By on October 29, 2012

Poor reporting by unscrupulous bloggers is nothing new – there’s even a book about it. We try and stay above the fray and simply write accurately the first time around. But a story regarding Jeep and Chinese production has been making the rounds with such speed that TTAC readers have been emailing us for clarification. It got so bad that even Mitt Romney got things wrong.

While the original report by Bloomberg correctly stated that additional capacity for Jeep may be sought out in China, other blogs followed the time honored tradition of spinning the facts to create a new story, in the name of gaining all-important clicks. Chrysler ended up issuing a statement clarifying the matter.

There are times when the reading of a newswire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach.

On Oct. 22, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. ET, the Bloomberg News report “Fiat Says Jeep® Output May Return to China as Demand Rises” stated “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

So there you have it folks. Jeep production is not in danger of leaving Toledo any time soon.

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32 Comments on “No, Jeep Is Not Shifting Production From Toledo To China...”

  • avatar

    It got so bad that even Mitt Romney got things wrong.

    Uh, the Romney campaign were the ones actively spreading the rumor.

    • 0 avatar

      “It got so bad even Mitt Romney got things wrong.”

      I’ve never read a funnier line on TTAC. When did this site turn into The Onion? To ease editorial confusion here I’ll offer a revision…

      “Once again the Romney campaign promoted unvetted and intentionally misleading claims, doubling down on their ‘throw some cr*p against the wall to see what sticks’ etcha-sketch policy strategy.”

      You’re welcome.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you Total and sfdennis1.

      At the risk of a ban……

      What a whitewash this article is to the inisdiuous Romney pandering which is truly at the heart of this story. This was not some error, some overzealous blogger in his basement. This is a deliberate attempt at lying and distortions by the Romney campaign. Lies that once Chrysler, all the media (except maybe Fox), the Dems, and anyone with half a brain have debunked, continue to be repeated by the Romney campaign. Lies. And now the lies are in ADS! Not just a campaign speech where one might be forgiven for out of context or off the cuff remarks. But ads on television. Written, planned, filmed ads. Shameless.

      I was really debating clicking on this article, after Derek’s snarky “You didn’t build that” line in the Scion article. The teabaggery is surprising coming from a Canadian, but Auto sites are generally so right wing, so I expect little else lately. And this site has gotten way out in right field, with at least one writer wearing his heart plainly and clearly on his right hand sleeve. But I hoped the article would take Romney to task for the lies, not just repeat TTAC’s ongoing obsession with calling out other blogs for mistakes. I was wrong. Romney’s position in this fiasco was minimized to a simple… “even Romney got things wrong.”

      Well thank you for that hard nosed journalism. At least the linked article had a dose of reality… “At an event in Defiance, Ohio tonight, Mitt Romney shamelessly tried to scare voters into thinking Jeep was moving to China and taking American jobs with it,” he said. “That is blatantly false, and speaks to how Romney will say absolutely anything to win votes.”

      I can only be comforted that the first comment (and a response) showed that some of the B&B are not afraid to speak up when things get out of hand.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think most of the “Right Wing” gives a real hoot where Jeeps are built as saving UAW jobs are rarely a top priority for them and they are pretty tied up trying to dig the truth out of the Benghazi mess at the moment.

    • 0 avatar

      I just can’t wait till November 6th when I can go down and cast a vote against Mitt Romney. He may never actually hear my voice, but voting against him is the LOUDEST “F YOU” I think I can send him.

  • avatar

    Funny, I had a few people mention to this me last week. Unflinchingly I explained to them that any production of Jeeps in China would be to fill local (Asian market) demand.

    It just doesn’t make any sense to someone in the business that they wouldn’t even think twice about it.

  • avatar

    You seriously had readers asking if that was real? That’s disappointing.

  • avatar

    Yeah, I’m on several Jeep boards/blogs and it got kinda intense regarding this…even after carefully explaining that the China connection was for their consumption (not moving assembly from the US to China in its entirety), people still were frothing that Jeep would move overseas. Amazing how easily folks take one peice of information and run with it without doing any sort of background checking…

    Meanwhile, I tested a new 2013 Wrangler…base, 6 speed, soft top (no power windows…why in the world does a Wrangler even HAVE power windows??)…yeah, it’s a rolling dinosaur, but dang…I want one. Guess it’ll have to wait until after my deployment!

    • 0 avatar

      Nowadays, they’re more of a modern iteration of a rolling dinosaur. They’re pretty comfy and nice to drive!

