's auto companies, not to mention home of Dort-Durant Carraige.

We could only dream the headquarters was here... although i wouldn't want to take that from Detroit either.

Burnsie, as for Buick City's employment, well, i think every source says something different (at least from what i've seen in my quick look), but i won't argue with you on that point. No matter what it was, we've lost a hell of a lot of jobs, but it just wasn't all in one go like the article says, it was spread over many years and many plants.
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Yelloweyes
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Username: Yelloweyes

Post Number: 77
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 8:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I grew up in the Flint area everyone worked for "the shop". My entire family, my friends parents, I didn't know anyone that didn't work for "generous motors".

Now according to the article Flint has the highest poverty and homeless rate in the state. My family wants me to move back. Yeah right.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 858
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 8:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Scottr-- The incorporation papers for GM were signed at the Durant-Dort offices on Water St. (still standing and restored). Source: http://www.thelandbank.org/lan dbanksupport.asp

I guess I can seem like a nitpick sometimes on this forum, but a lot of that stems from when I was majoring in history in college and had to endlessly cite sources in all the papers I wrote!

I haven't read nearly enough to know exactly where GM's HQ offices were before the GM Building was built.

By the way, that 1986 study I mentioned showed GM's total employment in Genesee County as a little over 62,000 in July '86. Buick City was slowly getting underway then and really hit its stride by 1989, when JD Power ranked it #1 in North America and #2 in the world for initial quality. The same year, JD Power ranked the LeSabre as #1 in North America and #2 in the world for initial qualitiy among 154 domestic and imported models.

One of the reasons I don't like "Roger & Me" is that Moore doesn't mention Buick City ONCE in the entire film. That's because it would have complicated his simplistic, one-sided approach.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 295
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 8:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i understand the nitpicking, i'm going through the same with my classes. i just can't stand when i hear 'state your source' for something that takes a very simple google search, and usually serves little purpose in the first place. usually i try to quote the source in the first place though, if it's something significant to a discussion.

I knew the incorporation papers were signed here in Flint, I'm just not sure if they actually maintained headquarters here. I assume they did, since the Buick headquarters were here; that probably served as the corporate headquarters, possibly even until Chevrolet took over GM or later. (that's a guess) I haven't found much on the web about those early years though.

I remember when Buick City was so good with quality. If I remember correctly, they held that for some time (or at least, very high on the list). Definitely made the closing decision hard to understand.

I haven't seen Roger & me since it came out, and I was only about 12 at the time and didn't really care. I've inherited my parents', and nearly every other flint-area residents' despisal of Moore though.
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Patrick
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Username: Patrick

Post Number: 4062
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, February 19, 2007 - 9:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seems like Toyota will do so much better in China.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/e nglish/doc/2005-03/30/content_ 429243.htm

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