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Impact of closing General Motors' Baltimore plant

Local businesses & consumer loyalty tested
Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 19:12:49-05

What would later be known as General Motors Baltimore Operation opened as part of Allison Transmission back in 2000—-a year before Alex Marine bought his first Chevy.

“I bought this truck in 2001.  360,000 miles,” said Marine, “I was a Ford man.  Best truck I've ever had in my entire life.”

Yet Marine says it may be his last Chevy if GM moves forward with its so-called transformation.

“Why they're closing this plant and sending our stuff to Mexico is crazy,” said Marine, “People got to realize, I'm a Vietnam vet from 1968 in the Marines.  This country is ours.  It should be built here.  If they're going to build Chevrolets, then nobody should ever by another Chevrolet there is.”

It is a frustration shared by the owners of the nearby Double T Diner who are expecting a double-digit drop off in business when the transmission plant closes for good in April.

“I would say between 15 and 20 percent,” said Co-Owner Katerina Lagadinos, “They were very good customers of ours.  We're not happy.  We're sad.  It's just another big company we're losing in White Marsh and it's going to affect the community and we're upset about it.”

Baltimore County leaders say over the last 24 hours since GM's announcement, other companies have expressed an interest in recruiting its workers, because of their advanced manufacturing skill sets, training and work ethic.

But as GM signals an end to its presence in Baltimore dating back to 1935 when it opened its Broening Highway plant, it risks leaving on the most bitter of terms.

“Kids that have to change schools.  Christmas time is coming.  No money,” said Marine, “I mean what kind of a company are they?  What did they do with our bailout money when we put them back in business?  Ford's not begging so something is wrong somewhere in the picture.”