Obama wants to see auto industry resurgence for himself

President Obama will be in Toledo for about five hours on Friday to meet auto workers and to talk about the importance of keeping the auto industry strong. His itinerary includes a 1:05 p.m. tour of the Chrysler Group LLC’s Toledo Supplier Park and an opportunity to talk with the people who assemble the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro.

There are 1,700 workers at the Toledo plant where the Nitro and Jeeps are assembled. Toledo also is home to more than 3,000 people who work for suppliers that provide parts to make the Wrangler.

Obama's plan Friday is to seek out local business owners and Toledo residents to get their feedback on the resurgence of the auto industry and the impact it would have had on the community had Chrysler not gotten $10.6 billion bailout loan dollars from Canada and the United States.

One topic on his agenda is jobs. The industry had lost 400,000 auto jobs by the time Chrysler and General Motors had filed for bankruptcy. Since June 2009, the two car companies have hired 115,000 people as part of their comeback, showing the most job growth in the industry since 1998.

Without the bailouts, some 1 million more jobs could have been deleted from auto company payrolls, according to research conducted by Obama's White House staff, so the loans in essence forestalled an economic bloodbath.

Last week, the president praised Chrysler for repaying the last $7.6 billion it owed the federal government and Canada six years ahead of schedule.

"Chrysler’s repayment of its outstanding loans to the U.S. Treasury and American taxpayers marks a significant milestone for the turnaround of Chrysler and the countless communities and families who rely on the American auto industry," Obama told reporters.

"Supporting the American auto industry required making some tough decisions, but I was not willing to walk away from the workers at Chrysler and the communities that rely on this iconic American company.

"I said if Chrysler and all its stakeholders were willing to take the difficult steps necessary to become more competitive, America would stand by them, and we did. While there is more work to be done, we are starting to see stronger sales, additional shifts at plants and signs of strength in the auto industry and our economy, a true testament to the resolve and determination of American workers across the nation."

Related story: Chrysler officially announces early repayment of the US and Canadian bailout loans
Related story: http://www.torquenews.com/1063/obama-applauds-chryslers-repayment-turnaround
Related story: http://www.torquenews.com/1063/who-designed-and-built-first-jeeps

You can reach Torquenews.com's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]

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Comments

"I said if Chrysler and all its stakeholders were willing to take the difficult steps necessary to become more competitive, America would stand by them, and we did. While there is more work to be done, we are starting to see stronger sales, additional shifts at plants and signs of strength in the auto industry and our economy, a true testament to the resolve and determination of American workers across the nation." BO screwed debtors for the benefit of the union. DC thuggery. I've never owned ANYTHING but a Chrysler, but will now shop with Ford.