Good riddance to last Tahoe from Janesville; hate the job loss though.

General Motors’ recent woes have an odd peculiarity to me. It was a Chevy Tahoe, which came from either the Janesville, Wisc. plant or one in Texas (I blame the latter) that was piloted by a drunk driver that smashed into my small car on the evening of March 10, 2000, and inexorably changed my life for the worse. I lost most of an eye, and more blood and brain cells than I can count. It also wrecked my marriage, which is a comman aftereffect of overwhelming traumatic injuries such as the one I survived. I’m sure glad to be here now, and wouldn’t even go back in time to stop myself from going out that fateful night. (Though I would advise my late self to take a bigger car that night.)

But as we all know by now, the last Chevy Tahoe rolled off the assembly line at GM’s Janesville plant yesterday.

If I had my way, there would be no more Tahoes, Suburbans, Excursions, Expeditions, or even Explorers.

But they do exist, and that created many jobs. Jobs, which, thanks to the nature of the beasts, as well as the state of the economy, are now being eliminated.

And that’s bad.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

6 thoughts on “Good riddance to last Tahoe from Janesville; hate the job loss though.”

  1. Whats with the hatred of SUV’s. I have to say that I love my ford explorer. It allows me to get to work even in a blizzard. It can tow my boat “up north” with ease. The decision to buy an SUV is not always a “status symbol” mind set, but rather an issue of practicality.

    you see, families may buy a Tahoe because it can tow a camper, seat 7 and get them to thier destination safely. I would concede that they could buy a mini van and camp in a tent, but that is not for everyone. For me it’s all about the jobs.

    Just because the last Tahoe rolled of the line in Jansville does not spell the end of the SUV.
    GM will continue to make Tahoes, just not here. The only difference will be the loss of job’s here in Wisconsin. (no camper’s or family vacations for those workers I guess) When I hear people complain about SUV’s I question what thier real grip is. Is it the SUV it self or a person’s decision to own one? Am I a bad person for having a Ford Explorer regardless of my excuse for owning one? Would I be a better person if I had a Ford Ranger pick-up? Or, do I have to buy a Prius to get right with the world. What if I own both?

    Judging SUV’s, thier owners and company’s that make them creates sterotypes that are unfair and down the line could turn into class warfare. I have noticed that because SUV’s have declined in value, many people in my neighborhood have started to buy them because they are cheep and it’s what they could afford. Yes they will spend more on gas, but if you get the SUV cheep enough, it balances out for them. $30,000 for a new Toyota or $8000 for a 4 year old explorer. How many years of gas can I buy for $22,000…..8?

    I know that people who don’t want others to own an SUV (or wish that the government would just ban all of them) will never change thier mind, but I want them to realize that SUV drivers are not all the same. We may have our reasons, economic, safety, practical, and so on. In some circles it’s still cool to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. I plan to continue enjoying life with my Explorer.

    I tip my hat to everyone who travels this state in a car, truck, van or SUV. Tourism is a very big part of this states shifting economy and the SUV is one of the key elements to get the boats to the lakes, the campers to the campgrounds and the ATV’s/snowmobiles to the trails. There are entire towns in this state that are completely dependent on this type of tourism. Let’s all be carefull what we wish for. the job losses in janesville are not stand alone job losses. the ripple effect could be even worse.

  2. You miss the point(s).

    1. A drunk driver in an SUV came very, very close to killing me.

    2. As a person who drives a sedan, I regularly struggle to see around/over/through larger vehicles, primarily SUVs with tinted windows.

    3. I agree that it’s bad to lose jobs, and also dread the ripple effect of the Janesville job losses.

  3. BTW, your argument about the cost of a used car vs. a new car falls apart. Sure, a very high-end new Camry may cost $30K new. Any high-end new SUV still costs far more than that, and it’ll drain your wallet in many other ways for the lifetime of the vehicle. But that’s not the point you’re making. A used sedan will be cheaper than an equivalent model year/condition SUV. And the mileage will be far better too boot, presuming the oil’s been changed and the tires are in good shape. But comparing a used SUV to a new Camry is like comparing apples to oranges.

  4. I can understand the way you feel because of your injury, but your issuse should be with the drunk driver not the SUV. A large pick-up or delivery truck may have done even more damage to you and your car. Unless we make all cars the same size, there will always be the imbalance of safty on our roads.

    BTW used sedans are selling for more than used SUV’s. The percieved fuel savings of a car vs truck/suv are reversing the prices. New cars and SUV’s are a different story. I was writing about used SUV’s not new. My point was many people are buying the USED SUV”s and acctually “Saving” money over the long term.

    I hope you never have another accident of any kind. You might be surprised to know that I saw a Volvo wagon t-bone a suburban once, and the Volvo clearly won. I would recomend you buy a Volvo.


  5. When a Chevy Tahoe going at a high speed slams into your little tiny rice burner (with no airbags), it hurts as bad as a pickup or delivery truck. In fact I believe the Chevy Tahoe is based on the pickup truck chassis, but I could be wrong. I’ve never studied them in great detail.

  6. Mike, I’m sorry, but you do not and cannot understand where I’m coming from. The most easily tangible point I can use to demonstrate this was a copy of a letter from my lawyer following the crash. It was a nastygram to the drunk driver’s lawyer, explaining that I now had well over $166,000.00 in medical bills, all thanks to their client’s decision to pilot his daddy’s SUV after having had so much booze that his blood-alcohol level was over 0.20 — more than twice the legal limit. Unless you’ve had a marriage shattered by something like this, you can’t understand. And if you think that buying an SUV saves money in the long term, you’re wrong. I honestly do wish you very safe driving, and I hope for your sake that you never drive drunk, or for that matter, have a roll-over, which would largely endanger yourself.

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