Carmakers respond to rising demands for fuel efficient cars

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Honda Ohio spokesman Ron Lietzke said production adjustments are common but shutdowns are not. During better economic times in the past he said Honda extended hours for production. adjustments

“We were adding production on Saturdays and even extending daily production to fulfill the demands for the Accord and other products,” he said.

But Leitzke said manufacturing reflects the current economic conditions. He said there is a rising demand for six cylinder Accord models rather than sport utility vehicles.

“And the reason for this is we have people who had planned on buying an SUV-type vehicle but instead they decided let’s go for a more fuel efficient six cylinder Accord,” Lietzke said.

And so the Marysville factory shut down production Thursday and Friday to adjust their inventory levels. Leitzke says the last time the factory shut down for similar reasons was in the early 90s.

Leitzke says workers have the option to come in to do maintenance but there is no penalty for taking the days off. “The reality is the vast majority of our associates on the eve of a holiday weekend are taking the days off,” Leitzke said.

And that’s what Tom Mack did Thursday. He filled up his truck in Upper Arlington on the way to a four wheeling trip. Rising gas prices have affected both his job and personal life.

“We’re going down to Jackson Ohio to do some four wheeling,” Mack said. “We have the day off today so you know, but even that takes out of your pocket. We’re sitting here pumping gas in now and a full-sized vehicle is 80 to 100 dollars every time you fill it up.”

The first shift factory worker has made adjustments in his own daily routine to account for rising gas prices. He carpools 80 miles to and from work to save on the money it takes to fill up his SUV. Mack says he hopes politicians will take action to alleviate the current situation

“It’s just going to get worse too if nothing gets done about it,” Mack said. “So hopefully these Senators and Congress and everybody else gets together and starts realizing how bad this is on the American people and help us out.”

Thursday, Ford Motor Company announced a revision to their production plan. The company says it will increase North American production of their smaller fuel-efficient models.

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