Episode 6: ‘The End of the Line’
Producer/Director Alyse Shorland
With its focus on a way forward for self-driving vehicles and renewable fuels, General Motors is leaving some manufacturing vegetation just like the one in Lordstown, Ohio, in its rearview. Workers who spent a lifetime on the plant — and constructed their lives round G.M. as they constructed the corporate’s vehicles — are dropping their jobs. But this spherical of layoffs is completely different from the decades-old shifts in the auto trade. Competition from Silicon Valley, strain from Wall Street and basic adjustments in how we get round are forcing the corporate to remodel itself. It could also be simple to say it’s not honest, however the American financial system might not have room for equity anymore.
“The Weekly” visits Lordstown to speak to some employees earlier than their final shift, and our correspondent sits down with G.M.’s chief govt, Mary Barra, who says she’s attempting to save lots of the automotive firm.
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The closing of the Lordstown plant has disrupted hundreds of lives and upended politics in a county that flipped from Democrat to Republican in the 2016 presidential race, and the place candidates are making their pitches for 2020. Read Sabrina’s article about Lordstown voters’ ambivalence toward President Trump.
The president tried to throw Lordstown a lifeline in May when he announced that a small, little-known manufacturer of electric vehicles would buy the G.M. plant. It isn’t a done deal, and few people had much faith it would replace many of the lost jobs.
When the plant made its last car in March, it marked the end of a way of life that Lordstown had known for a half-century, when almost everything in town revolved around the G.M. plant.
G.M.’s announcement in November 2018 that it was shuttering the Lordstown plant and four others caught many people by surprise. Wall Street responded enthusiastically to the news, sending the carmaker’s stock up nearly 5 percent that day.
Director of Photography Vanessa Carr and Andreas Burgess
Video Editor Adrienne Haspel and Pierre Takal
Senior Story Editors Dan Barry, Liz O. Baylen, Liz Day
Associate Producer Brennan Cusack