• Feb 5, 2010
HBO Documentaries' "The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant" – click above to watch video

Workers at General Motors' Moraine Assembly plant thought they had a couple years. That's what former company CEO Rick Wagoner had said when he announced the eventual shutdown of the plant back in June of 2008. Workers were expecting to continue building Chevrolet Trailblazers, GMC Envoys, and Saab 9-7Xs until 2010. While not good news, it was tempered by the timeline, allowing workers to search for alternate employment without as much panic.

That's not how things played out, however. In October 2008, it was announced that the last day for Moraine Assembly would be December 23 of that year. Merry Christmas. HBO Documentaries' The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant is an in-depth look at the effect the wind-down takes on the workers and their community. The film looks beautifully produced with a story woven in the compelling words of humanity. We're not the only ones who think so, either. It has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. There's a promo video after the jump so you can see what we're on about, and be sure to check HBO's schedule to see when it will air again.

[Source: The Detroit News]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I saw this on HBO last year. Make sure you have a tissue box handy. You're gonna need it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So much hatred for trucks. Trucks are very useful vehicles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too bad they didn't film the winding down of the last horse-drawn buggy making plant. That would've been quite the tear-jerker.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sad? Yes. Surprised? No. All those oversized SUV's(Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon..quite offensive to the Native Amercians to named a object of excessive waste after their tribes) and not enough well built fuel efficient small cars and trucks. I would like to see GM get back to basics and make better vehicles in addition to giving us our money back.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you actually read the post, the only cars that are built there are the GMC Envoys, the Chevy Trailblazers, and the Saab 9-7x...

        Make sure you know what you're talking about before you post, it makes you look less stupid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I read the post. My point still stands. If GM, as a whole, did what i said in my last post they wouldn't have any reason to close that plant because they would be building cars people actually like and that are practical.
        • 4 Years Ago
        mnm:
        None of those 3 vehicles are named after an Indian tribe. Tahoe is a Washoe word for "lake". Yukon is a Gwich'in word meaning "great river". Suburban is named after "suburb", an American English word from the Latin word meaning city.

        White guilt drives me crazy. It's even worse when it is as misplaced as this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        HACKMAN:
        You know exactly who I'm talking about. I didn't feel the need to change my name for the natives of this continent because I don't really feel calling them by the name of an Italian explorer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerigo_Vespucci) is inherently better than calling them by the name of a place halfway around they world they were mistakenly thought to inhabit initially.

        A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As a resident of the acutal Yukon Territory, I'm impressed as all hell that LS2LS7 knows who the Gwich'ins are...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I hope you're joking. You did read the post, right? Trailblazers, Envoys, 9-7Xs... They stopped making them because they were old and pieces of crap. The Tahoe, Suburban and Yukon are fantastic vehicles that are extremely popular and will continue to be made until they are replaced with newer, better, and maybe even larger Tahoes, Surburbans and Yukons.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What? I don't get what you're saying at all. Do you realize that people are still buying even BIGGER SUVs and full-size trucks in droves? These were outdated products that have been replaced by the current crop of CUVs (which are also selling like hot cakes). It has nothing to do with building tin-can econoboxes. They'd be happy to get you into a spanking new Aveo if that's what you're after, buddy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dude... just stop.

        You know what? The reason they make all of those cars you listed, the ones that are big and clumsy and fuel gulping, actually sell really, really well and are very reliable. They are big, so they can carry a lot of people, they can tow almost anything, and are comfortable places to be in for being essentially trucks. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds practical to me...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm sure the GM product names are more offensive to Native Americans than the Dodge Dakota, Dodge Durango, Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Tacoma, Hyundai Tucson, or the Kia Sedona, etc.

        Face it dude, these are as much Native American names as they are places that make up the landscape of America. Just like the 1970's Chrysler New Yorker or Buick Park Avenue were named such to portray a sophisticated or luxurious place, the names of these trucks are to depict places of wide open plains and mountain vistas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Hackman has a VERY good point."

        Then click the plus button, bro. Instead of a throwaway comment I, for one, would have loved to hear the origins of the "suburban, yukon and tahoe" Native American tribes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My family lives not too far from the Moraine plant. Moraine is basically a ghost town now though it's not like the greater Dayton area is a thriving city.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fruther proof that if Michigan and Ohio had taken hard line against Unions they would not be having record high unemployments.
        • 4 Years Ago
        This from the guy who's said that GM is stupid for not building everything they sell in China.

        Seriously...the unions got tough with GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and negotiated massive golden contracts AND the jobs bank for themselves. Which became unsustainable before long.

        So, had the unions taken a harder line with the OEMs, we WOULD be seeing our cars built in and shipped over from China. And unemployment in those states would be 3x worse.

        Moron.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live right down the road from plant and drive past it on the way to work every day. It seems like half of Moraine's land is now just barren lots, an empty factory, and rubble from torn down buildings. Right across the street is the Moraine police station, brightly lit and modern looking. Expensive, because the city could afford it back in the day with GM paying most of its taxes. Oh, the irony.

      Now I work with a bunch of ex-GM employees at a place run by--who else--the Germans. We do work for Behr, GM, BMW and some others. At least this place is still making money, but then again I've heard Behr isn't doing so hot anymore either.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I interned at this plant in 2007, this is very interesting. There were some great, hard working people there. I really felt for them when the plant shut down. Moraine was one of the only GM plants that was IUE unionized as opposed to UAW, therefore it was harder for these workers to get transfered to a UAW plant.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A family member owns a Trailblazer, it has one the cheapest interior I've ever seen, but it sure one solid truck. It is one of the quietest and smoothest cars I've ever driven. A real shame GM couldn't come up with anything to build at the Moraine plant or even have the decency to tell its employees much more in advance of its closing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I saw this a few nights ago.

      Lord willing, the big three get their heads straight and bring jobs back home.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah those trucks needed to go away a long time ago. I am sure the employees will be well taken care of though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I really liked these trucks. I was actually a passenger in a Trailblazer when it rolled over completely just a couple months ago. I was perfectly fine and the car's cabin maintained it's shape very well.

        RIP body-on-frame SUV's. :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      My dad spent a great many years in the early to mid 1990s in that plant, designing and overseeing the installation of assembly systems.

      He could barely get through this film, but said it was fantastically well done. I don't get HBO but am hoping to see it eventually, somewhere.
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