In recent days leading up to today’s national election, media (extending to MSNBC this afternoon) and Democrats have been emphasizing Mitt Romney campaign’s “misleading” ads mentioning production of Jeeps --- one of the world’s most famous U.S. vehicles dating back to their debut in World War II --- would move to China, notes Grumpy Editor.
They cite the ads as the Romney campaign’s efforts to undercut President Barack Obama’s support for the auto industry.
Jeeps --- produced by Chrysler Group LLC, now majority owned by Italian car manufacturer Fiat --- currently are produced at assembly plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.
What media are overlooking is that the China rumble started with one of their own --- Bloomberg News.
This afternoon with Martin Bashir's segment on MSNBC, discussion centered on the on-screen headline: Romney's "Jeep" ad may have backfired with Ohio voters.
An Oct. 22 Bloomberg story reports Fiat “plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers’ operations in the region.”
It adds,”Fiat is in ‘very detailed conversations’ with its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., about resuming Jeep production in China.
In pre-Fiat days, some Jeep models were manufactured for distribution in that country.
Three days after the Bloomberg story, Romney, at a Defiance, Ohio, rally on Oct. 25, tells supporters, “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. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair.”
Soon after, a Chrysler spokesman declares, “The take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce.”
Five days later, Chrysler’s chief executive strongly refutes claims that production of Jeeps would shift to China.