A former Chrysler executive is endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Current Chrysler officials have engaged in a tense back-and-forth with Romney’s campaign over a disputed report about its intentions to build cars in China.

Romney has suggested in ads that the company’s Chinese expansion will come at the expense of American workers. Chrysler officials have insisted that they would be building cars in China for Chinese customers.

Former Chrysler President Hal Sperlich called the disagreement between the auto company and the former Massachusetts governor a distraction in a USA Today op-ed endorsing Romney.

“There has been a lot said by the politicians about the auto industry lately including on the managed bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler all the way to Chrysler’s plans to produce Jeep models in this country as well as to return production of Jeeps to China to meet local demand,” Sperlich wrote.