Saturday, February 5, 2011
Quinn: Auto Jobs Prove NJ Isn’t Better
On the same day New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie traveled to Illinois to lure jobs way from the state, Gov. Pat Quinn was bragging about new work for one of the state's auto plants.
Mitsubishi Motors announced Friday it will start building the Outlander Sport SUV at its Bloomington-Normal plant. The governor's office also announced that Mitsubishi will test market it's new electric vehicles in the state. The bottom line, Quinn said, is that Illinois is once again keeping or adding jobs. "Just last week I was with the Chinese president and their minister of commerce. I see a lot of Chinese investment heading our way," he said.
New Jersey's Christie is making good on his promise to come to Illinois to try to use the State's recent income tax increase to lure businesses to the Garden State. Christie's office in Trenton did not offer specifics of what the governor plans to do, or with whom he plans to meet.
A spokesperson would only say that "Gov. Christie does not feel the need to respond to any comments from Gov. Quinn."
Even though most in Illinois say the new production line and electrical vehicle testing for Mitsubishi is good news, it won't necessarily lead to new jobs.
Quinn's office phrases the announcement as saving 1,200 jobs. But the Mitsubishi plant in Normal had employed almost three times that many before slashing production and employment in recent years. Mitsubishi Plant Chief Operating Officer Jerry Berwanger said employment levels might rise, but a lot depends on whether people buy the cars they build.
"At the present time we have enough people to produce what we're projecting," Berwanger said. "If the future calls for higher volume (of cars), of course we'll have to increase employment at that time."
You can read Ben's full report at: http://illinois.statehousenewsonline.com/5053/quinn-auto-jobs-latest-proof-nj-isnt-better/
In the pic: The assembly line at Mitsubishi's Normal plant.