NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

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Thread: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

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    NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    The New York Times
    Sunday, May 5, 2019


    For more than 50 years, life in Lordstown, Ohio, has revolved around the plant at the edge of town.

    In March, it stopped production.

    This is the story of what happens to a factory town when the factory shuts down.








    Early in the morning on Nov. 26, 2018, Dave Green, the president of Local 1112 of the United Auto Workers, which represents workers at a General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, received a call from the plant’s personnel director. Green needed to be at the plant at 9 a.m. for a meeting. The personnel director rarely called Green, and when he did, it was almost always bad news. Green got into his car — a silver Chevy Cruze — and sped toward the hulking 6.2-million-square-foot factory, which had manufactured nearly two million Cruzes since the car was introduced in 2011.

    “Management walks in 15 minutes late,” Green recalled, “and they say, ‘Hey, we’re going to unallocate the plant’ — that was it.”

    Green had never heard the term before, but he soon found out that it meant his members would no longer have a car to build. The Cruze was finished, and G.M. had no plans to make anything else at Lordstown. Green followed the managers to the production floor, where they shut down the assembly line before repeating the same brief message to more than a thousand workers. “Some people started crying, and some people turned white as a ghost and looked like they were going to throw up,” Green said. “It felt like, ‘Oh, the end is coming.’ ”

    On that same day, Mary Barra, the chief executive of G.M., announced that the company would unallocate four other North American plants and cut roughly 6,000 unionized hourly positions and 8,000 salaried positions. The largest affected plants manufactured sedans, and sedans would no longer be a major part of G.M.’s domestic production; instead, the company would focus on building S.U.V.s and trucks, which generate much higher profits. Manufacturing trade publications like IndustryWeek heralded Barra’s “willingness to wield the ax,” while Wall Street investors cheered the shedding of the “legacy” costs — pensions, health insurance — associated with G.M.’s American workers. On the day of Barra’s announcement, the company’s stock closed nearly 5 percent higher.

    Barra’s decision reflected many trends: declining small-car sales, an increasingly overvalued dollar that makes American exports more expensive and the continuing rise of American automobile manufacturing in Mexico, where autoworkers make an average of $2.30 an hour (last year, G.M. became that country’s largest vehicle manufacturer). It was yet more evidence of G.M.’s retrenchment from American manufacturing; since 2005, the number of states with active G.M. assembly plants has fallen to seven from 16. With the idling of Lordstown’s plant, Ohio became the latest casualty on that list.

    Though Lordstown was already operating far below capacity — it had eliminated its second and third shifts in the previous two years — the news still came as a shock. The company had received a $50 billion bailout from American taxpayers only a decade ago, and now it was making near-record-breaking profits.

    For the residents of Lordstown and the surrounding area, Barra’s decision promised disaster. A recent study by the Center for Economic Development at Cleveland State University estimated that the elimination of all three shifts at the plant would ultimately cause the loss of nearly 8,000 jobs and more than $8 billion in economic activity in the regional economy. And since the 2008 financial crisis, wages in the area have fallen by 6 percent, even as they have risen nationally by 11 percent. “They’re scraping out what’s already been hollowed out,” Green said. “We need G.M. It’s the last thing standing around here.”

    Text continues at link.

    The (last) car had already been sold, but its owner wanted
    it displayed so people could see the last of the line.
    It was loaded onto a truck destined for Sweeney
    Chevrolet, a dealership in Youngstown.



    At Sweeney, employees discovered signatures
    that the Lordstown workers had left
    underneath the car and a collection of handmade
    signs that they had placed in the trunk.











    .

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    This is the story of what happens to a factory town when the factory shuts down.
    I have posted quite a few articles here, but none like this.

    Click the link and read the entire article. Every word. Trust me.














    .

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    I dont even want to read the article, that insane GM announcement before Thanksgiving is still smarting.
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    I find it sad that some people wish for GM to fail and can't comprehend any good news. A plausible explanation for this kind of behavior is that you have a miserable life so you wish the same to others. Cory Pham, Autoblog Poster

    GM must return its divisions to being interdependent entities within the corporation. Decentralize and free the different divisions talents to foster brand differentiation and customer loyalty.

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    So sad.

    Meanwhile, GM is working hard to build vehicles in Mexico and employ Mexicans.

