Muscle Cars

Muscle Car Talk: The Old Production lines.

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Only you folks with a very keen eye will be able to identify this scene but, I can tell you that we all miss it when we know what it produced at its heights.

It’s an abandoned car line in Detroit, Michigan. This plant had thousands of people working in there making cars and providing for a robust economy. I say this with a broken heart as I live in steel country. I remember factories that employed fifteen thousand people at one time that are now empty. Think that through. A small town along a river and the plant had fifteen thousand people working 24/7 and over a very short period of time closed down. The cities folded up as the tax revenue was not there. Illegal drugs along with other illegal activities sprang up. Now, I am not talking about one town but lots of them and the ripple effect of a closure.

The blame falls on many laps and we could argue for days what caused this issue but until you go to a plant that is now empty and walk around you don’t understand the pain you see in those now dis used buildings. I witnessed plants like this in full force, working day and night producing a product.
The night sky would be lit up from the steel in the ovens or on the flat rollers. You could hear the whistle blow at the start or end of a shift. Most of us had friends or family members working in these plants. Now, most of the plants are dead.

Global economy rules
I was working with a trucking company on some ways for them to save fuel costs. They had a problem I could not fix. Turns out companies were buying steel in China, shipping the rolls half way around the world to a port in Cleveland, Ohio and then being trucked to a local company near Cleveland cheaper than it would be to make the rolls right in the Cleveland Ohio area. If that does not get your attention, nothing will. The dumping of the product ruined cities, economies and ultimately lives.
However, this is global. Its simply cheaper to import raw materials and products than it is to make them locally.

When I would walk through a giant plant like this one and this is plant 21 in Detroit and see nothing I am lost for words. I was in plants so big that railroad cars would drive into the buildings, pick up the products and drive out the other side. It was a site to see.
Now, it’s gone from the Northeast at least in this fashion. Yes, some cars and Jeeps are still made in northern Ohio and southern Michigan but most are now in the southern states. That is another argument too for another day but my intent was for all you folks maybe not old enough to know any of this or have witnessed this. Towns like Warren, Ohio or Niles, Ohio are shadows of themselves.

I encourage you to read about this at your local library or book store. It affected all of us in the automotive industry and it is yet another thing we will never see again.

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