Hundreds of autoworkers from General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Co. are expected to attend President Donald J. Trump’s Wednesday speech at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township.
General Motors Co. confirmed it will bus a few hundred hourly UAW and salaried workers from southeast Michigan sites such as the Renaissance Center, Warren Tech Center and Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant. It also will showcase its 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, a pure electric car, and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric that’s made at Detroit-Hamtramck, in a display of U.S.-made vehicles.
A Ford spokeswoman said Tuesday that a group of hourly and salaried workers will attend the president’s speech, along with Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. The Dearborn automaker also plans to showcase the Ford Mustang and F-150.
Fiat Chrysler also will bus hundreds of hourly and salaried workers from its Auburn Hills U.S. headquarters and from southeast Michigan auto plants, according to a source familiar with the planning who spoke anonymously because the details have not been shared publicly.
Trump is expected to announce he is reopening a review of fuel economy mandates during his speech at the Willow Run site. The White House confirmed earlier this week that Trump would talk up his priorities of bolstering the manufacturing industry and taming the outsourcing of American jobs.
The president also is expected to meet separately with a group of automaker CEOs and senior executives at Willow Run ahead of his speech, according to two sources familiar with the plans who sought to remain anonymous because the details haven’t been made public.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday said Trump will meet with auto executives and workers in Michigan and discuss how his plans for “rolling back federal red tape will lead to more American jobs and higher wages, specifically in the automobile sector.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the president to showcase moves he’s already made toward his ambitious ‘Buy America, Hire America’ agenda, like encouraging investment in workforce training and development, so Americans are ready for the jobs of the future, and removing the roadblocks that prevent American businesses from staying and expanding here in the United States,” Spicer said.
“The president hopes to build on the great optimism that he has built within the business community in anticipation of the renewed opportunities the president’s economic agenda has already created.”
The White House has not confirmed other details of the president’s visit, which is his first to Michigan since he took office in January.
Several top automaker executives are expected to attend the event, including GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Sergio Marchionne; Nissan North America Chairman Jose Munoz; and Hyundai Motor America Acting President and CEO Jerry Flannery. Toyota Motor Corp. said a high-level North American executive will attend.
Trump has criticized automakers including Ford and GM for building vehicles in Mexico. He has blamed the North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade deals for manufacturing job losses in the U.S.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder also plans to meet Trump on Wednesday. Snyder had been scheduled to speak at a cybersecurity conference in Washington, D.C., but will instead stay in Michigan for the president’s visit, according to his office.
Trump has been working to reverse many Obama-era regulations since taking office, and his Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation are widely expected to reconsider the greenhouse gas emission standards. Automakers have asked for a midterm review of fuel economy mandates that will require them to make car and truck fleets averaging 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. They say the technology would add cost to vehicles and that Americans are buying more trucks and SUVs and are less interested in electric vehicles.
Staff writers Jonathan Oosting, Melissa Burke and Ian Thibodeau contributed.