Obama touts ownership of 2008 Ford Escape

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The mention of the fact that his presidential SUV was made by Cadillac drew boos for Obama, but he pointed out his Ford still has low mileage since he has not been able to drive it since he became president in 2009.

"It came right off these assembly lines," Obama said of his Ford. "Some of you might have been involved in building it. It was a great car. The problem is, I got Secret Service about a month after I bought the car, so I've only got 2,000 miles on it."

Obama told the Ford employees that his days of been driven around in a Cadillac were temporary.

"It's not my car," Obama said after hearing boos. "I'm renting, just like my house. The lease runs out in about 3 1/2 years."

Obama used the appearance at the Ford plant to tout the turnaround of the U.S. auto industry since two of the three major Detroit car companies were bailed out by the government in 2008 and 2009.

"From the day I stepped into the Oval Office, the American auto industry, which is the heartbeat of American manufacturing...was flat- lining," he said. "Ford was standing on its own two feet, had made some smart decisions, but [Ford General Manger] Alan [Mullaly] will tell you if [General Motors] and Chrysler had gone down, suppliers would go down, dealers would have gone down. And all of that would've had a profound impact on Ford.

"I refused to let that happen," Obama continued. "So we worked with labor. We worked with management. Everybody had to make some sacrifices. Everybody put some skin in the game. We bet on the American worker. We bet on you. And today that bet has paid off because the American auto industry has come roaring back."

-This story was updated with new information at 2:34 p.m.