"We still want the company to be successful. The UAW has never been the company's problem — they've made a lot of money over the years with UAW-represented employees. It was neither one of our faults that the economy failed the way it did. I think in a few years after the loans are paid off the company's going to excel."
"The people here deserve this facility to stay open, but unfortunately it's not up to us."
The Rev. Robert Knox, 53, worked for GM for 31 years before taking a buyout in 2006. His grandfather, father, two brothers and several uncles also have worked for the automaker.
"It gave us a certain type of living that usually a person wouldn't have ... and that's gone," said Knox, now associate minister at Friendship Mission Baptist Church in Pontiac.
"This city's been affected for years because of plants closing and people moving out, and this is going to affect it more," he said of the local assembly plant closing.
"It's just a ripple effect, and eventually it's going to ripple ... all over this country," Knox said.
Associated Press Writers Corey Williams in Detroit, Ben Leubsdorf in Pontiac, Mich., John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio, Rick Callahan in Indianapolis and AP Videographer Mark Carlson in Orion Township, Mich., contributed to this report.
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