When the U.S. auto industry almost collapsed in 2009, the Big Three automakers cut hundreds of thousands of jobs and closed several assembly plants. By June 2009, U.S. auto manufacturing jobs bottomed out at 623,500, according the U.S. Department of Labor.
Since then, as demand has rebounded, automakers and suppliers have hired more than 300,000 workers. That's welcome news in states like Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, where the auto industry supplies hundreds of thousands of jobs. Still, the number of people working in the industry is well below the 1.1 million it employed in January 2006.
Trump has said more plants will lead to more blue-collar jobs.
"We have a very big push on to have auto plants and other plants — many other plants," Trump told reporters Tuesday. "It's happening."
So far, the United Auto Workers has not commented on the president's push. But there's no doubt union leaders would love to see another GM, Ford or Fiat Chrysler plant where they could add hundreds of new members.
— Reuters contributed to this report.