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Lady Celeste

Ford Motor Plant-Hapeville

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As reported at 11:25am today, Ford Motor Company has listed the Ford plant in Hapeville as one of their many plants to be closed. 2,100 people will lose their job. Ford has been losing market share and profitability and now they are doing whatever they can to turn around the American icon. What does this closure mean to Hapeville and Atlanta? With so much land next to the interstates, could this location become the next Atlantic Station....maybe Ford Station? Now that Ford is closing and GM's Doraville possibly next, what could this mean for the marginally educated by obviously skilled worker in metro Atlanta?

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Well Lady Celeste, I think it's pretty sad. But, it sounds like Ford is willing to pay for college for the affected workers! Another third are already able to retire - so who knows? I'm sure we will see some sort of mixed-use, very dynamic developments at both the closed auto plant sites. Each one's location could not be more prime IMO.

Brad has an excellent point or two on the other forum related to this.

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Well thanks John - though most would just consider me a harbinger of bad news. My primary concern is 'our' plans, which are largely shared by governing bodies, is to plan for the upper middle & upper class rather than planning for the lower & lower middle classes. The idea of replacing two military bases & two manufacturing plants to 'Atlantic Stations' is the ultimate statement on what our views are. We're not thinking what kind of QUALITY jobs lower income groups are going to work (without including a grease stained fast food cap) or where the baby boomers that aren't moving to Florida are going to live.

Of course, if Atlanta can get past the next 10 to 15 years - then I will acknowledge that Atlanta is indeed a city of the future. But I have my doubts...

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Well thanks John - though most would just consider me a harbinger of bad news. My primary concern is 'our' plans, which are largely shared by governing bodies, is to plan for the upper middle & upper class rather than planning for the lower & lower middle classes. The idea of replacing two military bases & two manufacturing plants to 'Atlantic Stations' is the ultimate statement on what our views are. We're not thinking what kind of QUALITY jobs lower income groups are going to work (without including a grease stained fast food cap) or where the baby boomers that aren't moving to Florida are going to live.

You have a very good point. Very few seem to be willing to plan for the lower classes in this town. These people have to go somewhere (especially if we are to keep them in Atlanta). The plant will be a blow to us over the next few years, but we will recover from it in the long run.

Of course, if Atlanta can get past the next 10 to 15 years - then I will acknowledge that Atlanta is indeed a city of the future. But I have my doubts...

I think it will pull through okay, but it won't be the same Atlanta we know of today. Atlanta seems to have an ability to change and adapt pretty well to the times.

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I've owned cars since the 70s, and grew up in a family that bought foreign automobiles (after the axle in a Ford, that my father owned, broke and almost killed all of us during a trip). So we had VWs in the 60s and Toyotas in the 70s. Because of that my first cars were always Japanese and typical of Japanese cars had little trouble, got good mileage, and they would trade in for decent money.

However in the early 90s I decided to give the American brands another chance and I bought a Taurus LX that was produced in the Hapeville Plant. I was happy to have a car that had an American flag on it and was also produced in a Southern state. My happiness soon turned to sadness when this vehicle turned out to be, without a doubt, the worst automobile purchase that I have ever made. During the warranty period, everything broke on this vehicle. Everything from the switches to the radio, the sunroof, the seats you name it it broke. Once the warranty expired it got worse and the car finally exploded in a white cloud of smoke in less than 5 years. Head gaskets were gone and this is for a car that was maintained by Ford mechanics in a Ford dealership on schedule. If that wasn't bad enough, the response I got from Ford basically was, too bad, you shouldn't have bought it. I did pay to have the gaskets fixed, but eventually I had to junk the car as it finally completely self destructed.

I will never purchase something produced by Ford again because of Ford's response to my request for compensation for something that was obviously a design and quality problem. Their biggest problem is in their arrogant treatment of their customers. I've owned other brands where they step up to design problems, Ford's answer is to deny it and fight you over it.

So I do feel bad for the employees affected by this closing however it was probably time for places such as this to be closed because they were unable to produce a decent vehicle IMO. The end result might be that Ford turns out to be a better company.

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I've owned cars since the 70s, and grew up in a family that bought foreign automobiles (after the axle in a Ford, that my father owned, broke and almost killed all of us during a trip). So we had VWs in the 60s and Toyotas in the 70s. Because of that my first cars were always Japanese and typical of Japanese cars had little trouble, got good mileage, and they would trade in for decent money.