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    GM doesn't care where they build the cars as long as they make profit. PROFIT. It is all that matters to them.
    Look at those pics and now remember how much money Barra is making.
    If no other manufacturer picks up the plant, Lordstown is done. We will have the same **** in Oshawa as well.

    Not only this is disgusting, it is dehumanizing. I don't care what anybody else says about the company and economy and all, GM, F%^CK YOU !

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    You have a town that revolved around a factory that built a vehicle type that has been trending down for several years. We can look back to the 70's-90's and we can blame all sorts of problems but the painful fact is that GM has overcapacity in building in a dying segment that fewer and fewer people buy and the trend is even greater for American vehicles in that segment. Even the New York Times writers that wrote this probably buy Hondas and Toyotas if they buy a vehicle in this class. I see too many people finding comfort in the same job for years and they want to ignore what is happening around them. It's not fair but it's been happening for years.
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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    I understand business.. I understand profit.. but one has the remember good will towards people goes a long way.. even when they are sometimes in opposition to U. I don't agree with that way of thinking.. but I do understand that it is the nature of people. Better explained.. A company can pay U everyday.. U call out.. U sleep on the job.. U steal a few hours here and there.. but they still have to pay U everyday.. and a Christmas bonus doesn't hurt. U the worker are never wrong.. even when U are caught.. the Big corporation is responsible for U, like a child/parent relationship, because that corporation in the larger of the two. Parallel is U scream at your parents.. curse them. tell them U hate them.. even sell them out and talk behind their backs to your friends.. but they better not...not take care of U. THAT IS THE NATURE OF PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY. WE ARE ENTITLED. SIMPLE AS THAT.

    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant.

    and as I said before.. what ever car this is.. its not a Cruze. U can support with signs all U want.. a new Cruze would have been a better indicator of your commitment to the plant.. the workers.. the township.




    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant.

    But wait.. this is not just a GM problem. This is an American industrial problem. Americans have shunned and laid to rest many of its industries. GM, being the largest, is the poster child for the disgruntled.. for like ever. I mean look at what we do here on a daily basis.. Some warranted..some completely blown out of proportion.

    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant.


    For 2018.. barring the top 3 Trucks.. Only one.. has a UNION to cause production costs to skyrocket to the point of needing to be built elsewhere. Its the only American name on that list.. and its the only one built outside the United States..

    1) Toyota Rav4 - 427,170
    2) Nissan Rogue/Rogue Sport - 412,110
    3) Honda CR-V - 397,013
    4) Toyota Camry - 343,439
    5) Chevrolet Equinox - 332,618
    6) Honda Civic - 325,760
    7) Toyota Corolla - 303,732

    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant. KILL THE UAW!!! TRULY PROSPER!!!
    Last edited by CMiatso DaBang; 05-03-2019 at 10:32 PM.
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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    Unions were only part of the problem. We can write a book on what went wrong but overcapacity in something GM can't competitively sell isn't a long-term solution. Additionally, Nobody in the United States will need an entire new factory to build these types of vehicles. GM is expanding truck and SUV capacity in the US and other car makers are too. Even Honda and Toyota won't need an entire factory to build cars in the US.
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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    Lol...Some of you are funny, in one thread you brag about how much $$$ GM made this year and in this, you trash how GM went about making the $$$. Look, you have to either take the bad w/ the good or shut up about the good if you don't like the bad.

    IMO, it sucks, but that's the game...if GM keeps plants open just for the sake of keeping people employed and ends up going into BK again, then what? Another bailout? Anyway, look at it this way, importing cars creates jobs in other sectors like logistics/transportation, so don't think of it as losing jobs, think of it as a shift in jobs.
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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    Hey but did you all hear, GM has the most females on it's board of all car manufactures so please ignore them slaughtering all these American jobs!

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    I wouldn't solely blame unions, Americans on the whole are too expensive to employ. Its why you see a ton of IT/Software Engineering being outsourced, why pay an American 6 figures when you can pay someone in overseas 10/hr. Problem is and will always be cost of living, Americans demand a higher standard of living, whereas a 3rd World plant/IT worker won't have those "demands". Nowadays,corporations are more globalized than ever so their attachment to the average American employee/citizen is nill. Blame globalization, but to combat this we need regulation to incentivize hiring American and penalize outsourcing. Socialism!!!
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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    Lordstown stings the most to me, because when I was at GM (think 2000-10, roughly), they were starved of resources and technology. They got additional tech when they were able to salvage stuff from Janesville after they closed in '09 (I think that was the year), but they were scrapping for it.

