Mercedes-Benz parent company, Daimler, might have to shut down the automaker's factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, due to a shortage of parts, Automotive News reports citing a notice to workers at the plant. To cope, a section of the site is running on six-hour shifts, and another part is no longer doing overtime work. The factory builds models like the GLE- and GLS-Class (gallery below).
"The production in the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant is currently running. We are closely monitoring the situation and tracking our suppliers and parts situation continuously. The supply chain is currently secured and we are monitoring it on a day by day basis," Birgit Zaiser, Manager of Production & Supply Chain Management for Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans, said in a statement to Motor1.com.
Gallery: 2020 Mercedes-Bens GLS-Class
On March 17, Daimler announced it was suspending the majority of production in Europe for two weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak and admitted at that time, "not all global supply chains can be maintained at present."
"We have taken additional protective measures in regards to COVID-19 for our Team Members. We have minimized group meetings, suspended all business travel and increased measures to reduce exposure for our Team Members through intensive cleaning measures and adjustments in the use of our cafeterias as well as shifts’ separation. We are closely monitoring the dynamics of the situation, and will adjust working arrangements if necessary," Zaiser told Motor1.com.
Mercedes already pledged to help dealers in the United States through this difficult time. The company gives them a base payout for each vehicle sold in March, even without hitting the usual sales quota. The automaker's financial services division is considering postponing the deadline for payments by up to 90 days.