Michigan as an Automobile Hub Name Institution Date Introduction Detroit is stands out as the most populous city of Michigan and was the first in the country to host automobile companies. Some of the major automobile companies to establish their bases in the State included: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler…
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In addition, in 1990, the city ranked thirteenth amongst largest cities in the United States with a population of about 285,000 residents (Cooney & Yacobucci, 2006). The other thing is that the city was situated along a river, whose water offered power and transportation for outgoing goods and incoming supplies. This paper therefore, seeks to find out why for almost the past hundred years, the automotive industry has dominated Michigan’s economy. In addition, the paper will explore how and why the industry established itself in Michigan, and what have been its effects--positive and negative. From the beginning, Detroit was preferably positioned to be a hub of the automobile industry in the United States. This is based on the fact that the place was squarely located in the heartland of United States—an area that connected many other key regions in the US. For instance, it was linked Pennsylvania, lower New England, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana (McAlinden & Andrea, 1992). With these, the required raw materials for production of automobiles were easily transported to the city via rail and the Great Lakes waterways (McAlinden & Andrea, 1992). Furthermore, the coal producing regions of West Virginia and Pennsylvania were directly connected to Michigan and specifically Detroit by rail. Furthermore, the great steel factories of Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Gary, Chicago and Cleveland were just a few miles away from Detroit. The copper and iron mining zones of Minnesota and northern Michigan were reachable without any difficulty by ship (McGinnis, 2005). The other contributing factor was that its centrality at west and east confluence offered auto manufacturers easy access both to the much needed capital and product markets for its unprecedented growth. The contribution of Henry Ford and Dodge was another factor behind the establishment of Michigan as an auto hub (Cooney & Yacobucci, 2006). Before, the coming of Ford, the first auto companies were very tiny operations, however, this changed as Ford invented the methods of mass production, along with the advanced assembly line techniques, including vast River Rouge complex, aspects which turned around the scale and scope of auto production in Michigan (McGinnis, 2005). Dodge, on the other hand, set up an enormous Main automobile Plant just close to that of Ford. All these grand automobile plants served to turn Michigan into an American automobile hub. The accessibility of Detroit also brought in enough workers who provided reliable labor for the labor-hungry automobile industry. Potential auto workers from Midwest moved into the area as a result of the declining logging industry. In short, Henry Ford, based in Detroit, Michigan, was responsible for the groundbreaking innovations that were later copied by competitors such as Chrysler, American Motors and General Motors. Each organization set up their headquarters in the Detroit making it the main center for car production not just in America but also world over. Positive impacts of auto industry in Michigan Enhanced Diversity The emergence of the automobile industry completely transformed Michigan and especially Detroit, attracting more than one million new migrants and via its technological aspect and its demographic impact, reshaped the cityscape in different ways. The population of the State changed in diversity (McAlinden & Andrea, 1992). On top of migrants from the hinterlands of Midwest,
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“The Automotive Industry in For Almost the past Hundred Years the Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1496518-the-automotive-industry-in-for-almost-the-past.
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