(01/16/14) - Vice President Joe Biden made a stop in Detroit to take a look at
some of the newest models from the world's leading car companies.
Biden also talked about the auto industry's resurgence from the 2009 federal bailout.
He toured the floor of Cobo Center Thursday morning.
The heads of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler took Biden on a tour of their respective displays. Before that, the self-proclaimed car guy told a crowd of politicians and business leaders that the cars and trucks on display at the North American International Auto Show shows just how far the industry has come.
You may remember it was just five years ago that the auto industry was in a very dark place. The government loaned billions of dollars to General Motors and Chrysler to keep the companies from going under.
Since then, the loans have been paid back, sales are strong, people are buying vehicles and the automakers are hiring.
It was a rough road for five years, but Biden says the American automakers are back on top.
"Everyone knows these companies wouldn't be existing today without cumulative sacrifice made by everyone from car dealers to UAW members. But the sacrifice resulted in the success that you see on this floor today. Since Chrysler and General Motors emerged from bankruptcy, you've created 380,000 new jobs," he said. "How could we possibly walk away from the iconic industry of America? American cars and trucks are once again changing the game, and I might add, providing good decent jobs for families."
Also during his speech, Biden talked about his roots in the auto industry. His father was a GM dealership manager, and he talked a lot about his '67 Chevy Corvette. He also hopped in the driver seat of some of the three's most popular cars and trucks.
"We talked about obviously the Stingray. When you look at all the improvements in the Stingray because he owns an older corvette," said Mary Barra, General Motors CEO.
Biden says each car tells the story of how far the American car industry as come.
"We bet on American ingenuity. We bet on you. And we won," he said.
He also took a moment to thank the Michigan workforce, saying they are producing the best product in the world.
For those automakers like GM, having a strong ally in the White House is a major reason why they are here - and thriving.
"We're grateful for the support we had in our time of need and we're working hard to make sure that this is a company, General Motors, that the country is proud of," Barra said.
So what were the vice president's favorite vehicles at the show? He liked the new aluminum Ford F-150, the Cadillac ATS and the Chrysler 200.
ABC12 Main Station