By Bernie Woodall
DETROIT Nov 1 A Chrysler executive told Donald
Trump in a Tweet on Thursday that the real estate executive and
television personality was "full of shit" for repeating a notion
that Chrysler is shipping U.S. Jeep production to China, which
the automaker refutes.
Ralph Gilles, the head of product design for Chrysler,
became the second top Chrysler executive in three days to
strongly deny the claim, which was first made by Republican
presidential candidate Mitt Romney last week to a crowd in Ohio.
Trump, from his Twitter account, said, "Obama is a terrible
negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send
all Jeep manufacturing to China--and will!"
To which Gilles, from his Twitter account, responded to
Trump: "You are full of shit!"
In a second Tweet, Giles added: "I apologize for my
language, but lies are just that, lies."
On Tuesday, Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Sergio
Marchionne, in an e-mail to employees, also flatly denied
"I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep
production will not be moved from the United States to China,"
Romney, speaking a week ago to a crowd in Defiance, Ohio,
said that he had read a news article that said Chrysler's Jeep
brand is considering moving "all production to China."
Jeep, Chrysler's global brand, has three U.S. assembly
plants, including one in Toledo, Ohio. The others are in
Illinois and in Detroit.
Ohio is seen by pollsters as a key "swing" state in next
Tuesday's presidential election. It has been the site of intense
competition between the campaigns of Romney and President Barack
After Romney spoke in Defiance, his campaign aired an
advertisement that did not repeat the move of production from
Ohio but said that Chrysler is considering making Jeeps in
China, which Chrysler has said it intends to do.
Marchionne said that any Jeep production in China would be
for the Chinese market, and that the company would not take any
production away from Chrysler's U.S. plants. Rather, he said,
Chrysler is adding jobs and investment at its Ohio plant.
Chrysler has been managed by Fiat SpA since it
emerged from its 2009 bankruptcy, when the Italian company took
20 percent ownership. Fiat has since increased its ownership to
Marchionne is chief executive of both Chrysler and Fiat.