Honda opens new U.S. plant as Detroit seeks bailout

From Reuters, November 17:

GREENSBURG, Indiana (Reuters) – The rest of the country may have been debating the possible bankruptcy of America’s iconic automakers on Monday, but in southeast Indiana more than 1,000 U.S. workers were cheering the opening of Honda’s newest assembly plant. …

The rise of Honda’s mammoth new car plant in America’s farming heartland is a stark contrast to the layoffs and plant closings announced in recent months by General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC.

But for the Honda workers here, their jobs — with a starting wage of $18.41 an hour — are just as much part of the U.S. auto industry as those at their imperiled Detroit competitors. They just don’t get as noticed.

“GM has laid off and cut back how many people and Honda is building a plant. What is Honda doing right? Maybe they should look at this model and learn something instead of getting a bailout,” shrugged new Honda worker Larry Giles, 41.

According to 2007 figures compiled by the Center for Automotive Research, foreign automakers including Honda, Toyota and Nissan employed some 113,000 workers in the United States, about half of the 239,000 employed by Detroit’s Big Three.

Read the whole article here.

Why would politicians bail them out?  Diffuse costs and concentrated benefits.

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