Despite Romney Claim, Chrysler Isn’t Moving Any Auto Production To China

Mitt Romney, attempting to bolster his case to Ohio voters, misinterpreted a story and passed on an outright lie at a rally in the swing state yesterday. Reacting to a Bloomberg News story about auto manufacturer Chrysler’s plans to open a plant in China, Romney said at a rally in Defiance, Ohio that the company was “thinking of moving all production to China,” and that he would prevent such action by fighting for “every good job in America”:

I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep — now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China,” Romney said at a rally in Defiance, Ohio, home to a General Motors powertrain plant. “I will fight for every good job in America. I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it’s fair America will win.”

The Bloomberg News story, however, doesn’t say that Chrysler plans to move “all production to China.” Instead, it says that Fiat, which now owns Chrysler, is planning to open Chinese factories where it will make one of its most popular lines, Jeep, for Chinese consumers. Chrysler isn’t planning to shift production away from the United States. Instead, it will add factories in China to keep up with the nation’s growing demand for automobiles:

Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.

“That he would take an article that just described a global expansion and not a shift in jobs and use it to try to get Ohio votes, or to scare people into voting for him, is just another example of why you can’t trust this man,” former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said on a conference call today.

Romney has often struggled with facts about the auto industry. Though he now claims the auto bailout was his idea, his plan to let the private sector finance the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors was “reckless” and “pure fantasy,” according to auto industry insiders. By some estimates, it could have cost more than 1 million American jobs.