Jeep, an Obama favorite, looks to shift production to China
October 25, 2012 | 1:19 pm
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The Washington Examiner
Photo - Jeep Wrangler behind the president as seen in his new second term agenda binder.
Jeep Wrangler behind the president as seen in his new second term agenda binder.
In another potential blow for the president's Ohio reelection campaign, Jeep, the rugged brand President Obama once said symbolized American freedom, is considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China.
Such a move would crash the economy in towns like Toledo, Ohio, where Jeeps are made and supplied, and rob the community of the economic security they thought Obama's auto bailout assured them.
Obama is such a fan of Jeep that he included a picture of himself speaking at the Toledo plant in his newly released second term agenda binder. In his address to the plant in 2011, Obama said, "I just took a short tour of the plant and watched some of you putting the finishing touches on the Wrangler. Now, as somebody reminded, I need to call it the 'iconic' Wrangler. And that's appropriate because when you think about what Wrangler has always symbolized. It symbolized freedom, adventure, hitting the open road, never looking back."
Well it appears that the taxpayer bailed-out Chrysler is looking back and now considering cutting costs by shifting production of all Jeeps to China, which has a strong desire for Jeeps.
In a Bloomberg interview, Jeep's president said the automaker plans to restore Jeep production in China, suspended in 2009, and is considering making all Jeeps in China. "Fiat SpA, majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers' operations in the region," reported the business wire service.
Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia and president of the Jeep brand, told Bloomberg, "We're reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity" as well as "should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio" to China.
Chrysler builds Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley said the firm is in talks with China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.
The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board endorses former Gov. Mitt Romney for president. (Marc Serota / October 26, 2012)
4:27 a.m. EDT, October 26, 2012
Brush away all the rhetoric, all the vitriol, all the divisiveness from the presidential campaign. To most Americans, only one thing matters — the economy.
Four years into Barack Obama’s presidency, economic growth is sputtering. Family incomes are down. Poverty is up. Business owners are reluctant to assume risk in the face of unending uncertainty. Many are holding on by their fingernails, desperate for signs of an economic recovery that will help them provide for themselves, their employees, their customers and their communities.
When President Obama came into office in 2009, the economy was in freefall and though untested, he inspired us with his promise of hope and change. Now, four years later, we have little reason to believe he can turn things around.
So while we endorsed Obama in 2008, we recommend voters choose Republican Mitt Romney on Nov. 6.
Yes, the jobless numbers from September showed a drop to 7.8 percent unemployed, the first time in almost four years that it’s been below 8 percent. But the numbers are deceiving because more than 4 million Americans have given up looking for work since January 2009.
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