The GM bomb is the end of Trump's bilillusion
The largest US automaker GM discontinues nearly 15,000 jobs. Rinse is the difficult market situation and changed preferences. What GM Hides: A Compassion Carries Donald Trump's Commercial War.
Even for Dave Green, it was a nasty surprise. "My phone rang at six in the morning at six o'clock," said District Manager of the United States UAW auto association in Lordstown, an industrial city in eastern Ohio. "I was told to meet at nine."
It was less a discussion than the message of a bad news: Lordstown's financial heart, since 1966, the current factory in the largest US car company General Motors, where Green and his 1200 colleagues work, will be closed on March 1 next year.
Picture: AP / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"It was as though someone had kicked me in the intestine," Green said later in the UAW branch diagonally opposite GM factory exports. Behind him on the wall were shelves dozens of trophies won by car manufacturers for their work, flanked by a proud US Stars and Stripes.
But Green was militant: "I'm not giving up hope."
However, this jump is slim because GM completely discontinues production of Chevy Volt – the only model the Group still manufactures in Lordstown. Otherwise, the hammer will shut down to shut down three US plants and two more in Canada at the end of 2019 – including the historic Hamtramck plant near Detroit's headquarters, where Chevys, Cadillacs and Buicks roll off the assembly line.
Places are threatened by wasteland
Nearly 15,000 GM employees in North America are affected by the clear – over 15 percent of the labor force, including a quarter of the management. With factory closures and the completion of several old models, GM hopes to save nearly $ 6 billion a year by 2020.
Image: EPO / EPA
"We are planning Christmas parties for the children," complained Green, adding that the measures were not just for factory workers. But only in Lordstown indirectly another 10,000 employees of suppliers and other companies – not to mention the surrounding restaurants, medical practices and hospitals.
The background is complex. The official explanation is that in the US and China, the largest GM market, demand falls as preferences and technology change. The most dangerous rivals are in Silicon Valley technology companies like Google, Apple and Tesla with their self-propelled cars.
But that's probably only part of the truth.
The other sounds like this: Like the rest of the global network-based automotive industry, GM suffers from the aftermath of the trade war that US President Donald Trump has initiated with the rest of the world. In October, Ford, number two in the US market, announced similar cuts: Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, it said, had cost Ford $ 1 billion so far.
GM also reported $ 300 million in additional costs in the last quarter from higher steel and aluminum prices. The problems are likely to worsen when Trump takes seriously the threatened car prices he has been playing for several months, despite protests from his own advisors.
But as always, Trump rejects some responsibility and instead replaces it with GM. "I'm not happy," he said Monday after a "very tough phone conversation with GM boss Mary Barra, but it had nothing to do with his trade policy." In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said, "You get involved in the wrong person "he threatened the company. GM must stop building cars in China and" quickly "resume a factory in Ohio.
Behind Trump's spicy words, however, it is more likely to be concerned about their own future. At the 2016 presidential election he had clearly won in the regions where they threatened the GM plants. He then came to Youngstown, Lordstown's neighbor, to swear the workers to recycle all lost jobs for decades earlier: "They all come back," he called to them. "Do not move, do not sell your house!"
Now, the opposite is true – not a good fortune for Trumps hope to be re-elected in 2020: the hero of the workers can make them disappointed. It is the end of an illusion that has always been transparent to others.
The only ones who are pleased with this debacle, GM shareholders: The stock price rose after the announcement of the news by almost five percent.
Finally, you can buy it: The Trumpy Bear
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