By Keith Laing - 05/10/11 06:44 PM EDT
The United Auto Workers heralded the news.
"The UAW's goal has been to return all laid-off workers to active status and see the company begin hiring again," UAW vice president Joe Ashton said in a statement. "These announcements will create and retain thousands of jobs and bring General Motors back to full employment of our hourly workforce."
After the outgoing Bush administration bailed out GM and Chrysler in late 2008, President Obama assumed responsibility for getting the companies back on track. The president imposed conditions on the auto bailouts that he said stood in contrast to the loans given to Wall Street.
Obama's reelection campaign has already begun targeted pitches to factory-heavy midwestern states like Michigan and Ohio that credit Obama with "saving" the American auto industry.
That campaign theme will be heard more as the 2012 election approaches and Obama seeks to hold the unemployment-battered states he carried in 2008.
GM said Tuesday that its sales for the first four months of this year were up 24.8 over the same period in 2010, and the company has had five consecutive profitable quarters since emerging from bankruptcy.