(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump said he’s pressuring General Motors Co. to move production back into Ohio after the automaker announced it would close a factory in the state as part of a plan to cut jobs and shutter facilities around the world.
“You better get back in there soon — that’s Ohio,” Trump told reporters Monday, recounting what he said to GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra following the job cuts announcement earlier Monday. The automaker said it planned to lay off 14,000 workers and close seven factories.
Among the factories GM plans to close is one in Lordstown, Ohio, that makes the Chevrolet Cruze. Ohio is a critical political battleground in presidential elections.
“I was very tough. I spoke with her,” Trump said as he departed the White House for campaign rallies in Mississippi. “We have a lot of pressure on them.”
Trump said he wasn’t impressed with GM officials’ explanation that the company is closing the Ohio plant because of poor sales of the model it manufactures.
“They said the Chevy Cruze is not selling well,” Trump said. “I said ‘Well, then get a car that is selling well and put it back in.’ So I think you’re going to see something else happen there. ”
Four factories in the U.S. and one in Canada could be closed by the end of 2019 if the automaker and its unions don’t come up with an agreement to allocate more work to those facilities, GM said in a statement earlier Monday. Another two will close outside North America. The Detroit-based company’s shares surged on the plan, which includes abandoning some of its slower-selling sedan models.
Read More: GM Plans to Cut More than 14,000 Jobs, Close Seven Factories
Barra was scheduled to meet with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Monday following the automaker’s announcement, a White House official said.
The meeting was planned prior to GM’s announcement on Monday, the official said. The person asked not be identified because the meeting wasn’t publicly announced.