The Death of Motor City

THE DEATH OF MOTOR CITY THE RISE AND FALL OF DETROIT'S AUTOINDUSTRY The Detroit automotive industry fostered the American dream, was the epicenter of capitalism and was sustained by the hard labor of its workers. This timeline documents Detroit's rise to fame and fall to misfortune. 1890 Racial tension EMPLOYMENT IN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY BY DECADE POPULATION |Economic strain GRAPH BY DECADE (THOUSANDS) Economic prosperity THEBEGINNING OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY 1898 The rise of Motor City begins with the patriarch of the automotive industry, Henry Ford. He establishes Detroit Automobile Co, producing two cars before the company fails. 1899 Detroit's first auto manufacturing plant is established by Ransom E. Olds. 285,704 1900 105,758 1901 The Detroit automotive industry begins as 1904 Ford establishes Ford Motor Co. Ransom Olds introduces the Curved Dash Oldsmobile for $625. 1908 Charles Stewart Mott and William Durant found General Motors in Flint, Mich. 1914 Ford dramatically increased worker pay to $5 a day, almost a 50 percent increase. 5 Michigan 465,766 1910 75,721 Henry Ford introduces the famous Model T. Flint, Mich 1926 The automotive industry becomes the largest industry in the country, triggering booms in the related industries of oil, steel, glass and rubber. BOOM IN THE 1915 13 out of 15 of the country's most popular car brands were based in Detroit. INDUSTRY 1921 GM accounts for 12 percent of U.S. automotive market while Ford represents 61 percent. BOOM TIME 993,678 1920 210,559 1924 The automotive industry experiences a boom. In 1924, 70 percent of the cars sold in the U.S. are replacing older models. Dearborn 19 The iconic Ford River Michigan 1925 By June of 1925, the Detroit Three were established and headquartered in Motor City. Rouge plant was opened in Dearborn, creating over 90,000 jobs. 1935 1936 Detroit auto workers form the United The infamous Flint sit-down strike resulted Automobile Workers union, known for earning high wages and pensions for American auto workers. 1930 in GM signing an agreement with UAW. They were the first auto maker to do so. 1,568,622 221,332 Chrysler follows the next month after another sit-down strike. 1940 Ford Motor Company was recognized as one of the largest private employers of African Americans in the U.S., greatly contributing the growing ethnic diversity in Detroit. Ford, the longest holdout in resisting unionization, signed a collective bargaining agreement with UAW in 1941. MARKET SHARE 1942 22% 43% The entire automotive Ford General industry halts production of civilian cars and focuses efforts towards Motors 25% Chrysler military industry. 1,623,452 1940 338,353 1946 The worldwide automotive output reached 3.9 million units. 1945 Manufacturers resume with U.S. civilian auto production. 1950 Detroit named fifth largest city in the U.S. 350,000 people moved to the city seeking employment during the war. Car companies with plants in Detroit proper began to move their factories to suburban areas in Metro Detroit. Between 1945 and 1960, 33 plants we're built outside of Detroit proper, taking many employees out of the city and into the suburbs. POPULATION SURGE Detroit's automotive industry created over 296,000 manufacturing jobs. 1,849,568 1950 472,363 1947 Between 1947 and 1963, Detroit lost approx. 150,000 auto manufacturing jobs as smaller manufactures went out of business and the Big Three moved out of the city. 1955 The Detroit Three own 94% of the U.S. market. MARKET SHARE 27% 50% General THE MASSEXODUS Ford Motors 17% 1957 A total of 68 new parts factories open in Detroit suburbs. The east side of the city loses 70,000 automotive jobs alone. Chrysler 1,670,144 1960 735,000 1967 1960 Due to a mass exodus of parts plants moving from the city to the suburbs, many white automotive workers followed suit and Racial tension in Detroit came to a violent head in what's notoriously known as the 12th Street riot. The black middle class was A MASS rapidly expanding at this time, thanks to the automotive industry's strong unions and high employment rate. However, despite their middle class earnings, African-Americans were forced to stay in the lower incomes areas of Detroit. EXODUS planted their roots in the areas surrounding Detroit. This increased racial tensions and left African- Americans stuck in the city, unable to move to the suburbs. The 12st riot caused even more white middle class families to move to the suburbs while African-American families were further centralized in low income areas of the city. 1,514,063 1970 800,000 A SHIFT TO FOREIGN MODELS 1979 Chrysler Motor Co. received $1.5 billion in loans from the federal government to avoid collapse. During this time Chrysler shed over 30% of its workforce. 1973-74 The oil crises turned American consumers towards more fuel- efficient foreign models, giving Japan an advantage against their American counterparts. 1,203,368 1980 860,000 '79 would mark the first in a ten-year decline in motor vehicle and equipment industry jobs, representing a total loss of 105,000 jobs by the end of 1989. 1981 1985 The three largest Japanese automakers opened production plants primarily in the southern U.S., where right-to-work laws provided the right opportunities. Due to an increased desire for fuel efficient cars, Japanese automakers represented a large share of the U.S. automotive market. Japanese automakers signed the "Voluntary Restraint Agreement" that limited the number of units imported into the U.S. to 1.68 billion per year. 1,027,974 1990 1,054,200 1991 GM loses an industry record of $4.45 billion. 1998 Strikes at two GM parts plants in Flint, Michigan resulted in a temporary shutdown of all the company's North American assembly plants, halting all U.S. production. Michigan 951,270 2000 1,313,600 Flint, Mich 1996 Chrysler abandons Detroit proper and moves headquarters to Auburn Hills, Michigan. Michigan A MASS EXODUS THE INDUSTRY Auburn Hills COLLAPSE ECONOMIC CRISIS 2008 In December of 2008, GM and Chrysler are awarded a provisional $17.4 billion bailout from the Bush administration. 2007 Chrysler takes on the task of restructuring and cuts 25,000 jobs. 713,777 2010 678,500 Detroit's share of U.S. auto sales declined to 47%. Ford posts the worst year in company history -- $12.6 billion loss for 2006. 2011 The Census Bureau reveals that Detroit's population has decreased 25 percent from 2000 and is the lowest level in 100 years. 2013 In July of 2013, Detroit files the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in history. 2009 Between May and July of 2009, Chrysler and GM declare bankruptcy. The Obama administration assists in expediting bankruptcy proceedings. 2014 In December of 2014 Detroit emerged from the largest bankruptcy in history after 17 months. TM LIPony Parts Source: U.S. Census Bureau| The Week | Bureau of Labor Statistics | Wall Street Journal | NPR 24 000'000'z 1,750,000 000'00s'L 000'osz'L 000'000'L 000'0s 000'00s 000'osz 000'0s7 000'00s 000'osL 000'000'L 1,250,000 000'00s'L 1,750,000 000'000'z

The Death of Motor City

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Detroit Michigan is the birthplace of the American automotive industry. Originally home to Ford, GM, and Chrysler. Detroit was built on the backs of the men working on the assembly lines. Eventually, ...


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