TOLEDO, Ohio (
) -- This is a place where President Obama is winning his bet on the auto industry.
Obama's commitment to bail out
is paying big dividends in a city that suffered in the auto industry recession but now is coming back, thanks to investment by both companies.
Chrysler announced Thursday that it is considering whether to add 1,105 jobs and spend $365 million on its Toledo assembly plant, which makes the Jeep Wrangler and will also make the next-generation Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro SUV.
The Toledo Blade
reported that the company might also add another 530,000 square feet to the existing four-million-square-foot complex.
"As Chrysler employees and metro Toledo celebrated the news Thursday that the automaker plans to add 1,105 jobs to its local work force, new documents released by the city of Toledo indicate that the automaker's future plans for its Toledo Assembly complex may be grander than first thought," the newspaper said.
Chrysler bought American Motors, the owner of Jeep, in 1987. Cars have been made in Toledo for a century, and Jeeps have been made there since the 1940s, when they were developed as part of the U.S. war effort.
Chrysler said it is seeking "to secure incentives that would support the business case for such an investment." The Blade said the company wants $16 million locally and additional, unknown incentives from the state. In a story on Sunday, the newspaper said "city and state elected officials will offer anything that isn't nailed down."
Obama visited Chrysler's Toledo plant in June 3, telling workers that "I placed my bet on you.
"I put my faith in the American worker and I'll you what. I'll do that every day of the week because what you have done vindicates my faith," the president said. "Today, I am proud to announce the government has been completely repaid for the investments we made under my watch by Chrysler because of the outstanding work that you guys did."
The visit came just after Italian automaker
revealed plans to buy the U.S. Treasury's stake in Chrysler.
In May, GM CEO Dan Akerson
visited Toledo to announce that the automaker will invest $240 million in its transmission plant there and about $2 billion in eight states, mainly in the Midwest, creating or retaining about 4,000 jobs at 17 plants. GM set up shop in Toledo in 1916 and opened the existing transmission plant 54 years ago.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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