GM, like Elvis Presley, has left the building

Elvis Presley passed away in 1977, and his many fans were so distraught that they could never admit that he was gone. So there were many so-called sightings of the great icon seen all over the world. It ended up that at many sporting events, sportscasters after giving the final scores, gave their refrain “And yes, Elvis has left the building!”

And in Lordstown, General Motors has in fact left the building, too.

Since March, when the giant complex ceased operations after 53 years of production, there were high hopes of a new product. But GM high management thought otherwise. The company’s reasoning seemed to be that no one preferred cars anymore, only SUVs, even though the Lordstown plant continuously produced quality workmanship, especially with the Chevy Cruze.

The latest news is that there will not be a new product presented by GM at Lordstown. But why?

It seems that GM and CEO Mary Barra have that wandering eye, always gazing at Mexico and Korea for their low wages producing their trucks and cars. Shall we say greed? Did they forget that back in 2009, good old USA bailed them out … not Mexico nor Korea?

We hear so much about what it takes to raise a family in this modern world, and the UAW autoworker had found his / her place in doing that. But it seems that GM and Barra want to forget about the American workers. It may be of note that Barra herself as CEO had compensation for 2018 of about $21.87 million, including stocks, options and performance awards.

The latest news is that the plant has been bought by Lordstown Motors Corp. for a figure that some say is $20 million. Plans are to build an electric full-size pickup truck called the Endurance using the Workhorse technology.

Workhorse is based in Cincinnati and is an electric delivery truck manufacturer.

We wish the best to them and hope it will help stimulate our Valley’s loss, which had a rippling effect in all facets of our Valley.

The last I heard is that after retooling, the company hopes to start production of the new electric truck sometime in 2020 with only 400 people employed, which sounds so disappointing.

Our hearts also go out to former Lordstown GM workers who had to make tough decisions with their families to relocate causing much depression and anxiety. Former Lordstown workers seem strewn across the U.S. I guess they still have a job to be thankful for.

We only hope that Endurance production will escalate with decent wages, and not hamburger-flipping incomes associated with minimum wages.

Even though this will be a help, it can never compare to the thousands that used to be employed at this giant complex that in turn elevated a great economy in our valley. GM has, in fact, turned its nose away from Lordstown even given the great location it has and the quality of workmanship over 53 years.

Closing the Lordstown plant and producing more American products in Mexico and Korea with much lower wages to pay seems to excite GM for the vast high profits they will encounter and probably there will be even celebrations on how they kept costs down at the expense of the American worker.

Is there really a true reason for not giving this great valley a new product? Who knows?

As for Elvis, there were probably many sightings within the Lordstown plants of yesterday. He may have been seen working in the stamping plant or in the passenger plant in the body shop or trim or chassis or final process. But even Elvis has left the Lordstown building.

Who knows? If the Endurance has great success and with good wages with several thousand employees, new sightings may appear, and even Elvis may again appear in the building, too.

Contact Whited at olebert1@aol.com.


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