Flint Hearts Rick Wagoner?

John Horner
by John Horner

On the occasion of GM's 100 year anniversary, the Kalamazoo Gazette held a "live-by-email" interview with GM CEO Rick Wagoner. So, PR fluff aside, how many more jobs losses is GM-heavy Flint, Michigan going to endure? Uh… GM is pitting Flint against other sites for the production of its next generation 1.4-liter turbocharged four-banger. For which Wagoner claims a nine mpg improvement over "Chevy's current entry in this segment." (Did he means the Aveo or the Cobalt? Smart money is on the Aveo, since it currently sticks out for its poor fuel economy vis a vis the class leaders.) Rick also said the new engine might be used as the ICE portion of the Volt. Now hold on. If the Volt is due into production in about 18 months, shouldn't the engine choice be a done deal? As for Flint's chances of getting the four-banger and other new projects, Rick told Flintonians to "rest assured, we have every intention of ensuring that Flint has every opportunity to play an important role in GM's future." A direct question: will the last local final assembly plant, Flint Truck Assembly, emain open? Rick gave a long winded non-answer which came down to that GM plans to keep building pickup trucks– somewhere. Oddly enough, the words flex-fuel, hydrogen and ethanol are nowhere to be found in Rick's latest recitation of how GM plans "to be a global automotive leader for the next 100 years." The choice of words is telling. "A global automotive leader", not "THE global automotive leader." My how the mighty have fallen.

John Horner
John Horner

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  • Mel23 Mel23 on Jul 22, 2008
    Flint has already moved on to a booming new economy based solely around its fabulous Dort Hwy strip clubs. Well there's your answer then. Just levy a small surcharge tax on these enterprises and hand it over to GM for building the plant in Flint. Of course the handout must exceed that from the competing desperate cities. Not much different though from what New York gave recently gave IBM for an upgrade to a chip plant in East Fishkill. IBM is doing a $1B upgrade with the state pouring in $140M to 'save' 1,000 jobs. Of course IBM wasn't about to close the plant anyway.
  • BKW BKW on Jul 22, 2008

    jurisb: "Roger & Me," Michael Moore's flick about the troubles in Flint was made quite a while ago. Dort was once Billy Durant's partner when they made horse drawn carriages.

  • Steve_K Steve_K on Jul 22, 2008

    Flint heart Wagoner? Doubtful, seeing as how there are acres of level ground where Buick City and a huge Chevy plant ("Chevy in the hole") used to stand. Flint has become a landmark for depressed/ruined metropolitan areas, as referenced in the movie "Semi-Pro." Plenty of good people still around there though.

  • Capeplates Capeplates on Jul 23, 2008

    As a UK resident I initially thought the "Kalamazoo Gazette" was an in house magazine for the office equipment company. Whoever thought of calling a place Kalamazoo in the first place - a hippy high on angel dust!