The real estate executive, from his Twitter account, said, “Obama is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China-and will!”
Gilles, in his turn, didn’t waste time, responding via the social networking website: “You are full of shit!”
He went on, adding: “I apologize for my language, but lies are just that, lies.”
On Tuesday, Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, in an e-mail to the company’s employees, also highly denied Romney’s claim, reports The Huffington Post.
“I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne wrote.
The Republican nominee, speaking a week ago to a crowd in Defiance, Ohio, said that he had read a news article that claimed Chrysler’s Jeep brand is considering moving “all production to China.”
Jeep, Chrysler’s global brand, has three U.S. assembly plants, including one in Toledo, Ohio, in Illinois and in Detroit.
Ohio is seen by pollsters as a key “swing” state in presidential election which are scheduled on Nov.6. It has been the site of intense competition between the campaigns of the former Massachusetts governor and President Barack Obama.
After Romney spoke in Defiance, his campaign released a new ad that did not repeat the move of production from Ohio but claimed that Chrysler is thinking over the possibility to produce Jeeps in China, which Chrysler has said it intends to do.
The ad said: “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 caused an immediate 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.”
Chrysler CEO said that any Jeep production in China would be targeted at the Chinese market, and that the company would not take any production away from Chrysler’s U.S. plants. Chrysler would rather add jobs and investment at its Ohio plant.
“Those include more than $1.7 billion to produce the successor of the Jeep Liberty and hire about 1,100 workers on a second shift by 2013,” he said.
FactCheck.org called Romney’s claims “flat wrong,” explaining, “It’s misleading to suggest that Chrysler’s decision to expand into China will cost U.S. jobs — especially after the company has said it would have no impact on its U.S. operations.”
Romney’s spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, said later that the candidate was relying on an inaccurate report from Bloomberg News.
According to Saul, the website had updated the story explaining that while the company did plan to manufacture all types of its cars in Chinese market, it was expanding into the Asian country, not moving its operations there, reports The Washington News.
Marchionne reported that his company has added 2,000 jobs since June 2009 at its Jefferson North assembly plant, where it assembles the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The automaker has created 2,600 jobs in Belvidere, Ill., where it makes the Jeep Patriot and Compass, along with the Dodge Dart.