Thursday, October 1, 2015

Auto Manufacturing Headed Back To Detroit

Proponents of the Greensboro-Liberty Megasite will be saddened to learn that contrary to popular opinion, Detroit isn't dead. From today's Washington Post:

"The improvement is at least partially tied to the resurgent auto industry. The last time joblessness was this low in Motown, in 2001, was the last time Americans purchased more than 17 million vehicles in a year. Car sales have accelerated this year and are again near that historic pace.

The mix of vehicles being sold tilts to Detroit’s favor as well. Lower gasoline prices have Americans buying more trucks and SUVs. That benefits Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, sellers of the two most popular pickup trucks, more than their rivals."

That's right, sales of American, Union Made automobiles are up despite everything they've been telling you about the auto industry moving south to escape union wages.

You see, what they keep failing to tell you is: Liberty, North Carolina has no steel mills. Michigan has dozens.

Liberty has no ports. Detroit has a port on Lake Michigan and access all the way to the Atlantic freaking ocean.

North Carolina's ports aren't big enough for today's modern super ships. Lake Michigan is.

North Carolina ports have no facilities for loading new automobiles. Michigan ports have been loading new automobiles for over 100 years.

Most North Carolina's railroads can't accommodate double decker rail cars as is used to haul new cars. Michigan railroads have accommodated them for years. 

The corporate headquarters of every American automaker remains in Michigan.

Research & Development for every major American Auto maker remains in Michigan.

Steel Mills need coal and natural gas. Currently North Carolina has neither and Eastern coal supplies in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama and Tennessee are all almost gone. Michigan is much closer to Western Coal Fields and natural gas supplies than is North Carolina.

Anti-union proponents like to point to the example of the textile and tobacco industries that once moved South to find cheaper wages. Might I also remind you that the move south by both those industries also came at a time when electricity began to replace water wheels and steam engines as a means to power mills and that the cotton and tobacco needed to make the textile and tobacco products was grown not up north but in the Southland. Greensboro is the perfect example: Cone Mills was founded on a site without a river to power it. Even if the wages had been the same it would have made economic sense for the Textile and Tobacco industries to remain up north.

Every southern state that has an auto maker has steel mills, adequate port facilities and modern rail systems North Carolina won't have for 20 to 40 more years.

It's about a whole lot more than getting out from under union wages and the auto industry isn't coming to North Carolina any time soon megasite or not.