The heads of the four largest U.S. automakers have been named to a White House task force focused on restarting the economy.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump named several dozen business leaders to what he called the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups.
Among them: General Motors’ Mary Barra, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Mike Manley, Ford Motor Co.’s Bill Ford Jr. and Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk.
There are a number of labor unions represented, but not the UAW.
Trump said he would be speaking to members of the task force by telephone in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has talked with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker about forging a joint strategy for reopening the automotive-dominated Great Lakes regional economy when the threat of the coronavirus subsides, Crain's Detroit Business reported.
Pritzker has been talking with his peers in the Midwest about a coordinated approach to lifting shelter-in-place orders ahead of President Trump making a national move that may not reflect regional priorities, Crain's Chicago Business reported Tuesday. Crain's Detroit and Crain's Chicago are affiliates of Automotive News.
Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois dominate the U.S. automotive industry with several assembly plants and thousands of parts suppliers, along with r&d and other logistical support operations.
As many as 20 U.S. states could reopen on May 1, a top Trump administration official said Wednesday.
The Illinois governor and his chief of staff have talked with Whitmer and her chief of staff JoAnne Huls about a coordinated regional approach to reopening the economies they shut down in mid-March to mitigate spread of the coronavirus, two sources with knowledge of the discussions confirmed for Crain's Detroit Business.
"Governors that I've spoken with have been frankly very positive about this idea," Pritzker said Tuesday at his daily COVID-19 briefing, according to Chicago radio station WBBM. "They've all been thinking about it individually for their states and understand that speaking with a common voice might be a positive move."
Pritzker and his office did not name the governors he's been speaking with.