Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - President Obama will display his administration's high hopes for the U.S. auto industry when he visits a Ford plant in Chicago on Thursday.
Ford is the only major U.S. automaker that didn't take a government bailout. Later this year, its Chicago assembly plant will begin production of a new, fuel efficient 2011 Ford Explorer.
The company recently announced that the Chicago plant is adding 1,200 new jobs. The positions were made possible by the new Department of Energy loans aimed at helping companies retool their plants to make more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The Obama administration said Wednesday it believes the recovery of the U.S. auto industry can be sustained and has the potential to grow.