Automakers Face Trump Promises, Robotic Future

President Trump has threatened auto companies who outsource jobs away from the U.S. But experts say the biggest threat facing autoworkers is the use of robots and automation.

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

President Donald Trump has vowed to keep the auto industry in the U.S. to provide blue collar jobs for the autoworkers he says have been forgotten. 

His promise to reward companies that stay in the United States, and punish those that outsource, has sparked new hope for autoworkers in states like Michigan. Many workers believe things seem to be going well as the president continues to meet with union leaders and big companies like General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler.

But is the fight to keep autoworkers employed a battle against outsourcing, or something else, especially as the automation of factory work encroaches on blue collar jobs. What is the best strategy in the fight to keep these workers employed? 

In this two-part investigation from The Takeaway’s Rockefeller Resilience Project, WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter examines the threats facing the auto industry, and talks to the people directly affected by the evolving economy. 


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.