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, I agree. With the Pentastar V6, it was pretty decent…even with the soft top and not hard top, it wasn’t that bad at 70 MPH. Sure, it wasn’t as quiet as my mother’s new Verano…but I got out of the Wrangler smiling. Just don’t have the bank account to back up the purchase!

  • avatar

    Romney’s running ads with this erroneous information so it’s no honest mistake.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s erroneous is your assertion that Romney is running inaccurate ads about Chrysler’s decision to again build Jeeps in China. The ad that Romney is running says:

      “Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China”

      What exactly is erroneous about that statement?

  • avatar

    Yeah, the pro globalization, anti union blog is bringing you the truth. Only 7 days late!

  • avatar

    Regardless of one’s personal political proclivities, I think we can all agree that our election system has become so ridiculous and devoid of content, so dis-informative and shameful, so corrupt and absurd, that the US risks becoming a republic in name only. Let’s hope our institutions are resilient enough to create something new when the current system has revealed itself as a destructive sham to enough people.

  • avatar

    Who knows at this point what the truth is. The latest is Fiat may produce Jeeps in Italy.

    “To counter the severe slump in European sales, Marchionne is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America. The Italian government is evaluating tax rebates on export goods to help Fiat. Marchionne may announce details of his plan as soon as Oct. 30, the people said.”

    • 0 avatar

      Chrysler’s 5 year plan always called for building a small FIAT based SUV in Italy. In return, FIAT is already selling American built Jeeps and other Chrysler products in Europe, China and around the world. What prompted Chrysler reviving Jeep production in China is the huge tariffs China puts on US cars. Obama has been trying to fight these tariffs.

  • avatar

    I don’t see how anyone could have misinterpreted this, with basically every single major automaker worldwide operating in China, the idea that Chrysler would be using their new Chinese joint venture any differently than anyone else was just pure stupidity mixed with old fashioned jingoism.

    Now, the bit about building some Jeeps in Italy to fill excess production capacity and avoid having to lay off any Italian workers is certainly more true. I expect Chrysler can probably still find enough to do with their North American factories to keep it from being a real problem, but it’s worth remembering that Fiat’s first loyalty is to their homeland (and that laying off American and Canadian workers is always going to be a lot cheaper than laying off Italian workers).

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t see how anyone could have misinterpreted this either since all Jeep products are now made in the USA and exported to China and elsewhere for sale at those locations.

      What has the UAW upset is that future expansion of Jeep production will not result in more jobs in the US, but new jobs in China instead.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    So, once they have the Chinese lines up and running in parallel to the American ones, which will get further investment? Blithely painting this as just for local consumption is ignoring the long term benefits of operating in China – the cars will be cheaper, quality will be as good, and suddenly the UAW’s members are being asked to compete internally with a newer plant with more direct supply lines.

    • 0 avatar

      There are a lot of companies that have built auto plants in China for sale in China. There is much less evidence that they are growing auto production in China in order to sell cars here in the US.

      In fact, if anything, many experts believe that the trend will be to manufacture things in the US when they are intended for sale in the US:

      (as an added bonus, there is a counter-argument for you to tread too)

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I thought we were pretty good at exporting Jeeps since well, the Willys days.

  • avatar

    Regular folks get sold on the concept of free trade with the theory that if we get our TVs and iPhones from China, that the balance is restored by us selling our goods (like Grand Cherokees and Wranglers) to the Chinese.
    That’s working out great.

  • avatar

    TTAC are trying to set the record straight, but in the process they’ve made matters worse.

    The rumor within the industry was that production was going to be shifted to China, but the Romney ad makes no such claims. It says Chrysler was sold to the Italian firm FIAT who plan to build Jeeps in China. The statement is factual. The Romney campaign knows that people will jump to the conclusion that jobs are being outsourced, but despite public misconceptions, the Jeep-production-in-China-claim does carry a sting in the tail. If we are producing Jeeps in China, we are not producing extra Jeeps (and new jobs) in Toledo and then exporting them to China (to fix our balance of trade) as many car producing nations still do to the US.

    The Prius, for instance, is still manufactured in Japan b/c neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration applied the appropriate political pressure/incentive on Toyota to build the Mississippi Prius factory. They’ve continuously delayed the Mississippi plant to protect jobs in Japan.

    The Romney campaign is using public misconception, but if the fact does carry a salient economic point, I don’t see how they have gotten anything wrong. By building Jeeps in new facilities in China, we are likely taking potential jobs out of the US. The voters must decide whether the Jeep situation is Obama’s fault or if we had better options for Chrysler during the auto-bailout.

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