Donald J. Trump, seeing an opening with organized labor, appealed on Thursday for support of the United Auto Workers for his White House bid and said that only his return to the presidency could save the auto industry from President Biden’s “ridiculous Green New Deal crusade.”

Mr. Trump’s apocalyptic vision of the state of the American auto industry does not match the reality of an auto sector that has steadily gained jobs over the past three years. But there was friction between the White House and the new leadership of the old-line industrial auto union.

The United Auto Workers, which has a record of backing Democratic candidates for president, including Mr. Biden, was angered by the Biden administration for pumping tax money into non-union electric car suppliers, and withheld its support even as most unions rushed to support Mr. Biden’s re-election. The new UAW president, Shawn Fain, met with Mr. Biden at the White House on Wednesday as contract negotiations with the Big Three automakers heat up over electric vehicle parts.

In a video on Thursday, Mr. Trump predicted the demise of American auto manufacturing and the “slaughter” of 117,000 auto jobs. “I hope the United Auto Workers is listening to this because I think you better support Trump,” he said. He explicitly warned that Mr. Biden’s policies would cost jobs in the key swing state of Michigan, as well as the more reliably Republican states of Ohio and Indiana.

The auto industry has actually gained jobs steadily since Mr. Trump left office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment among automakers and their parts suppliers reached 1,071,600 in June, up 129,000 since December 2020, the last full month of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Mr Trump’s insistence that electric vehicles are piling up unsold on car lots contradicts the industry’s own view of its inventory.

“We would argue that the demand for traditional vehicles and for electric vehicles is strong,” said Matt Blunt, a former Republican governor of Missouri who is now president of the American Automotive Policy Council, the domestic auto industry’s trade association in Washington. “This is a time of dramatic transition, but the American industry is well positioned.”

But the tension between the UAW and the Biden administration is real. It takes fewer workers to assemble an electric vehicle than one with an internal combustion engine. This made organizing parts suppliers, especially battery makers, an imperative of the union’s rebellious new leadership.

Yet much of the new battery investment spurred in part by Mr. Biden’s climate change policies and infrastructure law is landing in the union-resistant Southeast, particularly Georgia, a key battleground state in the 2024 election. That state has had more than 40 electric vehicle-related projects launched since 2020, promising $22.7 billion worth of investments and the creation of 28,400 jobs.

Mr. Biden was at the Philadelphia shipyard on Thursday, talking about new rules attached to his climate change law intended to help union apprenticeship programs vault workers into the middle class without a college degree.

“Many of my friends in organized labor know when I think of climate, I think of jobs,” he said. “I mean union jobs.”

But Mr. Trump, looking beyond the Republican primaries to a rematch with Mr. Biden, continues to target the vote of union workers, if not their leaders.

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