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AxelTheRed

To General Motors

33 posts in this topic

Dear GM,

I was born in Flint in the mid-eighties and have lived in or near it all my life. I've had to watch you gut this entire town these last twenty years by taking away our factories one by one and decimating our workforce. I'm not the only person who thinks this is unfair. I'm sure the entire city thinks its unfair. I'm sure the entire state, the entire country thinks what you did and are continuing to do to Flint is unfair and uncalled for. How can you wonder why you're losing sales to foreign competitors when you have shown so little loyalty to your home town? Toyota is showing more loyalty to the American cities they've put their plants than you have been. Flint was literally GM's city. GM's industrial capital. The birthplace of Buick, Chevrolet and the company itself. Why would you do such a thing to a city that was so dependant on you? So loyal? You might not agree that the city was loyal to you, but I think it really was. The city was the proud home of Buick. The proud industrial cornerstone of the world's largest automaker. You'd argue that the unions pushed too hard in Flint. My father is a union man who understands the good and the bad of both the UAW and General Motors. He'd agree that the unions had pushed too hard in the past. Does that justify cutting GM employment in the city by the tens of thousands? Closing plants left and right? I don' t think so.

Flint was once the home of General Motors. Why loosen ties with it? Why not continue the heritage and traditions of both GM and Flint?

We need General Motors as much as they once needed us. On behalf of the city, I'm asking you not to close anymore plants here. Close plants in other parts of the country, but not Flint. Speaking for the city, I'm asking you to give it its soul back...to come back to Flint. Flint has played an important role in the automotive industry since its beginning. Its what we know, what we're used to, and what we deserve. So please, if you have respect and loyalty to GM's heritage and Flint, you'll consider what I'm saying here and hopefully act on it. Please, bring back the glory days of Flint by investing more into the city, building more plants and employing more workers here. Flint was the Vehicle City and we wish we could have that back.

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Posted Image[/img]

What's left of the parking lot. Pardon the car but I had no choice in the matter. I did feel bad going to Flint in a Honda but then again is was kind of ironic since this car played a part in Flint's demise.Perhaps someone should of brought a Civic to Buick City in 1985 and told Roger to use it for future product planning.

Edited by I hope GMRULES again

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I'm mixed on this. No, I don't live in or near Flint, and I do not challenge the decline Flint has seen, but there are unquestionably some emotional (vs. factual) statements in the opening post ("How can you wonder why you're losing sales to foreign competitors when you have shown so little loyalty to your home town?").

Would I like to see Buick still in Flint- of course so. Do I think Flint is neccesarily 'owed' another 100 years of auto production? It has to make sense from a business standpoint.... does it??? When Buick sold over a million units per year, Buick City was completely vital to that. With Buick volume in the -what... 275K range??- now, there is no way anything close to that 80,000 workers would be required. What it was will never be again. But that's to be expected- there are no guarantees and very very few manufacturing facilities ever last as long as Buick City did- it beat the odds many times over as it is.

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Well, my impressions of Flint come from living there for five years while I attended GMI and worked for Buick Motor Division.

Axel....I know it's your hometown, realize my comments are in no way directed at YOU....please don't take them personally....

But I've never experience a more depressingly bad city that I could find NO redeeming qualities than Flint, Michigan. Even in Detroit, I can find redeeming qualities. Flint epitomizes just about everything one sees in "Roger & Me."

My experience over five years is that GENERALLY (meaning not necesarily you, Axel) the populace of Flint, Michigan have this "holier-than-though" attitude towards GM and it's always "we're the victims" and "we deserve everything" and "GM is destroying our city" and "GM owes us the world."

In Flint, you have city leaders that seemingly refuse to realize the realities of the domestic automobile market today. Instead of letting the city go to $h! like it has, city leaders SHOULD have been focusing on diversification of Flint's economy.

Not easy you say when they've had an economy almost 100% dependent on GM and the auto market? You're RIGHT...it's tough as hell.

