South Short on Sympathy for Detroit's Woes

Dixie welcomes foreign automakers and disses Big 3 bailout
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2008 6:37 AM CST
South Short on Sympathy for Detroit's Woes
American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings Inc. workers walk the picket line outside the plant in Detroit, Monday, March 10, 2008.    (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

West Point, Georgia, looks a lot like Main Street USA but its people aren't overflowing with pity for the struggling American auto industry, the Los Angeles Times reports. Kia Motors is building a plant in the town and residents are looking forward to new jobs and learning to love Korean barbecue. Detroit, they say, had its chance and blew it. 

"The foreign cars took the lead, and they deserve it," said one woman, declaring that she was fed up with Detroit's fat labor contracts, its arrogant CEOs, and her own gas-guzzling Cadillac. Opposition to a Detroit bailout runs high in the town, a sentiment echoed by many across the South, where most workers are nonunion and local officials compete to lure foreign auto companies. More than 43,000 people have applied for Kia's 2,500 openings.
(More auto industry stories.)

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