Enjoying strong sales of trucks and SUVs, Fiat-Chrysler announced plans to build a new assembly plant in Detroit, even though GM and other auto manufacturers are scaling back their operations in the U.S. At a former Mack II Engine Plant, that closed in 2012, Fiat Chrysler will do final assembly of its new three-row, Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV starting in 2020, according to reports. 400 new jobs are expected.The news came as the automakers are facing pressure from President Donald Trump to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. General Motors, on the other hand, recently decided to halt production at five plants in North America including four in the United States.
Last week, GM CEO Mary Barra announced the elimination of 15,000 jobs and the closing of plants in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, as well as Canada. She also decided to halt production of six GM models, including the Chevy Cruze. On Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” program, a laid-off GM auto worker shared his pain. Tommy Wolikow, who worked at the Ohio plant, called on President Trump to help his region of the country. "President Trump ... our area definitely needs help," Wolikow said. "You're the president of the United States, you're the CEO, please start holding these companies like General Motors and Harley-Davidson accountable for their actions."
Wolikow said, "I feel like a lot of corporate greed is going on, and we know you have the power to help us." While he said that he had anticipated the plant closures, especially when GM announced the Chevy Blazer would be built in Mexico, Wolikow said, "With this last devastating news ... it was just the straw that broke the camel's back." Wolikow said added, "People in our area, they know that General Motors is the heart of our community. And if you take the heart away from the body, the body falls. And we're really afraid that the community's not going to be able to bounce back after this."
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.