For the third time in a week, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the auto industry are at loggerheads, this time over a Romney radio ad implying that GM and Chrysler are expanding production in China at the cost of American jobs.
The ad claimed that “Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China.”
The accusation drew a dismissive response from a GM spokesman, who explained, “We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
The ad further claimed that “Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China.”
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne refuted Romney’s comments in an email sent yesterday to Chrysler employees: “Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne wrote, touting Chrysler’s recent production expansions in America.
It was not the first time Romney claimed that Chrysler was shifting production to China, nor was it the first time Chrysler rebuked Romney’s charge.
When Romney told an Ohio audience last week that “Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China,” Chrysler colorfully waved away the charge.
“It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats,” wrote Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri in a blog post. “Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.”