We’ll Always Have Hamtramck

On the recent GM plant closures

While Ford CEO Jim Hackett waffles on his “mysterious ‘fitness’ plan”, GM CEO Mary Barra showed him how to do layoffs: with no prologue, 15,000 jobs gone, six models axed, and five factories closed.

The Cars

In 2017, car sales were down 13% while SUVs were up 8%; trucks and SUVs now account for two-thirds of the entire US market for passenger vehicles. Cars — low-slung, three-box sedans and coupes — are old hat, a twentieth-century package growing ever-more irrelevant for twenty-first-century buyers. SUVs, or more accurately, crossovers (as many are much more like tall cars than trucks, like the Toyota RAV4), offer room, comfort, and an athletic, capable image that cars just can’t match. Plus, given radical powertrain and engineering advancements, these crossovers offer fuel economy numbers more similar to cars than the SUVs of yore.

Chevrolet Volt

I really couldn’t say it better than the Detroit Free Press: “Chevy Volt was going to save Detroit. Now its workers are losing jobs.

Dead.
Concept, above, production, below
Both are EVs with amazing range: one regularly makes headlines

Cadillac CT6

Cadillac CT6, 2016–2018. We hardly knew ye.

Looks like the one on the left, but sized like the one on the right
Sometimes, the apple falls far from the tree

Chevrolet Cruze

They say that it’s easier to engineer a Ferrari than an economy car. With an economy car, there’s no room for error when balancing quality and affordability, attractiveness and price. Every ounce of steel impacts the reliability and the bottom line. Civic, 3, Golf, Focus, Cruze — this is where the true mettle of an auto manufacturer is tested.

Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac XTS

Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, Triceratops

The Impact

These six cars are gone because the factories that make them are closing. These closures have a real human impact: of the 14,700 layoffs, 6,600 are jobs in these factories.

Cities, mobility, and product leadership in New York City