Monday, September 6, 2010

Detroit's Lug Nuts


With the purloining and stripping of both Jesse Jackson's and Mayor Dave Bing's SUV's recently, Detroit has again distinguished itself as a place to avoid. Like the plague. Why would anybody considered sane journey to that hairy armpit of a place. It's not like the weather is tropical.

Detroit, the name that is, is French in derivation. It means strait and the eleventh largest US city sits on the Detroit River, which connects Lakes Erie and Huron. The city was named by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.


So that's where that name came from. Oh, Jesse's stolen SUV was a 2009 Cadillac Escalade.


Indeed, Cadillac "style".

The city's glory days are congruent with the glory days of the American auto industry. Detroit and autos were perfect together. The Motor City, Motown. Like any town, overly dependent on a product, good or service, the fortunes of that town are inextricably linked with that commodity. In 1950, Detroit was the fourth largest city in the States. The post WWII demand for vehicles was seemingly limitless. Poor quality, foreign competition, increasing costs, decreased demand and a choke hold union did the city dirty. By 2009, General Motors was bankrupt, So was Detroit, so to speak. see http://www.pplume-blog.com/2011/03/detroit-is-this-america.html for more

Like a used tin can,

everything gets a chance to serve its purpose and then be discarded and recycled. Why would cities be any different? Why do they need to be put on life support? Just as the thousands of people flooded Detroit for work, thousands now need to leave and find work elsewhere. Another way to put it, is that the people of Detroit need to follow the money and jobs. Only problem with that is the USA is no longer growing or thriving in a way which would support hope. There are no jobs. And without hope, why move? And without hope, there's only despair.

Mayor Dave Bing, among his laudable attempts at saving rusty Detroit, has suggested returning the once famous metropolis back to a more pristine state. He wants to tear down abandoned, decrepit blocks of houses and factories and return the land to green. Indeed that is a sound idea. The Mayor, whose Yukon is currently being refitted with new wheels and tires, seeks out new businesses which could revitalize Detroit. A short term idea would be to add one hour tire and wheel replacement franchises throughout the city. There is need to be able to get new tires and wheels in Detroit, what with the burgeoning interest in copping wheels and tires off of vehicles. While this sounds preposterous, there is a market. And where there is a market, there is a business.

Located as it is, right on the Detroit River and so near Lake St. Claire, Detroit does have beauty.


Hard to see, yes, but it's there. Detroit is a tough sell, but it has potential. The day to day crime, murder and mayhem detract from Detroit's beauty like run over mascara. Sadly, new businesses are loathe to move into unsettled territory. For example, business leaders realize that on any given day, ten percent of their workers would be unable to go home, inasmuch as they would be unable to drive their cars without wheels and tires. This would lead to erosion of the new company's esprit d' corps. Short term solutions could include fenced in razor wired parking lots with guard dogs and armed sentries or a business run tire and wheels replacement service on site.

It stands to reason that after a while all of the stolen wheels and tires would have to surface. They could be bought for pennies on the dollar. Stolen stuff is not worth that much money. These car parts could be distributed to the nascent replacement wheel and tire services. That is, unless the wheels and tires are being farmed out to China. The cycle of stripping to replacement would be complete with the purchase of the exact same wheels and tires, which had earlier been filched. In Messers. Jackson's and Bing's cases, under ideal circumstances, they could get their own wheels and tires back, perhaps within just an hour or so of the loss. New need creates new business. To hypothesize further, the thieves, once unionized, could link up with the other sister unionized players in this model, such as the workers in the replacement centers, leading to oval efficiency. This model would be perfectly round but for the illegality of the supply chain.

A new day brings new opportunity and with it, a fresh perspective. Right now, there is somebody who has glommed onto Detroit's wheels and tires supply side of oval efficiency. That somebody has figured it out a new wrinkle. There's a gold mine in the lug nuts. Yes, the lug nuts.


Critical as they are to keeping the wheel and tire on the car, they are cast aside when the stripper strips the car. The nuts are left to sit in the gutter or parking garage floor or where ever, only to be swept aside and lost. So with each wheel and tire replacement, a new set of lug nuts needs to be sold. Ergo, he who has the lug nuts will have the power. Indeed!

So it goes.

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