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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

General Motors is investing $150 million to boost production at its Flint assembly plant. Company officials made the announcement at the plant on Wednesday.

The plant produces the automaker’s profitable heavy duty pick-up trucks. GM announced earlier this year that it would add another 1,000  jobs in Flint for the rollout of the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

In Flint Wednesday, GM President Mark Reuss said it’s important for the automaker to minimize logistical costs across its supply chain.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

General Motors CEO Mary Barra says the automaker will build a new electric vehicle at its Orion Assembly Plant - where it already builds the all-electric Bolt. She says details about the vehicle will come later.

Barra, who's been head of General Motors since 2014, says GM will invest $300 million in the plant and add 400 jobs.

"EVs are going to help us drive our vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion," says Barra. "And allow us to deliver cleaner air and a healthier planet."

Jeffrey Sauger / Chevrolet

The United Auto Workers union is suing General Motors over its decision late last year to "unallocate" three plants in the U.S., one of them the Warren Transmission Plant in Michigan.

"Unallocate" means, according to GM, ending production of the plants' current products while not assigning new ones.

The union says it's a code word for closing, which is prohibited under the current four year contract.

Harley Shaiken is a labor expert at the University of California Berkeley.

calypsocom / Flickr

General Motors says it’s extending the life of its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant for another seven months.

The company had planned to close the plant in June, but GM said Friday it will now keep it open through January 2020.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Generous Motors is officially gone.

The automaker’s plan to idle and try to close five North American plants is hurtling toward a Titanic battle over the direction of Detroit’s auto industry.

Two sides with totally opposed views of the market today where technology is heading and how it will affect jobs and investment will play out this year  the most consequential since the auto bankruptcies a decade ago.

person getting their blood pressure taken
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, new work requirements for Michigan Medicaid recipients are set to go into effect in 2020. A new study out of Arkansas gives an idea of the potential consequences for healthcare coverage in the state. Plus, the challenges that first-generation and minority students face in college, and a Grand Rapids program that wants to help them get “to and through” college.

General Motors

It's been a couple days of good and bad news for General Motors employees.

GM announced Tuesday it's adding a thousand workers to build heavy duty trucks at its Flint Assembly plant. That's just as the automaker begins laying off 4,000 white collar workers, over the next two weeks.

Lavora Barnes in a gray suit in front of the Michigan capitol building
Lavora Barnes for MDP Chair campaign photo

Today on Stateside, what you need to know about the thousands of white-collar GM workers losing their jobs today. Plus, a recent study finds that firearms are the second leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States, killing eight young people every day. 

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

General Motors is expected to start laying off about 4,000 white-collar workers on Monday.

The cuts come after GM's November announcement of dramatic restructuring. Multiple media outlets are reporting these upcoming layoffs are fewer than initially thought.

David Kudla is the CEO of Mainstay Capital Management. He says GM bought out thousands of white-collar employees close to retirement.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

United Auto Workers members gathered outside Detroit’s Cobo Center Friday evening during the North American International Auto Show’s annual charity preview event.

They held a protest and candlelight vigil in solidarity with General Motors workers who face layoffs or relocation.

That’s because GM plans to close five U.S. plants this year, including two in Michigan: Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly, and Warren Transmission.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer rallied with union members before the event. She promised to “stand with” with them, saying workers had to give up a lot to keep GM afloat over the past ten years.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

As General Motors tries to forge a new future at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, some employees spoke out Monday about how they feel the company has compromised their futures—and say the automaker owes them better.

Members of UAW Local 22 work at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant. GM announced around Thanksgiving it intends to close the plant, which employs about 1,600 people, sometime this year.

robert and bunny carlson
Courtesy of Ken Fischer

 

Today on Stateside, we speak with a Grand Rapids couple about their 61-year-long tradition of attending University Musical Society's performance of Handel's Messiah. Plus, General Motors announced Monday it will cut 14,000 jobs in North America. We discuss the disconnect between the political promises President Donald Trump made to workers in the Rust Belt, and the reality of running a transportation business in 2018. 

A white car with a sign atop it reading "driver education student driver."
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, General Motors announced that it will end production at several facilities across the nation, including two here in Michigan. Plus, the editor of a new collection of Joni Mitchell interviews talks about the singer-songwriter’s rise to fame and her musical debut in Detroit’s folk scene. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Warren Transmission Operations
General Motors

Two Michigan auto factories will halt production in 2019.

General Motors announced Monday morning that the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant and Warren transmission operations plant will cease production in 2019, as well as plants in Ontario, Ohio, and Maryland.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Judging by conventional wisdom and all-knowing polls, President Donald Trump and his Republicans face a historic wipeout in the coming mid-term elections.

But if you accept the Clintonian notion that “it’s the economy, stupid” such thinking may be just a bit too conventional.

House in Pontiac
Courtesy of John Bry

 

Today on Stateside, we hear about an effort to rehabilitate houses in an historic Pontiac neighborhood originally built by GM for its workers. Plus, what Michigan could do to encourage affordable short-term lenders to set up shop in the state. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual stories below. 

