Alex Ozark on the Hyundai-Kia proving grounds / Credit: Charla Bear
No city has been more affected by Midwestern out-migration than Detroit.
Based on the latest census numbers, the city is losing about 2 people every hour.
Changing Gears has been talking with some of those people who are leaving our region.
Alex Ozark grew up in Detroit. He always wanted to work in the auto industry, but he’s not doing it with the Big Three. He’s doing it in California.
Charla Bear brings us this report:
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Alex Ozark drives like a maniac in his company’s cars, treating a black SUV like a cross between a tank and a sports car.
“So we’ll do, we’ll do a hot lap.”
He deliberately hits potholes, runs over lane dividers, and takes corners really fast. So fast, I have a death grip on the grab handle.
Last year, everyone in the auto industry was chuffed about Detroit’s comeback.
American Landscape, by Sheeler
The carmakers were enjoying a healthy rebound from the bankruptcies at General Motors and Chrysler. And for a while, at least, Chrysler outsold Toyota to make the Detroit Three the Big Three again.
But this year, Detroit’s market share has been slipping, and that has ramifications all across the Midwest.
In fact, the auto companies have fallen back to the market share level they held in 2009, as GM and Chrysler were struggling. In a piece for Forbes.com, I look at what happened to the Detroit companies during the first quarter.
Basically, there are three issues: Continue reading
The auto industry reported strong sales in March, and for some auto companies, the news was even better.
Buyers at General Motors, Chrysler, Nissan and Hyundai paid record amounts for new vehicles during May, according to True Car.com, which tracks statistics about buying habits.
True Car bases its calculations on transaction prices: the final amount people pay, after incentives, bargaining and trade-ins. The numbers include the whole range of vehicles that the companies sell, such as cars, sport utilities, pickups, and minivans.
Transaction prices are way up since the beginning of 2010. Take a look at this chart by Meg Cramer of Changing Gears, which shows the industry average and what consumers at major carmakers are paying.
Five must-read stories about the Midwest economy
1) Bridging the debate from Detroit to Windsor. The annual Mackinac Policy Conference is under way in Michigan, and the idea of a new bridge between the U.S. and Canada is taking center stage. Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, says the bridge is an important economic development tool. But the owners of the Ambassador Bridge are fighting the idea, and even members of Snyder’s own Republican party are skeptical. There is plenty of MPC coverage at our partner Michigan Radio, and you can get updates from attendees on Twitter via #mpc11.
(For a musical look at the bridge, check out the Sam Roberts Band song Detroit ’67. The band appears in Chicago next week.)