Chicago Sun-Times reporter Sandra Guy has the context behind President Obama's visit to Chicago's thriving Ford plant on Thursday.
Click below for news about new loan guarantees for Ford Obama will announce at the plant on Thursday morning.
below, from the White House...
FROM A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL:
On Thursday, President Obama will visit the Ford Motor Company Chicago Assembly Plant and continue to tell the story of how the tough choices he made to save the American auto industry were necessary to save a million American jobs, stave off economic devastation in our auto communities and revitalize an entire American industry.
In Chicago, the President will focus on how the steps that the American auto companies are taking to build the new, fuel efficient cars of the future means that they are not only making the vehicles Americans want to buy, but they are increasing their exports as well. The American auto industry's movement toward increasing its exports will help us meet the President's goal of doubling our exports over five years to support millions of new American jobs.
Later this year, the Chicago Assembly Plant will begin production of the new, fuel efficient 2011 Ford Explorer. Ford's new energy efficient 2011 Ford Explorer will be exported to more than 90 countries. Ford just announced that thanks in part to new Department of Energy loan guarantees aimed at helping companies retool their plants to make more fuel efficient vehicles, the Chicago plant is adding 1,200 new jobs. In addition, Ford estimates that the 2011 Explorer will bring more than 600 new supplier jobs to Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. In total, more than 100 companies in 23 states will produce parts for the vehicle.
As evidence of the American auto industry's success increasing its exports, tomorrow the Export-Import Bank of the United States will announce a new loan guarantee for Ford that will finance $3.1 billion of export sales for over 200,000 vehicles being sold to buyers in Canada and Mexico. These exports represent 15 percent of Ford's 2009 production and the vehicles will be manufactured in plants located in Chicago, Illinois; Dearborn and Wayne Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and Avon Lake, Ohio. The Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO) will provide the funding for the revolving $250 million loan backed by Ex-Im's guarantee. The loan, fees and interest will be paid off in one year.
Models to be exported using the Ex-Im loan guarantee facility include the new 2011 Ford Explorer, along with the F-150 pickup, Focus, Escape, Expedition, E-Series Van, Taurus, and Lincoln MKS and Navigator.