Mitt Romney is trying to take credit for President Obama's auto rescue after he insisted that Americans "let Detroit go bankrupt." Take a look at this new Truth Team video, and then spread the word about how often Romney distorts reality.
Chrysler has reported its best quarterly profit in thirteen years. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the company earned $473 million in the first quarter of 2012.
It's a big change from 2009. The recession, which devastated auto sales, brought the company to the brink of financial ruin. Chrysler and its financing arm needed $12.5 billion from U.S. taxpayers to survive. When a government auto task force deadlocked on whether to save the collapsing company, the tie was broken by President Barack Obama.
Then things turned around. Chrysler got the bailout, cut costs in bankruptcy and saw sales improve with the economy. It worked overtime to revamp 16 of its models to make them more appealing to consumers. The results have paid off. Sales have increased steadily through 2011 and into 2012.
American automakers have posted their March sales numbers—and the Big Three are reporting the biggest monthly profits they’ve seen since before the 2008 financial crisis.
The strong start to the year has led some analysts to raise their sales targets to nearly 15 million vehicles for 2012, up from 12.8 million last year. That's a much faster rebound to that benchmark than analysts anticipated even as recently as last year.
Part of the strong sales for the Detroit automakers came from the fact that they have much stronger offerings in the small car segment of the market than they previously did.
“The economic recovery and a deep bench of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers have been driving our sales for more than a year, but the combined impact has never been stronger than it was in March,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. sales operations for GM.
This is more than a chart—it's the story of the comeback of a major American industry.
Over the past few weeks we've heard some great news out of Detroit:
- Both GM and Chrysler are turning a profit, less than two years after the President decided to help the manufactures stay afloat with government loans.
- GM is hiring again.
- Chrysler has paid back their government loans six years early.
To tell this success story in full, the White House released a new report today called "The Resurgence of the American Automotive Industry."
Since 2009, GM and Chrysler have announced over $8 billion investments in their U.S. facilities, creating or saving nearly 20,000 jobs.
"The actions taken by this Administration have laid the foundation for manufacturing's quiet resurgence," the report concludes, "but we cannot be complacent." The White House has called on Congress to take action and support President Obama's agenda for growth, job creation, and competitiveness in U.S. manufacturing.
You can read the report in full here.
- A car rolls off the production line every minute at the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio. CBS news takes a look at this remarkable recovery, speaking to autoworkers who were laid off 18 months ago and now have a job again.
- Supporters in Detroit recruited new volunteers during the Annual Michigan Day Parade with a homemade "Vote 2012" float.
- President Obama met with other world leaders for the start of the G8 conference in France today. Tomorrow’s agenda will focus on security and economic issues.
- And finally, Michelle Obama met with a group of schoolgirls in England, telling them: “Success is not about the background you’re from. It’s about the confidence that you have and the effort you’re willing to invest.”
These were our favorite links from today—what were yours?
- President Obama will visit Missouri on Sunday and meet with those affected by the recent tornadoes. Visit redcross.org for ways that you can help.
- Consumers now have an easy way to learn more about their new cars. The EPA and Department of Energy have introduced new fuel efficiency labels that include estimates of annual fuel costs.
- Volunteers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have been busy recruiting supporters for 2012. John, Brenda, Tara, and Pamela made over 300 phone calls in just two hours.
- And finally, check out these great White House photos from the President and First Lady's visit to Ireland.
Share your favorite links from today in the comments below, and we'll be sure to take a look.
More good news out of Detroit today: Chrysler announced it has repaid $5.9 billion in federal loans, including fees and interest payments, six years ahead of schedule.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told the Detroit Free Press:
The loans gave us a rare second chance to demonstrate what the people of this company can deliver, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those whose intervention allowed Chrysler Group to re-establish itself as a strong and viable carmaker.
We also know that the auto industry has added 115,000 jobs since GM and Chrysler came out of bankruptcy-the fastest rate of job growth since the 1990s.
While the auto industry continues to recover, all the good news this month is a welcome sign that the administration's decision to provide these loans-politically unpopular at the time-is paying off.
- This week, President Obama met with families affected by recent flooding in Tennessee, delivered a major speech on U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, and more.
- Supporters in North Carolina have been busy building the foundations of the campaign. "Our engines are revved up and we are fired up!" writes Jessica Rhau, regional field director.
- Chrysler announced that they'll be paying back their federal loan four years early.
- State laws requiring voters to produce a current government-issued photo ID are unnecessary and expensive, according to a new report.
- And finally, foreign policy experts answered Twitter users' questions on the Middle East and North Africa after the President's speech on Thursday.
Take a look at some of the stories you might have missed this week on the blog:
We launched state blogs, making it even easier for you to find out what's happening locally and to get involved with the campaign in your community.
President Obama called for renewed action on immigration reform during a visit to the border in El Paso, Texas—and asked all of us to make our voices heard in the debate.
We heard some good news out of Detroit: General Motors announced that it will create or preserve more than 4,000 jobs by investing $2 billion in plants and facilities across eight states.
The President rallied supporters in Austin, Texas: "I want to be hearing from you. I want to make sure we're putting the campaign in your hands‹the hands of the same organizers, the same volunteers, the same ordinary people who did extraordinary things the last time around."
President Obama answered questions about the economy and his long-term plan for tackling rising GAS prices at a CBS News town hall.
President Obama answered questions on his plan to strengthen our economy, create jobs and address rising gas prices in a special town hall event that aired on CBS this morning.
With rising gas prices at the front of many Americans' minds, the President talked about his long-term approach to tackling fuel costs:
There's no single silver bullet. We're gonna have to do efficiency. We're gonna have to do alternative energy. We've gotta develop electric cars that can be cheaper. And those are all things that we've been investing in over the last two years—which is why it's gonna be important for us to continue making those investments in the years to come.
On jobs, the President called on companies to invest in the American people:
When I talk to CEOs, the issue here is not uncertainty. The issue is they've got to start placing their bets on America. It is time for companies to step up. When we're in the middle of a recession, our whole job was to make sure the economy was still growing and we stabilized the financial system. And we did that. And American taxpayers contributed to that process of stabilizing the economy.
Companies have benefited from that, and they're making a lot of money. And now's the time for them to start betting on American workers and American products.
You can watch video of the town hall here.