U.S. President Obama’s plea to consumers to “buy American,” hits a sour note with the American International Automobile Dealers Assn.

“If you are considering buying a car, I hope it will be an American car,” Obama says earlier today in his speech announcing Chrysler LLC’s pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“President Obama must recognize protectionist policies and statements, like ‘buy American,’ have no place in America’s economic recovery,” says AIADA President Cody Lusk.

“In today’s globalized economy, ‘buying American’ can mean anything from buying a Chevy Avalanche built by Mexican workers in Silao to buying a Toyota Camry built by Americans in Georgetown, KY.”

Lusk says every car bought in America, no matter where its maker is headquartered, is “a shot in the arm for our economy” and a boost for dealers, whom he calls the “cornerstones of communities all across this country.”

The Japanese Big Three auto makers, Nissan North America Inc., American Honda Motor Co. Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., remind they manufacture cars in the U.S. and employ American workers.

However, none will comment directly on whether Obama’s imploring people to buy American is unfair to them.

“We’ve been building cars for 25 years in the U.S., we employ 14,000 people in the U.S.,” says Nissan spokesman Fred Standish. Honda spokesman Ed Miller says Honda has “always been committed to local production” and builds the majority of cars it sells in the U.S. here or at plants in Canada and Mexico.

Toyota, the current No.2 U.S. auto maker by sales and market share, trailing General Motors Corp., says it remains “committed to our consumers and our goal to be the best and most-respected auto maker in America.”

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com