Does MDEC Meeting Mean That American Leyland is a Done Deal?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
does mdec meeting mean that american leyland is a done deal

A TTAC reader has emailed us a heads-up that the Michigan Economic Development Council (MDEC) has called an emergency meeting to prepare for the fallout from a GM – Chrysler merger. Warren, Michigan mayor James R. Fouts will chair the confab. Although Fouts is the only human on planet earth that’s more dour-looking than Alan Colmes, Hizzoner is apparently no stranger to hyperbole (even when it’s true). “I heard the Warren mayor interviewed on WJR a few minutes ago,” our informant informs. “He said the direct impact to the region is 145,000 jobs if the merger happens.” I guess you could say it’s that many jobs are on (or off) the line, all things considered. Which raises an interesting question: is this merger really going to receive federal backing given that the consolidation will create that kind of neutron-bomb style economic impact? Chances are, yes.

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  • Gamper Gamper on Oct 30, 2008

    jgholt: Dont feel so bad, I live 7 miles away from Chrysler HQ. There are a handful of Chrysler engineers and white collar employees that live in my neighborhood. My little hamlet north of Detroit is likely filled with Chrysler employees. Their departure will no doubt add to the downward spiral in real estate prices that began when VW left for Virginia, another incident which hit my neighborhood fairly hard. Yeah. I guess I should be thankful that I do not work in the auto industry and that the auto industry downturn really has no effect on my job security.

  • Autonut Autonut on Oct 30, 2008

    no_slushbox: you are correct and for that I hate you!

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Oct 30, 2008

    @gamper VW left Auburn Hills? I missed that. I mean, I missed the move, not Auburn Hills, sorry. Just goes to show how out of touch I am w/ VOA. Won't comment on moving to the vicinity of Dulles Airport. Their best location still was Englewood Cliffs ... oh, the fun we had in The City.

  • Jerome10 Jerome10 on Oct 30, 2008

    jgholt- May I ask what your profession is? I spent some time in Detroit, and my basic assessment is that nearly every stinkin job in that region stems from GM, Ford, or Chrysler. Lawyers? They work with the companies or with the people going after the companies, or the workers that work for the companies. Grocery stores? They sell the food to the auto workers and the lawyers. The guy that cuts grass? He cuts the grass of the grocery worker, the lawyer, and the auto worker. Etc etc etc. I don't intend to sound critical, but you mention it doesn't affect your job security. I'm gonna bet it probably will in more ways than one (unless you own a business not auto related at all that just happens to be located in SE Michigan). But even beyond that, Detroit gets the same housing garbage plaguing the rest of the nation, plus the layoffs the past several years = double whammy of huge housing value drops. Now knock another, what, probably 40,000-50,000 jobs disappearing across Michigan, with a good 1/3 or more being in Metro Detroit and housing values are going to tank even further. Unfortunately you won't be able to escape that either. Then you've got the people with pensions and health care being paid for by the Big 3. When they go bankrupt those will all be gone. Now where are they gonna go? If they're old enough they'll get the social security and some medical assistance from the gov't, but I bet their homes were purchased based on their pensions, not their social security check. Same with their healthcare. I love Michigan dearly. I was born on the west side. I still have a lot of family and friends living there. (Besides Detroit) It is a beautiful state with wonderful outdoor activities. It pains me to no end to see all this happen. But to me the writing is on the wall. Michigan (but by far mostly SE Michigan) is going to be a run-down ghost town. Not in the sense nobody will live there, but more in the sense that what was once great, wealthy, bustling, and full of activity and commerce will just be a sleepy shadow of its former self. Like the City of Detroit, but for a much greater amount of land area. The glory days are over. And not in the sense that Michigan will be similar to other states, it will be BEHIND most states, from a position of might just 25-30 years ago where one could argue Michigan was one of the largest engines of our economy. So so so sad to see. I don't want to go back there and think of the good-old-days. Or have it feel like I'm visiting Trenton New Jersey or Fall River, Mass or some other now-sleepy east coast town that grew in the good days and is now just made up of people who don't want to be there but can't afford to leave. But I see this as the only future for Michigan....