COLUMBUS, Ohio (CBSMiami) – The head of Chrysler Group, Sergio Marchionne, has seen his Jeep brand take center stage in the final days of the presidential campaign after the Mitt Romney camp released a deceptive ad claiming the auto bailout would ship jobs overseas.
The hullabaloo started after a Bloomberg report said that Jeep was planning to move some production to China. However, what those who jumped on the story failed as a political gun to fire at President Barack Obama was that Jeep wasn’t moving any American jobs overseas.
Instead, Jeep was planning to start production of Jeeps in China to sell in China. It would continue to maintain building Jeeps for North America in the United States.
But, the Romney campaign released an ad that stated Obama, “took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians, who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs.
The ad has been pilloried by fact-checkers and received a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact.
“The ad ignores the return of American jobs to Chrysler Jeep plans in the United States, and it presents the manufacture of Jeeps in China as a threat, rather than a opportunity to sell cars made in China to Chinese consumers. It strings together facts in a way that presents an wholly inaccurate picture,” Politifact wrote.
Marchionne released a letter to the Detroit News Tuesday that reiterated the fact that no jobs will be taken overseas from the U.S. market.
“I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne wrote.
Marchionne also said the company was planning on adding 1,100 jobs on a second shift at a Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio and that since 2009, the company has added more than 11,200 jobs since 2009.
“Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand,” Marchionne wrote. “It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”
The Romney campaign has continued to push the ad in Ohio and spent roughly $100,000 on it in the Toledo market alone, according to the Washington Post.
Romney’s campaign said in the past that they would not let fact-checkers get in the way of its message, but the ad may be the most blatant attempt yet by the Romney camp to push ahead with an ad regardless of the facts.