Flint Revisited

Although Michael Moore has recently released another of his films, Capitalism: A Love Story, recent developments in a site of one of his previous exercises—Roger & Me (1989)—is changing what was portrayed then portrayed.

Although Michael Moore has recently released another of his films, Capitalism: A Love Story, recent developments in a site of one of his previous exercises—Roger & Me (1989)—is changing what was portrayed then portrayed. That is, GM is spending more than $230-million in Flint, Michigan, on manufacturing facilities there is support of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

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That’s right: Flint.

And it is important to point out that in addition to the investment in equipment, the investment in Flint represents more than 500 jobs, which is a heck of a lot more significant than dies and welding robots.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Flint Engine South. $202-million for renovating the former I5/I6 engine manufacturing operations to make them capable of producing the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder for the Cruze and the 1.4-liter engine generator for the Volt (the Volt, as you may recall, doesn’t use the engine to power the wheels of the car, just to charge the battery).
  • Flint Metal Center. $1.7-million. This is for press line refurbishments. Volt stampings will be produced there. (The Flint Tool and Die facility designed the stamping dies for the Cruze. What’s more, It is responsible for the construction and tryout of the dies for the Volt. About 50% of the dies for the Volt were designed at Flint Tool & Die, and all of them were engineered there.)
  • Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center. $30-million. The robotic welding cells for the Volt and for the Cruze are being built in this facility.

In the 2000 census, Flint had just under 125,000 residents. So what would $230-million mean? Well, based on a ticket price of $9.50 per evening performance of Capitalism: A Love Story, GM could buy 24,210,526 tickets, which would mean all residents of Flint would have to see it 194 times, fewer if they sprung for popcorn and sodas in lieu of some of the ducats, but still far too many times.