US president Barack Obama has said he was deeply concerned about the North American automobile industry and that it would need significant restructuring.

"We're deeply concerned about the current state of the North American auto industry," Obama said at a joint news conference with Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

According to Reuters, Obama said his economic team was evaluating reports from Chrysler and General Motors on how the companies intended to move forward. "One thing we know for certain is that there is going to have to be a significant restructuring of that industry."

He also said the United States welcomed efforts by Canada to strengthen its economy and that the neighbours would work to strengthen the auto industry.

"The work that's being done by this government to stimulate the economy on this side of the border is welcomed and we expect that we can take actions in concert to strengthen the auto industry as well," Obama said.