You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Summer breaks are still on

The traditional summer shutdown for area auto suppliers appears to have as much staying power as baseball and barbecue, even as companies elsewhere say demand is so strong they must keep operating.

Officials for area auto plants and suppliers say they’re sticking with breaks around July 4 that have long allowed workers to update production lines for new models or simply take much-appreciated time off.

James Winship, president of the International Union of Electronic Workers-Communication Workers of America Local 755, which represents some 400 workers at the Moraine DMAX truck engine plant, said employees are working some overtime. Otherwise, they plan their usual summer break, he said.

“We’re steady,” Winship said.

Ed Miller, spokesman for Honda North America Inc., said Honda plants in eastern and central Ohio — which altogether employ more than 13,000 people — will stick to their traditional summer respites, returning to production July 8.

“For us, we do work overtime when we have to,” Miller said. “But taking a week off in the summer is important, too.”

Some automakers say they will keep running all summer. Chrysler has said its Toledo North Jeep plant will keep operating, but it also recently reopened that plant after a changeover to a new Jeep Cherokee. Reports have quoted GM North America President Mark Reuss as saying GM must keep operating.

Regional plants say they’re seeing the same strong demand that others see. Auto sales in May were up 8 percent compared to May 2012. Sales for 2013 are up about 7 percent compared to the same point in 2012.

Winship believes that talk about continued operations is a bit overwrought. He notes that summer shutdowns have often been used to update production lines to accommodate new models.

“Well, I don’t see any big model changes,” he said.

Terry Youngerman, human resources director for Tenneco’s Kettering plant, says his plant is planning to take its usual break — and so is its customer. The plant makes struts and ride suspension parts for GM.

“We only have a small number of folks working over the two weeks,” Youngerman said. “The info we have received from our customer indicates their plants are going to be down or running very little over those two weeks.”

David Cole, emeritus chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan, said the recent recession forced the big domestic three automakers to cut production capacity of well over two million vehicles a year. Combine that with current strong demand, and assembly plants can’t take time off, he said.

“They’re stretched,” Cole said.

Parts suppliers may have a different situation, though.

“If they have the inventory to satisfy the customers’s demand, they can take time off,” he said. “It’s really no big deal.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement

A large number of Millennials spent more on coffee in the past year than they invested in their retirement savings, according to a new study. » RELATED: What makes Millennials tick in the workplace? It may surprise you About 41 percent of the Millennials — ages 18 to 35 — admitted to spending more on coffee than they saved for retirement...
Some worry over impact from health care law repeal
Some worry over impact from health care law repeal

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday joined the U.S. Senate in passing a budget reconciliation measure that would allow Congress to de-fund key elements of the Affordable Care Act, including tax credit subsidies and federal funding for Medicaid expansion in states like Ohio. While some are rejoicing over the move, replacing President Obama&rsquo...
Will Obamacare repeal leave people in the lurch?
Will Obamacare repeal leave people in the lurch?

As Congress moves forward on a resolution to repeal the Affordable Care Act, experts have warned such a measure could crash the law’s commercial insurance program, jeopardizing coverage for 11.5 million Americans, including more than 230,000 Ohioans. But local industry leaders remain hopeful that congressional Republicans — who are leading...
Holiday retail sales up, but some stores suffering
Holiday retail sales up, but some stores suffering

Retail sales hit about $658 billion for the holiday season, but several chain retailers still announced the closures of hundreds of unprofitable brick-and-mortar stores in January — including several stores locally. “These numbers show that the nation’s slow-but-steady economic recovery is picking up speed and that consumers feel...
More Stories