US: Vice President Biden visits NAIAS and praises Detroit’s automakers image

During a speech at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Joe Biden heralded the US auto industry’s recent success as the pay off on a bet made by two presidential administrations.

During the speech Biden noted that by the collective actions of the Obama Administration, automakers and their workers saved the industry that accounts for more than 4% of the company’s gross domestic product. Biden lauded the makers for their vehicles.

“You’re producing the best product in the world,” he said. “And you’re just getting started. Thank you again for making America the automotive capital of the world.”

Afterward, Biden – an admitted “car guy” who owns a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette courtesy of his father who was a car salesman – toured the show floor stopping for an extended period of time at each of the Detroit Three automakers exhibit.

While at Ford, he checked out the F-150 and the Mustang GT and spoke with company executive Chairman Bill Ford. Biden also toured the Chrysler booth talking with Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne while looking over Chrysler 200 and Jeep Cherokee before settling in at the General Motors display. Telling reporters he was like “a kid in a candy store,” he met with GM CEO Mary Barra who showed him the Chevy Silverado as well as the Corvette Stingray and the Corvette Z06.

Biden came to the show after arriving in Detroit the night before and meeting with the recently elected mayor, Mike Duggan, for dinner. The pair discussed the status of Detroit and how the federal government can help the city going forward.