Local Suppliers Fight For Abrams Tank Program

ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – Macomb County business owners attended a town hall meeting, Friday, hoping to keep the M1 Abrams tank production program alive.

Reporting from the event hosted by RCO Engineering, WWJ’s Pat Sweeting said representatives from one business after another stepped forward to explain how a proposed four-year government shutdown of the program would, in some cases, wipe out a large portion of their revenue.

Dan Olsen, who owns Bay Electronics in Roseville, said his business would be devastated if General Dynamics lost this program.

“Half of my employees are on the Abrams program. And, if it shut down, I would lose all my employees… So, it’s very important that it keeps running,” he said, adding that the Abrams tank program accounts for 40 percent of his business.

Olsen said Bay Electronics has been working on the Abrams tank since the early days of the program.

U.S. Congressman Sander Levin said legislation that would keep the Abrams tank program in operation at General Dynamics will come up for discussion within the next few weeks.

Levin said it’s important for U.S. lawmakers, going into that discussion, to know exactly what’s at stake should they okay a proposal to mothball the program.

For example, he said it could be costly to restart it.

“Absolutely, and the people who came here, the suppliers, made it clear: you cannot just stop and the restart without losing a lot,” Levin said.

Levin said Michigan would then face the loss of skilled personnel, who would be forced to look for jobs out-of-state.

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