    I know margins need to be met, but if you launch on the dirt-cheap, you can't charge what competitors do. Rebates followed as they tried to anyway. So much opportunity lost from bean counters cutting off things that would have made the Cobalt and all that followed better. We knew what needed to be done.

    There's really no reason the Equinox couldn't have been built there, either, other than precedent. The facility and workforce were capable.

    Yes, I was in facility tooling. I know it was possible.

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    Quote Originally Posted by CMiatso DaBang View Post
    I understand business.. I understand profit.. but one has the remember good will towards people goes a long way.. even when they are sometimes in opposition to U. I don't agree with that way of thinking.. but I do understand that it is the nature of people. Better explained.. A company can pay U everyday.. U call out.. U sleep on the job.. U steal a few hours here and there.. but they still have to pay U everyday.. and a Christmas bonus doesn't hurt. U the worker are never wrong.. even when U are caught.. the Big corporation is responsible for U, like a child/parent relationship, because that corporation in the larger of the two. Parallel is U scream at your parents.. curse them. tell them U hate them.. even sell them out and talk behind their backs to your friends.. but they better not take care of U. THAT IS THE NATURE OF PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY. WE ARE ENTITLED. SIMPLE AS THAT.

    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant.

    and as I said before.. what ever car this is.. its not a Cruze. U can support with signs all U want.. a new Cruze would have been a better indicator of your commitment to the plant.. the workers.. the township.




    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant.

    But wait.. this is not just a GM problem. This is an American industrial problem. Americans have shunned and laid to rest many of its industries. GM, being the largest, is the poster child for the disgruntled.. for like ever. I mean look at what we do here on a daily basis.. Some warranted..some completely blown out of proportion.

    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant.


    For 2018.. barring the top 3 Trucks.. Only one.. has a UNION to cause production costs to skyrocket to the point of needing to be built elsewhere. Its the only American name on that list.. and its the only one built outside the United States..

    1) Toyota Rav4 - 427,170
    2) Nissan Rogue/Rogue Sport - 412,110
    3) Honda CR-V - 397,013
    4) Toyota Camry - 343,439
    5) Chevrolet Equinox - 332,618
    6) Honda Civic - 325,760
    7) Toyota Corolla - 303,732

    That all being said.. GM is wrong for a bunch of reason for killing the Cruze.. but even more so not finding some way to move some product over to this town/plant. KILL THE UAW!!! TRULY PROSPER!!!
    I am not a big fan of Unions, having said that I still blame mostly GM for this dilemma. First Cruze was a downright decent car, second generation sort of sucked because of pithy feature/styling combination IMO. I really believe if GM had scruples they could have done a Hell of a lot better in this and not shuttered the plant. Proper upgrades and a different product would have gone far.

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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    Quote Originally Posted by Clownzilla View Post
    You have a town that revolved around a factory that built a vehicle type that has been trending down for several years. We can look back to the 70's-90's and we can blame all sorts of problems but the painful fact is that GM has overcapacity in building in a dying segment that fewer and fewer people buy and the trend is even greater for American vehicles in that segment. Even the New York Times writers that wrote this probably buy Hondas and Toyotas if they buy a vehicle in this class. I see too many people finding comfort in the same job for years and they want to ignore what is happening around them. It's not fair but it's been happening for years.
    If you want a plant to die; don't water it............

    If you want an (auto) plant to die; fill it with low-desire product.

    No rule only compact cars could be built there.

    No rule GM had to cut so many corners on the new Cruze.
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    Re: NYT Special Report - Chevy Cruze Lordstown Plant: The End Of The Line

    I owned one of the first Cruze in 2011 and love it so much that I traded it in for a new 2019. It is really my wife's car and we can not understand why GM would quit making it. The one we have is the R/S model and I think it's one hell of a nice car. I'd put it up against any Honda Civic or whatever. This car is tops!!!

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