Ohio allows manufacturing May 4, but there’s no start date for DMAX

Although Gov. Mike DeWine has said manufacturing can resume in Ohio May 4, General Motors has not yet set a date to restart the DMAX plant in Moraine, which employs some 800 Dayton-area residents.

For DMAX, it may not be that simple. The engine producer is a multi-state operation. The Dryden Road plant supplies diesel engines to the assembly of heavy-duty trucks in Flint, Mich.

And Michigan has not yet given a date to allow the reopening of its manufacturing plants, although there were national reports Tuesday that executives from GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have recently discussed a tentative timeline.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, unnamed auto executives are aiming for a May 18 restart date for the big three American automakers.

“Significant planning is underway to safely restart production,” GM spokesman Daniel Flores told the Dayton Daily News Tuesday. “We are in regular contact with federal, state, and local authorities, our suppliers, the UAW, and our manufacturing team.

“We have not yet announced a restart date,” Flores added. “When people do return to work, whether for planning or for regular production, we will use screening, cleaning, and social-distancing strategies designed using the best medical and scientific data available, including guidance from the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).”

Since last November, GM has been building a $175 million companion DMAX facility in Brookville.

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“Construction has continued through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Flores said of that project. “We are making significant progress. Construction has been deemed essential in Ohio so work has continued as planned.”

The newest GM-DMAX plant will have more than 100 employees making components for Duramax diesel truck engines when construction is complete by the end of 2020.

The new plant will operate concurrently with the original DMAX plant in Moraine, sending the older plant machined engine components for assembly in Moraine.

From Moraine, finished diesel engines will go to a GM plant in Flint, where the engines will be built into the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs (heavy-duty) trucks.

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