President praises American auto companies at D.C. Auto Show

Jan 31, 2012

From White House pool reports:

President Obama walked into the showroom of the 70th annual Washington Auto Show Tuesday afternoon, where he inspected about 15 new electric and hybrid models from Ford, Dodge, and General Motors.

The president was individually shown the vehicles by Sharif Marakby, director of electrification programs and engineering for Ford Motor Co; Reid Bigland, Dodge president and CEO; and Ed Welburn, vice president of global design for General Motors.

The President walked down the line of cars as each company representative explained their fuel efficiency, manufacturing process and design details. The president got inside many of the cars, sitting behind the wheel as he inspected their interiors.

Among the vehicles he viewed were the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi, 2013 Ford Fusion, 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT, 2013 Dodge Dart, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco and the American Pride Camaro (colorfully decorated with illustrations showing the history of the U.S. military, starting from the Revolutionary War, plus American flags, U.S. presidents and a bald eagle).

After the tour, the President gave these remarks to the pool:

"Let me just say, when you look at all these cars, it is testimony to the outstanding work that's been done by workers -- American workers, American designers. The U.S. auto industry is back. The fact that GM is back, number one, I think shows the kind of turnaround that's possible when it comes to American manufacturing.

And it's good to remember that the fact that there were some folks who were willing to let this industry die, because of folks coming together, we are now back in a place where we can compete with any car company in the world. And these are not only selling here in the United States, they also serve as a platform for us to sell product all around the world.

So I'm just very proud of what we're seeing here. That Camaro with the American Eagle and the American flag -- that helps tell the story."