I remember supper with David Halberstam at Emil's in Lansing, MI
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Will GM's loss of position to Toyota affect Michigan's self-image?

How important is it that General Motors be the number one carmaker in the world?

I heard the news about Toyota overtaking GM in sales for the first-quarter of this year right after I got up. It would be easy to let that news be one more proof that the state of Michigan is making that last walk down industrial death row.

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GM has always been king in Michigan. There was never any doubt about General Motors position in the minds eye of people who lived here.

Everybody had somebody who worked in the plants or in one of the automotive supplier plants. It was hard to go to a decent sized town in the state and not find a GM plant. In Bay City, we had one and in nearby Saginaw, there were several.

That's changed. The king has fallen and will probably never come back.

Where will the fall stop and how will it affect Michigan's perception of itself? With the decline of the auto industry, how will our state find a new identity?

Looking out my kitchen window, this morning, I see that, at least, the sun is out.

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