I am not sure if you realize this, but the U.S., and yourself, are starting to fall in love with Detroit: the city, the lights, the struggle, the never-give-up mentality, the sports, the music, and most importantly, the cars. The city of Detroit, and the people who live and work there, have gone through some difficult times in t he past three years. There have been massive layoffs, high unemployment (higher than the national average), and declining property values (which have fallen more than the industry average). However, after all the bad news, Detroit is willing to fight back. Their collective fighting spirit is powerful enough to help the city once again rise from the ashes like the mythical phoenix.Spirit of Detroit

Source: Vito Palmisano

Until now, Detroit always seems to be mentioned as the town between New York and Chicago, known as the town that built the vehicle our parents drove, the town that endured the historic riot of 1967 and had its Mayor arrested. Detroit is the city that is 45 minutes away from the University of Michigan (As told on the campus tour), and Detroit is the town that other towns get compared to when they riot after a sports victory or loss (as in the case of the 2011 Vancouver loss in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

However, things are starting to change. You may not realize this, but America, and you, is falling in love with the city of Detroit. Many started to take notice of Detroit during the Super Bowl when a commercial featured Eminem driving a Chrysler 200 through the city. The commercial featured some of the most iconic images of one of America’s greatest cities. America took notice of Detroit that day, and just like many love stories, America and yourself, began to see the city in a new light. It may not just be that one commercial, or Eminem. Maybe it was one of the home town musicians: Bob Segar, Kid Rock, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, or Diana Ross. But the love that America has for Detroit goes beyond music. You may be part of the America that has fallen in love with Detroit sports. In 2011, the Detroit Tigers were two games out of their second World Series appearance since 2006, (all this after 2003, when the Detroit Tigers amassed the most losses in MLB history). Then there are the Detroit Lions, who have achieved a massive comeback and are now one of the top teams in the NFL. This comes after 2008, when the Detroit Lions had 0 wins and 16 losses. Then there is the Detroit Redwings, and if you are familiar with NHL Hockey, your favorite team may already be the Detroit Red Wings.

You may not love sports, and you might not love music, but you may be one of the many who love a comeback story, who always roots for the underdog. Maybe it’s the story that is happening as I write this that makes you fall in love with the city of Detroit. The fall and rise of the Detroit Three (General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler) may have been the story to melt your heart.

You may be impressed by the fact that Ford went it alone, as many of us have done before, and took no loans or assistance, and has now fought its way back to the top. The Ford product line has gone from being slightly above average in 2007 to being cutting edge, green thinking, and a technology leader in 2008. The new Ford Focus averages 40 miles per gallon; the top selling Ford Explorer has been refreshed enough to bring a dying vehicle back to life. Now that Ford has stood up from its ten count we can only wait to see what is next. But to keep you from waiting too long, the company is introducing more great products, like a Ford Focus EV, and more advancements in green technology.

Then there are Chrysler and General Motors. Back in 2008, it seemed that both automotive companies were officially out for the count. Chrysler was having trouble with the vision of its product line up, and after declaring bankruptcy, it was unclear what Chrysler would look like once they reemerged. There were a number of rumors that Chrysler might not exit bankruptcy, that its stores would be sold off in groups to the highest bidder, and that it would not make it to 2012. Instead, Chrysler has launched new vehicles with cutting edge technology, such as the Chrysler 300 and 200, the Dodge Charger, the Dodge Durango, and the Fiat 500. These cars have brought in a new group of customers and made some older ones happy to return. Chrysler has thrown the old out the door, and will continue to move forward. Chrysler is the reason America took notice of Detroit during the Super Bowl.

Many do not realize that John Varvatos was Detroit born. Although Detroit Lion defense tackle Ndamukong Suh is not from Detroit, he has become adopted by the city, by making it known that hard work and resilience have made him who he is–similar to Chrysler. Chrysler in fact is showing that hard work, resilience, and a fighter’s attitude will lead to products like the Chrysler 300, 200, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Chrysler, like the city of Detroit itself, looked like it might be beaten, but is coming back.

General Motors follows the same story from a different angle. The industry always knew General Motors would survive, but America was not sure if they would ever be the same. General Motors has always been the leader in the industry. The company was the leader in the global automotive industry, but had to face a lot of negative publicity upon entering bankruptcy.Detroit Riverwalk

Source: Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

Now General Motors is back and as strong as ever. The company kept its head down and moved forward between 2009 and today. Now that General Motors is able to look up, it can see that all the hard work and tough decisions made in 2008 paid off today. The Chevrolet Volt is cutting edge green technology. The product allows drivers to go off the grid and drive 40 miles before the engine kicks in. The fuel efficient Chevrolet Sonic has given Chevrolet new breath in its entry level vehicles, and the Chevrolet Camaro–both convertible and coupe–has given those who pine for American muscle an ideal vehicle to drive. Cadillac has a bright future and will soon be noticed by many more Americans as it continues to produce products of the highest quality, and as Buick continues to be a top seller in China, and constantly reinvents its image, sales will follow quality.

The comeback story of the Detroit Three gets better. In recent UAW negotiations, the Detroit Three is planning to spend billions of dollars on investments in the U.S. manufacturing industry. This investment will create jobs through 2015, and those jobs will provide people who are currently unemployed with a steady income. This investment will hopefully give the economy a much-needed jolt.

Investment in U.S. Manufacturing

Chrysler

Ford

General Motors

$1.3 billion in Indiana Transmission Plant

Add 12,000 jobs by 2015

Retain or create 6,400 jobs

$600 million in Belvidere, Illinois Plant

Invest $16 billion in U.S. including $6.2 billion to U.S. plants

$2.5 billion in investment

$850 Million in Sterling Heights Plant

Invest in Flat Rock, Mi plant and guarantee next generation Fusion and next generation Mustang

Reopen GM’s Speing Hill, Tennessee plant

$300 million investment in GEMA engine plant in Dundee, Michigan

Invest in Louisville, Ky plant and new unnamed vehicle to be added in addition to 2012 Ford Escape

New compact vehicle to be built

$100 million investment in Toledo, Ohio machining plant

Avon Lake, Oh in-source medium truck and frame assembly from Mexico

New transmission program at Warren, Mi powertrain plant

$100 million investment in Trenton, Michigan North Engine plant

Chicago Assembly add a third shift, total investment is $117 million

New engine program at Romulus, Mi powertrain plant

Dearborn Truck is getting a $359 million investment

New casting operation at a plant in Saginaw, MI

Total investment of over $1 billion in Kansas City Assembly Plant

Additional shift at Wentzville, Mo plant

Total investment of 279 million in Michigan Assembly

$230 Million investment in Fort Wayne Assembly

$380 million investment in Wentzville, Mo. Plant

So why are you in love with Detroit? Maybe it’s the sports teams. Even if you love Michigan State Spartans, or the University of Michigan Wolverines, you’re almost there. Maybe you love the music that has been born in this city–whether rap, rock, or R&B, some of the biggest musicians in the country have come out of Detroit. But maybe it’s not music or sports. Maybe, like me, you love the comeback story, the fighter who never gives up.

The Detroit Three has been through some of the toughest times that any group of companies have been through, but like the people from the city of Detroit and the area around it, they fought, and they got back on top. Now that the Detroit Three is back, they will not forget who was there for them when they were down: the city that supported them for the past one hundred years, but more importantly, America. As the Detroit Three invests back in the area of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and the greater Midwest, more people will be reminded why they once loved, or have started to love once again, the city of Detroit.

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