However in the early 90s I decided to give the American brands another chance and I bought a Taurus LX that was produced in the Hapeville Plant. I was happy to have a car that had an American flag on it and was also produced in a Southern state. My happiness soon turned to sadness when this vehicle turned out to be, without a doubt, the worst automobile purchase that I have ever made. During the warranty period, everything broke on this vehicle. Everything from the switches to the radio, the sunroof, the seats you name it it broke. Once the warranty expired it got worse and the car finally exploded in a white cloud of smoke in less than 5 years. Head gaskets were gone and this is for a car that was maintained by Ford mechanics in a Ford dealership on schedule. If that wasn't bad enough, the response I got from Ford basically was, too bad, you shouldn't have bought it. I did pay to have the gaskets fixed, but eventually I had to junk the car as it finally completely self destructed.

I will never purchase something produced by Ford again because of Ford's response to my request for compensation for something that was obviously a design and quality problem. Their biggest problem is in their arrogant treatment of their customers. I've owned other brands where they step up to design problems, Ford's answer is to deny it and fight you over it.

So I do feel bad for the employees affected by this closing however it was probably time for places such as this to be closed because they were unable to produce a decent vehicle IMO. The end result might be that Ford turns out to be a better company.

The sad thing about it is that many American automotive companies are like or worse than Ford in customer service and satisfaction. My family purchased a Chevrolet Colorado in 2004 and that car has had som many problems in the past 2 years then the car that I will drive in the next 2 years. The Colorado has had the air conditioner go out and stall at certain times, numerous engine disturbances, and other problems. The thing about it is that we take good care of our vehicles and we have a Izuzu Rodeo that we got back in 1994 and it has NEVER had one single problem except for the A/C but that was due to old age. What does that tell you about American ingenuity? :whistling:

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I'm sorry for the Ford workers who will lose their jobs over the next few years.

I must say, however, that the era of signing with a big company for life is probably long gone. I think it's also pretty clear that the age of heavy manufacturing inside large American cities is long past.

As Brad says, it's somewhat worrisome to think about what happens to the many middle class working families who used to make up the bulk of the city's population. Yes, there are jobs in other fields, but I think the manufacturing jobs which are disappearing so fast these days were the bread and butter of the middle class for many decades.

ETA: I've had some damn good Fords!

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I'd like to try and stay optimistic (if realistic) about this, but it's kind of hard to, considering what effects this will have over the next few years. I hope it's not wrong to say that I hope (and think) that Atlanta will be able to pull through this, even if it won't be the same Atlanta it was 10 years ago (then again, Atlanta has a miraculous ability to adapt to change)

What Atlanta needs to focus on aside from the urbanization issues is catering to workers of the lower and lower middle classes. we don't want to become some solely upper middle and upper class haven like SF or boston, do we?

I wish the best of luck to the Ford employees not just here, but at all the soon to be shut down plants.

What part of the metro (and city's) economy would you say manufacturing makes up. How dependant is the metro and city upon manufacturing?

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ironchapman - Not very dependant anymore, sad to say. After you take out the two auto plants, the only heavy manufacturing that comes to mind is Lockheed/Martin in Marietta. Of course, we have the new Toyo tire factory that was basically rammed down the throats of the folks up in Bartow County.....

We are evolving. We are becoming more and more of a white collar city. I think the best bet for our neighbors on the lower rungs of the economic scale is distribution/logistics - of which we are huge in, and growing.

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We are evolving. We are becoming more and more of a white collar city. I think the best bet for our neighbors on the lower rungs of the economic scale is distribution/logistics - of which we are huge in, and growing.

Is that a good thing? (it obviously must be good for the lower class families out there to have jobs, but is it a good replacement for manufacturing jobs. Is it a stable job? Is pay similar or better than a manufacturing job? etc.)

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Is that a good thing? (it obviously must be good for the lower class families out there to have jobs, but is it a good replacement for manufacturing jobs. Is it a stable job? Is pay similar or better than a manufacturing job? etc.)

I think that question goes well beyond what happens in the city of Atlanta. Obviously the United States has been deindustrializing for the last few decades and the pace of that process is quickening. In my personal opinion, it's very problematical for businesses to continue to simply chase cheap labor, as ultimately that string has to run out. However, as matters stand, there's very little to mediate that trend.

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