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Obama to visit to Mo. Ford plant, highlight industry turnaround
Detroit News

Washington— President Barack Obama will visit Ford Motor Co.’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri on Friday as the White House highlights the fifth anniversary of 2008 financial meltdown that left banks, automakers and other financial institutions near the brink of collapse.

Obama, who made the $85 billion auto bailout a cornerstone of his 2012 re-election bid, is visiting Ford’s plant to tout the fact that others benefited from the rescue of the economy. Unlike General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, Ford didn’t receive a government bailout.

The White House said Obama would travel to the plant “where he will continue to highlight the progress we have made since the beginning of the financial crisis five years ago and the work that lies ahead to continue strengthening our economy and deliver a better bargain for the middle class.”

“We look forward to hosting President Obama at Ford this Friday,” Ford spokeswoman Christin Baker said in a statement. “Our Kansas City Assembly Plant is a great example of how Ford is contributing to U.S. economic growth and job creation. ...”

The number of auto jobs, those working directly for automakers and parts makers, is up about 60,000 since Obama took office to 816,000. But the administration said 340,000 jobs have been created — in the auto dealers, auto parts and auto sector — since June 2009, when broad auto employment reached a low.

White House National Economic Council director Gene Sperling told reporters on a conference call Sunday that the decision to save GM and Chrysler “was a source of division within the Obama economic team” — with Obama’s advisers split on whether to save Chrysler as part of a tie-up with Fiat SpA.

The Treasury predicts taxpayers will lose $15 billion on the bailout, largely from the $49.5 billion bailout of GM and the $17.2 billion bailout of Ally Financial Inc., the Detroit-based auto finance company.

Sperling said the bailout “has turned out far better than anyone could have dreamed of — not only terms of job creation and the economy and manufacturing, but in terms of those companies and their suppliers being poised to increase and take market share. ... The payback from the auto companies is far better than anyone would have projected.” Read More....
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