Automakers Put Positive Spin on Detroit Bankruptcy


  • Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant Picture

    Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant Picture

    Chrysler, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, says it hopes to play a positive role in the revitalization of the Motor City. | July 19, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • General Motors, Ford and Chrysler express optimism that a Detroit bankruptcy filing will ultimately strengthen the Motor City.
  • "The city has a difficult job ahead and we are optimistic that governmental leaders will be successful in strengthening the community," said Ford Motor Co. in a statement.
  • GM said it has "assessed the potential implications of Detroit's bankruptcy and we do not anticipate any impact to our daily operations or business outlook."

DETROIT — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler express optimism that a Detroit bankruptcy filing will ultimately strengthen the Motor City.

"We believe a strong Detroit is critical for a strong Michigan and our industry," said a statement issued by Ford Motor Co. "The city has a difficult job ahead and we are optimistic that governmental leaders will be successful in strengthening the community."

Detroit, the home of the U.S. auto industry, became the biggest American city to file for bankruptcy when it filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on Thursday. The embattled city listed assets and debts of more than $1 billion in a petition filed in court in Detroit.

Despite the name "The Detroit Three," General Motors is the only domestic automaker with headquarters in Detroit. Ford is headquartered in nearby Dearborn, Michigan, while Chrysler is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

GM said it has "assessed the potential implications of Detroit's bankruptcy and we do not anticipate any impact to our daily operations or business outlook."

GM employs 2,996 people in Detroit, most of them at the company's headquarters in the Renaissance Center. Another 1,225 people are employed in surrounding Wayne County, most of those at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant, which is the home of the Chevrolet Volt.

"Our first thoughts, however, are with our neighbors throughout the city," said the GM statement. "GM is proud to call Detroit home and today's bankruptcy declaration is a day that we and others hoped would not come.

"We believe, however, that today also can mark a clean start for the city. We hope that all parties recognize the sacrifices to follow can help rebuild a stronger Detroit with a level of services and quality of life its citizens deserve. A healthy auto industry will play a part in Detroit's comeback story and GM is doing its part."

Chrysler said it hopes to play a positive role in the revitalization of Detroit.

"Chrysler Group believes in the city of Detroit and its people," said the company in a statement. "We not only continue to invest in the city and its residents by adding to our presence in Detroit, we also are committed to playing a positive role in its revitalization."

The SRT Viper is built at Chrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, while the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. Chrysler's Mack Avenue Engine I plant in Detroit builds the company's 4.7-liter V8 engines.

Despite the optimistic attitude of The Detroit Three, Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst, predicts that there will be bumps in the road with the Detroit bankruptcy.

"The Chapter 9 filing of bankruptcy documents Thursday by the city of Detroit, home of General Motors, promises to be messier and lengthier than that of GM and Chrysler in 2009," Krebs said. "GM and Chrysler had the benefit of the Obama administration's automotive task force that pushed them through bankruptcy proceedings in record time and followed up with money for their bailout. Detroit has no such help."

GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Detroit's bankruptcy filing is a "last resort to return this great city to financial and civic health."

Edmunds says: The Detroit Three have the Motor City's back during a difficult time.

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