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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The End Is In Sight

posted by on June 3 at 9:58 AM

Yes, yes, Dan has already posted about this great piece of news.

General Motors is closing four truck and sports utility vehicle (SUV) plants in the US, Canada and Mexico as it looks to environmentally-friendly cars.

Recent strikes at some GM factories have dented production of SUVs.

And surging fuel prices have heralded a shift to smaller vehicles, with GM also considering scrapping its Hummer brand.

Greed is getting better everyday!

We saw the birth of the little monster:

Now we hope to see its death for good!

RSS icon Comments


That commercial is insane. I know they're trying to be cute and all, but the city-destroying metaphor is pretty vile.

H3's the same as a Yukon, though.

Posted by Fnarf | June 3, 2008 10:02 AM

Finally! All those workers did not really want a paycheck to buy things like food or housing! Talk about a bunch of fucking greedy capitalists!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 3, 2008 10:07 AM

@2, yeah, isn't this this same blog that asks us to feel bad about *theater critics* losing their jobs?

Posted by bluh? | June 3, 2008 10:13 AM

Those people will find other jobs.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 3, 2008 10:14 AM


It's called the invisible hand of the marketplace, and if we could just stop the Red Bushies from trying to stop it with their anti-capitalist White House belief system, the market would self-correct and solve the problem.

Of course, this means killing all subsidies for ethanol (1), oil (2), and inefficient autos for business use (3).

Caveat: I own direct shares in firms getting rich off of 1, 2, and 3.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 3, 2008 10:20 AM

Dude, a lot of people's lives are going to be ruined...

Posted by shane | June 3, 2008 10:24 AM

Hundreds of "other" jobs in a city of 150,000? Probability: totally high!

Saddest thing is that the workers' union had just negotiated a wage freeze just to prevent something like this happening.

Posted by Gloria | June 3, 2008 10:30 AM

Jesus Christ people are losing their jobs because of this. Instead of closing the plants perhaps GM could've found a way to re-tool the lines to make other cars or something.

Why are you taking delight in the fact that more Americans are going to be out of work and looking for jobs? Is that a good thing? Really?

But maybe what we should do is round up all these laid off factory workers and take them to re-education camps and train them to work for the collective good. Because after all communism was so HUGELY FUCKING SUCCESSFUL in the other countries that adopted it.

Posted by PopTart | June 3, 2008 10:32 AM

Gloria, people move, towns change, people find new jobs, people go into business. The idea that somehow we are obligated to keep the status quo for a select group of people in specific places really, no matter the cost, is futile.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 3, 2008 10:34 AM

This is America--the moment a worker isn't profitable, they're kicked to the curb. That's capitalism.

Thank god we don't have communisnm, because those guys are heartless and think only of...the greater good?

Posted by Tiktok | June 3, 2008 10:41 AM

lets see how your flippent tone on employment is when you lose your job and find a "new one' scrubbing crab tanks at the fish market or better yet you find a "new one" ogden utah

Posted by linus | June 3, 2008 10:42 AM

My God, I agree with BA on something.

But it is likely that this will ruin lives. There aren't many manufacturing jobs left. Any of these workers who don't have other marketable skills, which may be the majority of them, will find it very difficult to get new jobs, and they definitely won't find jobs that pay remotely as well and with benefits.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 3, 2008 10:46 AM

PopTart, human capital will be allocated to more productive areas other than automobile manufacture. There is a transition period, of course, but in the end it is better that inefficient and unprofitable businesses close.

GM was already hemorrhaging money, retooling factories to produce automobiles that are more fuel efficient (and out of the GM line of vehicles they are inferior to their competitors) would lose money for no benefit.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 3, 2008 10:47 AM

Bellevue Ave, true enough. I comment because it's galling for people to consider this kind of event in only one self-serving way.

The closing of the plants is definitely a step forward in terms of the environment, but it seems callous to crow so single-mindedly over many people who are losing their livelihood.

Posted by Gloria | June 3, 2008 10:47 AM

@13 "human capital will be allocated to more productive areas other than automobile manufacture."

Soylent Green?

I kid, of course, sort of...

Posted by PopTart | June 3, 2008 10:50 AM

Buuuuutttt, I thought driving a fuel efficient vehicle was a sign of sexual inadequacy.

Posted by ratcityreprobate | June 3, 2008 10:53 AM

GM currently sells more Buicks in China than in the USA.
A LOT more.
They currently sell more Cadillacs in China than anywhere but the USA, and expect China to become the Number One market for Cadillacs within a few years.
Big Jeeps, SUV's, Mercedes, and 4 door luxo barges all sell quite well in China.

