(CBS/AP) The president wants you to know Detroit’s Big Three are in the black again.
President Barack Obama is going to the heart of the U.S. auto industry to push an important election-year claim: his administration’s unpopular auto industry bailout has turned into an economic good-news story.
Mr. Obama will visit three auto plants over the next several days to tout what White House press secretary Robert Gibbs calls “a success story.”
In a report released Thursday, the White House said the auto industry has hired 55,000 workers – adding jobs for the first time since 1999 – and predicts another 11,000 new hires by the end of the year owing to plant refurbishments and added shifts.
All Big Three automakers have also announced quarterly profits – the first time that has happened since 2004. GM showed a profit of $865 million in the first quarter of 2010 (its first since 2005), and Chrysler earned $143 million. Ford just announced a $2.6 billion profit for the second quarter – its fifth straight quarterly profit.