Michigan regulations make affordable short-term loans hard to come by

 

  

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

General Motors is warning that President Trump’s threatened tariffs on car imports could shrink the company and cost U.S. jobs.

GM to mass-produce autonomous vehicle in Michigan plants

Mar 20, 2018
GM Cruise LLC

General Motors announced last Thursday that it would spend $100 million to begin making production versions of its self-driving electric Chevy Bolt sedans at its Orion Township and Brownstown plants. The “Cruise AV,” will be the company’s first production-ready vehicle built to operate without a steering wheel, pedals, or manual controls.

Lloyd Hartnett assembly line in 1957.
flickr user John Lloyd / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

If you grew up in Michigan, you've probably got a pretty fair idea how the auto business works, including the basic fact that the vehicles rolling off assembly lines are going to be driven by people.

Daniel HowesDetroit News business columnist, joined Stateside to talk about the auto industry's innovative practices and what lies ahead. 

Part of the new Chevrolet Silverado lineup at the 2018 Detroit auto show.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The North American International Auto Show’s media preview week got started in Detroit this weekend.

Expect to hear a lot about trucks at this year’s show. GM got things rolling Saturday night with the debut of its new Chevrolet Silverado lineup.

With country music and nostalgic videos on loop, GM reminded us that it’s been doing trucks for 100 years. It’s a market that’s increasingly profitable and competitive in North America.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The future arrived Friday, courtesy of General Motors.

Just in time for the Detroit auto show. Imagine that.

Yep, that alleged archetype of American industrial decline says it will have a fully self-driving car on the road next year.

Not in three years, like its rival Ford. Not in whenever, like Elon Musk and his Tesla. Next year.

But let’s be clear: This isn’t the end of road for anything. It’s barely the beginning of the revolution transforming the auto industry.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Liz Wetzel never thought she'd work at General Motors, or any car company for that matter. 

She was an art student after all. 

But when her dad noticed there was a lack of female designers in the Pontiac studios where he worked, he suggested she pursue automotive design. 

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

It’s good to be Elon Musk.

The chairman of Tesla, the electric car maker, cops to, quote, “production hell” for its new Model 3 compact. And the response from Wall Street? Mostly just yawns.

Parts of the car are being “hand-built,” – for now, anyway – and Tesla’s stratospheric shares take only a slight hit. Seriously?

Yes, it’s good to be ol’ Elon – often wrong, never in doubt and seldom punished.

GM Canada

More than 2,700 union workers at GM's CAMI Assembly Plant in Ingersoll, Ontario walked off the job early Monday morning.

The plant builds GM's best-selling crossover, the Chevy Equinox.  GM also builds the Equinox in Mexico. 

A red Dodge RAM pickup
Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler is being sued for an alleged defect in the emissions systems of some trucks that can result in a 25% drop in fuel economy, according to a lawsuit filed by the firm Hagens Berman.

The lawsuit says Fiat Chrysler sold hundreds of thousands of 2013 to 2017 RAM 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks with faulty emissions systems. 

Owners who brought their trucks in for a repair of the systems found that the fix resulted in dramatically lower fuel economy.  

GM headquarters in Detroit
JODI WESTRICK / MICHIGAN RADIO FILE PHOTO

A battle between General Motors and an activist investor will come to a head this week.

David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital hedge fund quadrupled its stake in GM in the first quarter of the year.    It now owns more than 3% of the automaker’s stock.  

babeltravel/Flickr

GM is abandoning its 2015 plan to invest a billion dollars in India.  The automaker says it will continue to build cars at its Indian factories, but will export them to other countries.  Its brands will not be on the showroom floors of India.

The about-face makes sense to Rebecca Lindland of Kelley Blue Book.  She says the Indian car market is slowing, and Indian consumers rarely buy GM's most profitable vehicles - SUVs and trucks.  Instead, they tend to purchase very small vehicles, and GM makes next to no money selling those.

GM Building in Detroit
ANDREA_44 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

After nearly 70 years, General Motors is no longer operating in Venezuela.

Venezuelan authorities unexpectedly seized a GM plant yesterday earlier this week, a trend that has been common over the past few years as the country is in political unrest.

The GM plant stopped making cars in 2015 due to poor economic conditions in the country, but had been making auto parts instead.

Honda and GM team up to develop fuel cells here

Jan 30, 2017
Honda Logo
Wikimedia Commons

Honda and General Motors have joined together to develop hydrogen fuel cell systems. Both Honda and GM believe fuel cells could become a common technology in vehicles in the near future.

Fuel cells use hydrogen to create electricity to power the vehicle.

Both companies have been developing their own fuel cell technology for decades. Now, they're teaming up, to more quickly develop fuel cells systems that are smaller, lighter, and cheaper.    

The two companies invested equal amounts that total to $85 million.

The Chevy Bolt
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The Chevy Bolt won the 2017 North American Car of the Year. It’s a long-range electric car.

The EPA estimates the Bolt can travel 238 miles per charge, and GM thinks of it as an electric car that will have mass appeal. After a federal tax credit, the price of the car comes in around $30,000.

Tesla is planning to release a more affordable electric car. They call it the Model 3. But GM beat Tesla to it.

Karl Brauer is executive publisher at Auto Trader.