But look at two examples of cities that HAD to diversify....on the smaller scale, and similar in population to Flint, was Bethlehem, PA. (I spent two years living about an hour south of Bethlehem.) This city has been a stronghold of the U.S. steel industry for a good portion of the last 100 years. We all know what happened to the U.S. steel industry. What did Bethlehem do when ALL of their steel factories dried up? They turned to tourism and began to attract way more "back-office" white-collar operations from companies that formerly officed themselves in (more expensive) Philly suburbs and (way more expensive) northern N.J. suburbs....and you know what? Bethlehem is a booming little town now (or at least it was when I was there last.)

The other, on a large scale, is San Diego. 20 years ago, when the defense and military industry went bust, San Diego was in BAD shape. Military bases began closing in masse......defense plants were shuttered....and San Diego's economic base went down the toilet. What did they do? Renewed their focus on the vibrant tourism industry there....but the biggest boom has come from San Diego's romance of the high-tech, electronics, and computer industry. Now, military and defense claim an extremely minor impact on San Diego's overall economy.

Flint and the city's population can blame GM for pulling out of their city. But they have only themselves to blame on how they approach the future.

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But look at two examples of cities that HAD to diversify....on the smaller scale, and similar in population to Flint, was Bethlehem, PA.  (I spent two years living about an hour south of Bethlehem.)  This city has been a stronghold of the U.S. steel industry for a good portion of the last 100 years.  We all know what happened to the U.S. steel industry.  What did Bethlehem do when ALL of their steel factories dried up?  They turned to tourism and began to attract way more "back-office" white-collar operations from companies that formerly officed themselves in (more expensive) Philly suburbs and (way  more expensive) northern N.J. suburbs....and you know what?  Bethlehem is a booming little town now (or at least it was when I was there last.)

If you don't remember so did Flint! Remember Auto World and the River Front Pavillion? How about the city try to get gambling approved.

IMO - I believe manufacturing industry is the last thing Flint can and should attract. Right now Flint has two industries that continue to fall under the radar screen.

Those are education and health care. Flint's colleges and university in the form of UofM, Kettering, Mott, Baker may be the city's best bet in the near term. Turn Flint into a college town and revitalize main street with something students can do so they do not have to drive to Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, etc.

Second, with the new Genessey Health Care Centre and the still lucrative GM pensions in the city, health care may also be another viable option.

Williamson needs to clean up Dort Hwy and shift the focus away from the Vegas style of entertainment he was promoting the last time I looked.

EDUCATION might be the city's only option.

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But I've never experience a more depressingly bad city that I could find NO redeeming qualities than Flint, Michigan.

213408[/snapback]

Someone hasn't been to Avon Park, Florida.

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In Flint, you have city leaders that seemingly refuse to realize the realities of the domestic automobile market today.  Instead of letting the city go to $h! like it has, city leaders SHOULD have been focusing on diversification of Flint's economy.

Not easy you say when they've had an economy almost 100% dependent on GM and the auto market?  You're RIGHT...it's tough as hell.

All I need to think of is the BM and yes you are correct.

Mis-focused priorities comes to mind.

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But look at two examples of cities that HAD to diversify....on the smaller scale, and similar in population to Flint, was Bethlehem, PA.  (I spent two years living about an hour south of Bethlehem.)  This city has been a stronghold of the U.S. steel industry for a good portion of the last 100 years.  We all know what happened to the U.S. steel industry.  What did Bethlehem do when ALL of their steel factories dried up?  They turned to tourism and began to attract way more "back-office" white-collar operations from companies that formerly officed themselves in (more expensive) Philly suburbs and (way  more expensive) northern N.J. suburbs....and you know what?  Bethlehem is a booming little town now (or at least it was when I was there last.)

The other, on a large scale, is San Diego.  20 years ago, when the defense and military industry went bust, San Diego was in BAD shape.  Military bases began closing in masse......defense plants were shuttered....and San Diego's economic base went down the toilet.  What did they do?  Renewed their focus on the vibrant tourism industry there....but the biggest boom has come from San Diego's romance of the high-tech, electronics, and computer industry.  Now, military and defense claim an extremely minor impact on San Diego's overall economy.

Flint and the city's population can blame GM for pulling out of their city.  But they have only themselves to blame on how they approach the future.

