Just days after President Trump ripped General Motors and urged it "Bring jobs home!" after closing its Lordstown, Ohio, plant, its CEO Mary Barra told FOX Business that it is undeniably committed to growing jobs in the United States.
“I think when we talk about jobs and investing in the U.S. workforce and the American worker — that’s where General Motors and I think the president are very aligned,” Barra told Jeff Flock referring to whether she was throwing Trump a bone with the announcement of its $1.8 billion investment in its electric-car plant in Orion, Michigan.
“We want to create jobs, good paying jobs,” she said. “When you look at having a strong economy, we are making decisions to make sure General Motors continues to be a strong company.”
Aside from creating 700 new jobs, it will build an all-new electric vehicle that was originally planned to be manufacturing in China.
Trump, this week, in a series of tweets called on GM to reopen its Lordstown plant very quickly. Barra said although it was “tough,” the shift away from small cars was largely the reason for the decision. However, Barra said she wants “every single employee” to “stay part of the GM team.”
“We already had 500 of those employees moved to other locations. We’ll have other opportunities, including some in Ohio,” she said. “So we are going to continue to focus on that… but I understand it’s a difficult message.”
Trump also demanded that GM add a new product to replace the Ohio plant. But Barra said it would be difficult to add another product because it was specifically designed to build small cars. However, they plan to “investigate any opportunity that comes up.”
“We want to do the right thing for the community,” she said. “But we’ve got to make sure it’s going to be a sustainable business.”
Barra also discussed potential backlash over making its Chevy Blazer in Mexico.
“We have to understand that about half of the components on the Blazer and all of the power-trains are built in the U.S.,” she said.
“There are a significant number of U.S. jobs that go to that product. I think what’s really important to understand is we moved…. the Cadillac XT5 to the United States. Its predecessor was in Mexico,” she added. “So you’ve got to look at it as a system.”