Gas prices and fiscal concerns are causing the demise of the American-made sport utility vehicle, a welcome development in the eyes of many fellow drivers but one that also spells the end for thousands of American jobs.
The New York Times:
Even a federal bailout could not save three of the last remaining plants in the United States still making sport utility vehicles.
“It’s been a good ride, man,” said Frank Hereford as he left the G.M. Janesville plant.
Reeling from its financial problems and a collapsing S.U.V. market, General Motors on Tuesday closed its factories in this city and in Moraine, Ohio, marking the passing of an era when big S.U.V.’s ruled the road. The moves followed the shutdown last Friday of Chrysler’s factory in Newark, Del., which produced full-size S.U.V.’s.
The last Chevrolet Tahoe rolled off the line here in Janesville shortly after 7 a.m. in the 90-year-old plant, which had built more than 3.7 million big S.U.V.’s since the early 1990s.
Most of the plant’s 1,100 remaining workers were not scheduled to work the final day, but many showed up for an emotional closing ceremony. Dan Doubleday, who had 22 years on the job, broke down in the plant’s snowy parking lot afterward.
“I was a fork lift driver,” he said, glancing at his watch through welling tears. “Until about seven minutes ago.”
Going the way of the dodo: the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV.