DETROIT — In the wake of Michigan State’s loss to North Carolina in the NCAA basketball championship game, America’s biggest automakers have announced another wave of mass layoffs and plant closings.
“MSU’s performance in the Big Dance really gave a much-needed lift to this area,” said GM CEO Fritz Henderson at a post-game press conference, “but since they finished short of our Cinderalla expectations, our company is forced to slash its current workforce by at least 20 percent and shutter as many as five assembly plants.”
Alan Mulally, Ford’s CEO, said that MSU’s defeat meant bad news for his company as well. “We put a lot of faith in Tom Izzo and the boys at MSU,” Mulally said, “but in the end, UNC was the better team. That’s why we plan to end production on no fewer than three models by the end of this calendar year.”
Asked if a championship for Michigan State would have meant a different outcome for the auto industry, Mulally emphatically responded, “Oh, most definitely. We hoped to expand production, reopen some closed facilities, maybe even start construction on a few factories right here in the Detroit area. Unfortunately, MSU didn’t come through for us.”
Henderson concurred. “I wish I could tell you that the layoffs were over. But in order for that to happen, MSU had to win this game.”
Meanwhile, in the victorious locker room, Altria CEO Louis Cammileri projected record profits for the first quarter of 2009.