GM strike: auto workers accept ‘sacrifice’ to fight management ‘greed’

United Auto Workers called a strike on Sunday for the first time in over a decade as contract negotiations reached an impasseUncertainty, apprehension and stress were the words people picketing General Motors workers at the car company’s sprawling Detr…

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Ford and Volkswagen announce alliance to cut costs in face of tech revolution

Car companies seek to reduce costs amid slowing sales, beginning with development of commercial vans and mid-size pickupsFord and Volkswagen announced details of a new alliance on Tuesday as the two car companies look to cut the cost of the technologic…

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Stricken carmakers stall at the crossroads of a radical future

It started 2019 by axing jobs, blaming the slowdown in China and the US, but now the industry faces more fundamental threatsAs motor industry executives descend on Detroit this week for its annual motor show, the icy winds sweeping in off the Great Lak…

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Roads to nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality

From highways carved through thriving ‘ghettoes’ to walls segregating black and white areas, US city development has a long and divisive history

It’s a little after 3pm in Detroit’s 8 Mile neighbourhood, and the cicadas are buzzing loudly in the trees. Children weave down the pavements on bicycles, while a pickup basketball game gets under way in a nearby park. The sky is a deep blue with only a hint of an approaching thunderstorm – in other words, a muggy, typical summer Sunday in Michigan’s largest city.

“8 Mile”, as the locals call it, is far from the much-touted economic “renaissance” taking place in Detroit’s centre. Tax delinquency and debt are still major issues, as they are in most places in the city. Crime and blight exist side by side with carefully trimmed hedgerows and mowed lawns, a patchwork that changes from block to block. In many ways it resembles every other blighted neighbourhood in the city – but with one significant difference. Hidden behind the oak-lined streets is an insidious piece of history that most Detroiters, let alone Americans, don’t even know exists: a half mile-long, 5ft tall concrete barrier that locals simply call “the wall”.

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Detroit’s auto giants take fight to big tech as largest US car show kicks into gear

The North American International Auto show has been overshadowed by CES – but it’s decided to stick to what it does best: cars and trucks, not hi-tech

Detroit in winter has never been an easy sell, but for generations of car lovers Motor City has been the only place to be come January, when America’s largest car show kicks into gear.

In recent years, as tech has moved ever more aggressively into the automobile industry, the annual North American International Auto Show has been overshadowed by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – an industry trade show held this week in Las Vegas. But as Detroit’s auto giants increasingly take the fight to Silicon Valley, analysts say its premier auto show is here to stay.

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Detroit is ‘booming’ again. You have to be rich and powerful to notice, though | Bankole Thompson

This economic buoyancy is taking place in a city where 60% of children continue to live in abject poverty. But their story is rarely told

In his magnum opus, The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith writes that “Whenever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many.”

Smith’s prognosis of the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, and the fact that national wealth doesn’t necessarily bring an end to mass economic desolation, aptly describe the current state of Detroit, a major American urban city that is now heralded as a “shining city upon a hill” after its 2014 emergence from the first municipal bankruptcy in US history.

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