Obama -- with an eye firmly on low approval ratings and November's congressional elections -- will tour GM and Chrysler plants, making the case they survived a brutal recession because of his administration's policies.
The visit comes little over a year after GM and Chrysler emerged from a bankruptcy process designed by Washington, and which supporters say has made the firms leaner and meaner.
Thanks to a 64-billion-dollar government bailout Obama will make the visit not just as president, but as the firms' most important investor, a role that does not sit well with many free market-minded Americans.
But as a shareholder, Obama might just be pleased with what he finds.
GM returned to profit at the beginning of this year, transforming 2009 losses of nearly six billion dollars into a respectable profit of 865 million in the first quarter.
The company is poised to re-list on the stock exchange, a move that could help pay the US taxpayer the 43 billion dollars GM still owes.
At Chrysler the picture is slightly less rosy, but analysts believe the firm is poised to swing back into profit soon.
With close to one in ten American workers still without a job, Obama will be keen to underscore not only the firms' financial success but the thousands of jobs saved with the rescue.
The White House argues those bailouts were just the type of "tough decisions" Obama took to keep firms hiring workers, and keep plants open.
But he has yet to convince Americans that is really the case. According to a recent poll just four in ten American voters believe their 44th president is managing the economy well.
And even auto industry experts who see a new lease of life in Detroit are cautious about hailing Obama's policies a success just yet.
"The business went through a rather extensive car wash and out the end came a much shinier version, which has a much greater propensity to be successful in the future," said Michael Robinet of IHS Automotive.
According to Robinet, the bankruptcy allowed essential reforms of labor and dealership contracts and allowed GM and Chrysler to cut debt, pension and health care liabilities with relative ease.
But, he cautioned: "I still think the book is being read."
GM's relative success, he said, has as much to do with a string of better cars as it does government policies.
"There were plenty of things in the making before the bankruptcy process started and ended," Brauer said. "Car companies do not make great products in a matter of months, it takes years.
"Chrysler is a little tougher because they didn't have a pipeline of products that they were ready to unleash."
Regardless, both firms face a tough new reality that includes fierce competition from Asian producers and sales of 11 million cars a year rather than the 15-17 million sold before the crisis.
"What they have done in the last 12 months and what has happened as a result of bankruptcy was absolutely necessary for them to have a chance of surviving," said Brauer.
"Whether or not it is enough to get them to 2020 or whether it delayed the inevitable, I don't think we know yet."
Source: AFP American Edition