Ford Motor Company Timeline. Why are all the big American car companies based in Michigan? Photograph by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.
Mitt Romney eked out a win in Michigan’s Republican presidential primary Tuesday, overcoming criticism of his opposition to the automotive industry bailout. Why are all major auto manufacturers headquartered in or near Detroit? Because Henry Ford lived there. How Ford Avoided the Meltdown that Hit GM, Chrysler. The Obama administration is forcing GM and Chrysler to obtain big concessions from union workers and lenders to qualify for more federal aid.
Ford, however, is having better success on both fronts without a government mandate. Unlike GM and Chrysler, the company has reached agreement with the United Automobile Workers to finance half of its new retiree health care trust with company stock. Earlier this week, Ford also completed a deal with its creditors to retire $9.9 billion in corporate debt—some of which was part of the big borrowing in 2006. Investors have welcomed the moves. Ford’s stock climbed 13 percent to close at $3.95 on Wednesday, the highest it has been since October. That was when the car market crashed and the auto companies began burning through huge amounts of cash.
Mr. “From Day 1, we had no desire to access the government money,” he said. Last month, the presidential task force forced Mr. How Detroit Leaders Ignored Causes of Bankruptcy for 65 Years. Auto industry decline, racial tension at the root of Detroit's collapse. DETROIT (AP) -- Blue-collar workers poured into the cavernous auto plants of Detroit for generations, confident that a sturdy back and strong work ethic would bring them a house, a car and economic security.
It was a place where the American dream came true. View full sizeFILE - This 1920s photo shows employees working in the Packard Motor Car Co. in Detroit. (AP Photo/File) It came true in cities across the industrial heartland, from Chicago's meatpacking plants to the fire-belching steel mills of Cleveland and Pittsburgh. It came true for decades, as manufacturing brought prosperity to big cities in states around the Great Lakes and those who called them home. The Death of American Manufacturing. For over a half century, American manufacturing has dominated the globe.
It turned the tide in World War ii and hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany; it subsequently helped rebuild Europe and Japan; it enabled the United States to outlast the Soviet empire in the Cold War. At the same time, it met all the material needs of the American people. During this period, many American icons were born. Companies like General Motors, Ford, Boeing, Maytag and Levi Strauss became household names. American manufacturing became synonymous with quality and ingenuity. On the back of this industrial output rose America’s middle class. Mexico snags big Ford engine investment as auto industry migrates south. Ford confirmed Friday it plans to invest $2.5 billion to build new engines and transmissions in Mexico and will eventually hire an additional 3,800 workers in a move that underscores a movement of automotive investment south from Canada and the U.S.
Ford said it will invest: $1.1 billion to build a new engine plant within its plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, to build new gasoline engines. Those engines will be exported to the U.S., Canada, South America and the Asia-Pacific region for use in Ford's small cars. That plant will employ about 1,300 workers.$200 million to expand its four-cylinder and diesel engine capacity at the Chihuahua plant and add 500 jobs. Outsourcing Jobs to ... Detroit?
Now, one tech company is declaring the latest trend, “Outsourcing to Detroit.”
Outsourcing generally refers to hiring an outside firm that’s cheaper, generally in countries like India or China, but Detroit was hit so hard by the auto industry crisis of the past two years, both in terms of jobs and real estate prices, that for American companies it’s starting to look like a viable competitor to developing nations. Following moves by Quicken Loans and Blue Cross Blue Shield to relocate workers from the suburbs to downtown Detroit, IT-services provider GalaxE, based in Somserset, NJ, decided to set up shop there too. Outsourcing from New Jersey to Detroit may seem like a punchline, but, in fact, it makes a lot of sense: The costs are just a little bit higher than they would be to set up shop in a place like Brazil, GalaxE CEO Tim Bryan said, but with added benefits. The same currency, same language, same culture and same time zone make it more attractive.
The Downfall of Detroit. By the time Detroit declared bankruptcy, Americans were so inured to the throbbing dirge of Motown’s Greatest Hits — 40 percent of its streetlamps don’t work; 210 of its 317 public parks have been permanently closed; it takes an hour for police to respond to a 9-1-1 call; only a third of its ambulances are driveable; one-third of the city has been abandoned; the local realtor offers houses on sale for a buck and still finds no takers; etc., etc. — Americans were so inured that the formal confirmation of a great city’s downfall was greeted with little more than a fatalistic shrug.