US auto industry starting to show signs of stress: Global Automakers CEO

Auto executives are warning of increasing signs of stress in the auto industry after President Trump ramped up his criticism of General Motors and the United Automobile Workers over the weekend.

“Sales are down from last year, prices are actually up...and investment in the sector is down from last year,” Global Automakers Association CEO John Bozzellatold told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on Monday.

Bozzella said uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade deal could exacerbate or compound that stress further.

GM announced last November that its plant in Lordstown, Ohio, would be among multiple facilities set to close as part of restructuring maneuvers. The company is eliminating nearly 1,700 hourly positions at the facility. Trump took to Twitter to say he wants the Ohio plant "opened or sold to a company who will open it up fast!"

"We now have the best Economy in the World, the envy of all. Get that big, beautiful plant in Ohio open now. Close a plant in China or Mexico, where you invested so heavily pre-Trump, but not in the U.S.A. Bring jobs home!," Trump tweeted.

Bozzella said the key to the Trump's administration success has been prioritizing the auto industry.

“There are 10 million Americans who rely on the U.S. auto industry, and there certainly has been some progress.”


White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News Monday the urgency the president feels is that he wants the auto companies to continue to remain in the U.S. "because he knows that is a bedrock part of the economy and continues to be."

The Lordstown, Ohio plant is the first of five GM plants to end production this year, first time in over 100 years that the automaker won't be assembling cars in Ohio.