So what we are seeing is not some global awakening-
Its just the decline of the USA as the premier market for prestige, flash, and waste.

Since the entire population of the USA is about equal to the rounding error in estimating China's population, I wouldnt start cheering about the earth being saved quite yet.

The Indians have a taste for large Suv's as well, as evidenced by the Indian Billionaire whose new 27 story $2 Billion house in Mumbai has parking for 168 of his cars.

Posted by Ries | June 3, 2008 10:58 AM

If GM kept these workers and plants online, they would GO OUT OF BUSINESS. They're surprisingly close to collapsing as it is. If they go out of business, MILLIONS of workers suffer -- don't forget about all those pension benefits and stuff. They did this because they had to.

And, if you believe that it's a tragedy that the SUV lines are closing down, did you feel the same way when the small-car lines closed back at the beginning of the SUV boom?

Posted by Fnarf | June 3, 2008 10:59 AM

Linus, I've done quite a few jobs that people think only illegal immigrants are suited for. I don't have a problem doing a job that pays if I need the money. See, unlike so many people I don't take what I have for granted and I'm not opposed to doing something most people wouldnt.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 3, 2008 11:02 AM

@18 Well, true...point taken.

And yes I did.

Posted by PopTart | June 3, 2008 11:07 AM

Remember when a hummer was a good thing and not some moronic oversized vehicle for some moronic oversized asshole.

Posted by Sad Comment | June 3, 2008 11:11 AM

I hope EBTG got a lot of money for the use of that song...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 3, 2008 11:19 AM

i've done the fruit picking,dish-washing,septic cleaning , medical study route. It's ok because I'm 22, when your in your 20's it's alright to do what you can to survive. but when in my 30's, 40's,50's I'd want a stable job i can feed a family with...which from the looks of the american economy is a pipe dream. I feel bad for these workers in there 40's and 50's who have familys to support.It's just demeaning to pull the rug out from so many people. personaly I belive that when ceo's who have thousands of people depending on them make slimy or short sighted busness decesions...they should be punished..legaly or otherwise

Posted by linus | June 3, 2008 11:26 AM

linus, don't workers have a choice of where to work and arent they able to leave a company based on evaluating the business decisions being made? Seriously, the fact that people stay at a shitbird of a company run by self serving assholes doesnt mean that they are innocent victims taken along for a ride (unless there is explicit fraud)

There are already consequences for CEOs that make poor decisions at quality companies; they get fired. If they make bad decisions and don't get fired then that company most likely is crap.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 3, 2008 11:42 AM

So no more Hummers. Big deal. How is that going to stop the unrestrained growth in human population? As long as people are encouraged - even required - to breed uncontrollably, greenhouse gasses will increase. In case some of you didn't know, people produce carbon dioxide and nobody talks about reducing the birth rate.

Celebrate the demise of the Hummer, but don't fool yourself into thinking it will make a bit of difference as far as the environment is concerned.

Posted by montex | June 3, 2008 11:55 AM

I'm from the south where we have something called "right to work" laws. Belive me you union people have no idea how good you have it. as for ceo's getting fired...does that really ever happen without a 100 million severance package/ hardly a practecle deterent .. the second your busness takes on regular full time employees not only are you responsible for your investment but you also become responsibel for the people that depend on you for there daily bread and one's busness decisions should reflect that. They should have to face there employes eye to eye at the bare minimum

Posted by linus | June 3, 2008 12:01 PM


Yeah, commies have the greater good in mind. Just ask Tibet.

Now then, on to business......

If all of the plants are closing and no more SUVs are going to be made, I guess white blonde teenagers are going to have to start running over their adopted "siblings" with scooters. Gleeful that skilled workers are losing their jobs, Charles? Maybe they can get work as hack professors. Seems easy enough. And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by Charles_Mudede_Is_A_Latent_Racist | June 3, 2008 12:30 PM

linus, tell me who is employed right now: southern toyota workers or the gm employees in a union. unions may have had their place but with labor power being eroded by increasing world trade they can't command the labor market power tbey had.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 3, 2008 12:35 PM

@ #1 Actually, the H3 is based on the old Trailblazer platform and the H2 is based on the Yukon.

As far as SUVs are concerned, the H3 wasn't that big of a pig compared to other SUVs in its class.

If the H3 had a diesel option that could be converted to burn vegetable oil I'd be all over it.

Posted by monkey | June 3, 2008 12:53 PM

"How is that going to stop the unrestrained growth in human population?"

Actually birth rates around the world are dropping. In fact, in many parts of the world, China, Russian, Europe, Japan, the birth rate is already below replacement levels.

Posted by CA | June 3, 2008 2:13 PM

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