Currently the focus in on the American automakers and how they can survive. We know however that cities and towns whose economy has been focused on one industry like the auto industry have suffered when the company moves or downsizes. We can look to Flint, MI, or for Fort Wayne, IN, or Martinsville, VA almost daily and see what happens when the jobs leave. Those that emerge find a niche or a hook to build the new economy.
One that is doing just that is Martinsville. After losing 10,000 jobs in the last decade, it is trying to rebuild its future on cars and a track--racing that is. While it has not replaced the textile and factory jobs that were loss, it is building momentum for new industries, tourism, and hope. Racing is so big in the United States that this may be the ticket for Martinsville long-term. It will need a diversified tax base to be sure but there are lots of spinoff companies that can emerge from this industry. Take a look at Charlotte and Concord, NC, to learn the impact of racing receipts on an economy. I would just encourage the city mothers and fathers not to repeat the past and put all their economic eggs in one basket. Work as hard as you can in establishing the racing industry in Martinsville but work on your educational system and quality of life and business placement at the same time.