First, the president is visiting Ford's Wayne, MI factory, which is rather strange considering the government bailed out the company's local rivals, Chrysler and General Motors. Even more worrying, considering the topic of the speech, is that the Wayne facility has been idled due to a lack of demand.
According to The Detroit News, the White House said the speech will focus on "the workers in the resurgent American automotive and manufacturing sector now that the auto rescue has been completed and the decision to save the auto industry and the over one million jobs that went with it."
Wayne Assembly employs some 5,100 Michiganders when its lines are up and running, but as gas prices have plunged below $2 per gallon in some areas over the past month, its fuel-efficient products – the Focus and C-Max – have seen their sales plummet, as well. In December, the Focus' year-over-year sales were down 4.4 percent, while the C-Max dipped 3.3 percent, Ford told The News. Lagging sales for the two compacts aren't a new thing, though. Focus sales in all of 2014 were down 6.4 percent, while the C-Max struggled with a 21.6-percent drop last year.
According to The News, Ford made the decision to idle the factory before being approached by the White House. Considering that, we wonder what the team at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was thinking when it selected the Ford facility, and what impact the location will have on the president's message.