Automobiles: Heading for The Border

Heading for The Border

General Motors finally dropped the other shoe. Two months after announcing that it planned to eliminate 74,000 jobs and shut down 21 plants, the leading U.S. automaker offered some details. At the same time, GM reported a $4.5 billion loss in 1991, an all-time record for any company.

While chairman Robert Stempel's downsizing scheme was designed to assuage Wall Street, it drew fire from the company's unions and the communities whose futures are now very much in doubt. The most emotionally charged reactions came from Michigan. GM's home base is targeted for half of the first round of 17,000 cutbacks and...