213408[/snapback]

This statement only shows how ignorant you really are. You act like the city is the living object. All that matters is the "city" not the population.

I suppose we're all to think that in Bethlehem the former steel employed people are included in this " booming little town...of...."back-office" white-collar operations".... NOT ! Ill tell you what happended, these people lost their jobs, then a bunch of nose in the air "white-collar's" came in and pushed the real estate value through the roof, thereby pushing tax assessment out of touch for blue collar workers that were now without work. Now these people are working some low wage job, probably 10-12 hours a day, probably 6 days a week, just barely making ends meet, living in some trailer park far out of site of the "new" residents. Where they on occasion drive past and flip their noses in the air and make some disrespectful comment !

Ring any bells ?

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All I really wanted to get across with this is that I don't think that GM should Flint totally behind, as a burnt-out relic of the auto industry.  I realize that Flint will NEVER have that kind of GM employment ever again, but I think the company could at least keep in contact with the city and its people and keep Flint even semi-important.

213488[/snapback]

The best your going to get is what you have now, 2 engine plants and some GM office jobs in the city. Don't they build the Siverado HD in Flint too?

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This statement only shows how ignorant you really are. You act like the city is the living object. All that matters is the "city" not the population.

I suppose we're all to think that in Bethlehem the former steel employed people are included in this " booming little town...of...."back-office" white-collar operations".... NOT ! Ill tell you what happended, these people lost their jobs, then a bunch of nose in the air "white-collar's" came in and pushed the real estate value through the roof, thereby pushing tax assessment out of touch for blue collar workers that were now without work. Now these people are working some low wage job, probably 10-12 hours a day, probably 6 days a week, just barely making ends meet, living in some trailer park far out of site of the "new" residents. Where they on occasion drive past and flip their noses in the air and make some disrespectful comment !

Ring any bells ?

213490[/snapback]

I agree. That's the problem with the "New" economy. Not everyone is going to be able to get a college degree and make the big bucks. When all these decent paying manufacturing type jobs disappear the people left behind will be left with nothing but Wal-Mart. Unlike San Deigo, Flint is in the middle of nowhere so it would be tough to atract investment there. Plus what will happen over the next 10-20 years when all those GM retirees that are there die off. They're the only ones with any money in the city.

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Well, my impressions of Flint come from living there for five years while I attended GMI and worked for Buick Motor Division.

Axel....I know it's your hometown, realize my comments are in no way directed at YOU....please don't take them personally....

But I've never experience a more depressingly bad city that I could find NO redeeming qualities than Flint, Michigan.  Even in Detroit, I can find redeeming qualities.  Flint epitomizes just about everything one sees in "Roger & Me."

213408[/snapback]

When did you go to GMI? I'd have to agree. From the moment I first saw Roger and Me I wanted to see Flint for myself.

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This statement only shows how ignorant you really are. You act like the city is the living object. All that matters is the "city" not the population.

I suppose we're all to think that in Bethlehem the former steel employed people are included in this " booming little town...of...."back-office" white-collar operations".... NOT ! Ill tell you what happended, these people lost their jobs, then a bunch of nose in the air "white-collar's" came in and pushed the real estate value through the roof, thereby pushing tax assessment out of touch for blue collar workers that were now without work. Now these people are working some low wage job, probably 10-12 hours a day, probably 6 days a week, just barely making ends meet, living in some trailer park far out of site of the "new" residents. Where they on occasion drive past and flip their noses in the air and make some disrespectful comment !

Ring any bells ?

213490[/snapback]

I'll reply to Razor's post only to bring reality to his ludicrous statements......

How 'bout Evok's idea of pushing education and health care?

How 'bout Flint starting to promote some sort of tourism based around Michigan's abundant outdoor lifestyles? (Hunting, abundant lakes, etc.) It IS the largest metropolitan area in MI north of Detroit....a GREAT jumping-off point to the beautiful northern MI areas.....

How 'bout NEW manufacturing opportunities?

How 'bout just NOT ACTING LIKE VICTIMS?

