The Lights Are On in Detroit - 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Long-Term Road Test

2012 Chevrolet Sonic Long Term Road Test

2012 Chevrolet Sonic: The Lights Are On in Detroit

January 30, 2012


Three years ago, a bunch of guys said it was time to turn out the lights on Detroit.

They were guys in New York and Washington D.C. and Dallas and L.A. and all over. Wall Street guys and telecom guys and business guys and shopkeepers elected to office. They waved their arms a lot. They seemed very important. They certainly thought they were important.

And now, three years later, you can peer through the trees and, look, the lights are still on. Those guys in Detroit are still building cars.


In fact, they happen to be building the most practical, most relevant cars in the world. Really, if you were handing out trophies, which would you pick as a better car for the times in which we live, the Audi A7 or the Chevy Sonic?

Times are tough, of course. The engines coming to the Orion Township assembly plant in Detroit where the Sonic is built are brought in from Mexico and South Korea for the moment. About 40 percent of the hourly workers are entry-level hires earning half what union workers should make. There are half the skilled trades workers employed in the plant than when it was building Malibu sedans two years ago. And there’s also a lot of employees from various suppliers working at low wages.

But every day, about 1,750 people go to work at Orion. And the car they’re building is great — and that’s as in great.

The lights are on in Detroit. And I think that’s really something.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, @ 2,223 miles

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