President Obama will visit the Jefferson North plant of Chrysler in Detroit where Jeep Grand Cherokee models are made and then stop by a nearby General Motors plant in Hamtramck where the Chevrolet Volt hybrid will be built.
At both stops, and another next week at a Ford Explorer plant in Chicago, the President will promote the taxpayer programs that saved or created “Detroit Three” automaker jobs.
The unpopular bailouts and how much of the more than $80 billion used will be returned are one of many contentious election-year issues.
Both Chrysler and General Motors of course received billions of dollars in taxpayer financing to allow them to emerge from bankruptcies last year. And Ford Motor Company received billions to retool its plants.
As a result, the Administration will claim that the 2,800 jobs at Jefferson North and the 1,100 employees at Hamtramck, among thousands of others, were saved by the unpopular loans, which now has U.S. taxpayers as the majority holder in GM, with a substantial position in Fiat run Chrysler.
Ahead of the trip the Administration released a new study on the auto industry. It said that in the year before the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies, the companies lost almost 340,000 jobs. In the year since then, 55,000 jobs have been added to these companies.
“If we hadn’t stepped in when we did, most observers believe at least a million jobs would have been lost,” said Ed Montgomery, the head of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers.
“While there is still a long way to go, the report points out that the companies are also showing positive signs of financial performance. In the first quarter, all of them made operating profits. That’s the first time that’s happened since 2004,” said Montgomery.
Tags: Chevy Volt, President Obama, TARP, auto news, chrysler bankruptcy, ford explorer, gm bankruptcy, grand cherokee, industrial policy, ken zino, manufacturing jobs, thedetroitbureau, us unemployment