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When did you go to GMI? I'd have to agree. From the moment I first saw Roger and Me I wanted to see Flint for myself.

213524[/snapback]

I was at GMI from '88 to '93.

It was a hell-hole then....and it sounds like it's even worse now.

It's too bad there's not someone in city government that has a true vision on how to bring the city back.

There's been plenty of cities around the country that have shown how it can happen.....

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All I really wanted to get across with this is that I don't think that GM should Flint totally behind, as a burnt-out relic of the auto industry.  I realize that Flint will NEVER have that kind of GM employment ever again, but I think the company could at least keep in contact with the city and its people and keep Flint even semi-important.

213488[/snapback]

GM still has the I69/I75 800/900/HD truck plant, the Atlast engine plant which is new, the brand new US production of the HF V6 3.6l, GM SPO HQ in Grand Blanc and expanded operations at the Great Lakes Tech Centre. There is still the Dort Hwy, metal fab operation and the Corunna Road SPO operations. There still are some powertrain operation over at the BC site. Yes some of these operations are not in the city but they still service the Flint metro area.

In a nut shell, GM has not left Flint but still has diverse operations in the area, though not the same scale as circa 1980.

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I'll reply to Razor's post only to bring reality to his ludicrous statements......

How 'bout Evok's idea of pushing education and health care?

How 'bout Flint starting to promote some sort of tourism based around Michigan's abundant outdoor lifestyles?  (Hunting, abundant lakes, etc.) It IS the largest metropolitan area in MI north of Detroit....a GREAT jumping-off point to the beautiful northern MI areas.....

How 'bout NEW manufacturing opportunities?

How 'bout just NOT ACTING LIKE VICTIMS?

213647[/snapback]

My statement is not ludicrous.........its reality !......that is what happens, that is what has happened all across the United States, if you are in the line of fire you are a victim, if you cant see it from your house you say "look at all the white collar jobs, quit acting like victims"

Whats a 40 something year old laborer supposed to do with a college, mow the lawns, mop ? good! great! but how many lawn mower/ mopers are these colleges going to need ?

What kind of family supportive jobs do you think there are for 40+- men/woman in the hunting,lakes "tourism" industry......their entry level, minimum wage highschool/college summer/weekend jobs.

Whats a 40+- blue coller labor man or woman supposed to do for a hospitol ? Well the girls can get some schooling and be nurses, I know many (yarite! a few) that have around here, its a crap pay job, laughable in fact, much more money at a Walmart warehouse. Its ruff work too, takes a certain person to watch people die........but thats not worth paying good money for, more important people in the "food chain" that need that money.

Are you going to suggest that a 40 something blue collar laborer should put 6-8 years into college and become a professor, doctor, computer programer ? How many jobs is that if it were possible.......100 ? What makes you guys think that at 40 or 50 something someone could go to college, come out at nearly 50 or more and compete in the job field with fresh young "yes" people ? It wouldnt be worth the ink to fill out an application because as soon as your not looking the ap is going in the "file". What makes you guys think that more dumb mothers like "us" are not being born each and every day that are not going to take to the "books" or be able to concentrate at that level to be successful in the only industries that American seems to be interested in keeping.

It amazes me that some people who stress so hard for acceptance from others for not being wired the same, can turn around and not understand that all people are not wired the same..??.. We needed that vast array of various job opportunities, IT WORKED. Our government should have never allowed it to all go straight into the dumper under the presumption of "capitolism" when it was clearly "wealthy greed"

Its simple, it was wealthy greed, it was short sited, no one in charged gave a damn anyhow, it happened, theres no stopping it, no going back, its here and this is what it looks like, its in your face, yet no one wants to see it for what it is, instead would rather throw words like "entitled", "victim", "legacy", "looser(when no one listening)", "that il teach ya for not going to college(when no one listening)" "you got what you deserved (when no ones listening)"

And heres the proof of only seeing the end result and excuseing the initial action

"It was a hell-hole then....and it sounds like it's even worse now."

wonder what makes things nice ?

wonder what makes things ugly ?

wonder if decent jobs has anything to do with it ?

pretty ludicrously complicated... taint it ?

:scratchchin:

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