Mercedes-Benz said it will halt production next week at its Tuscaloosa County, AL, factory due to a shortage of parts—a work stoppage it plans to make up later this summer.
A spokesperson for parent company Daimler said the interruption is due to international suppliers. Bloomberg News reported the parts shortage was from Mexico.
Mercedes-Benz resumed production April 27 following a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alabama’s other automakers have also been opening up after spending more than a month idle during lockdown measures. This week, Honda resumed production in Lincoln.
Hyundai in Montgomery has been running a one-shift operation in vehicle assembly processes such as stamping, welding, painting and final assembly since May 4. The company says it plans to resume full capacity production, with a three-crew/three-shift operation, during the week of May 25. The plant’s engine machining and assembly operations are on a modified schedule.
Mercedes-Benz began limited production last month with a “significantly reduced number” of employees in one shift. The company said it plans on working through a planned summer shutdown period to make up for the lost time next week.
Mercedes says it relied on some of the company’s other plants in other parts of the world for best practices upon reopening, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Automotive Manufactures Association and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. A spokesperson said some employees have been sent home if they showed fever and needed clearance by a physician to return.
Hyundai also looked at its company’s processes at its plants in Korea, where COVID-19 infections and deaths have been much lower than other countries.
Some of its safety practices have included thermal temperature scanning and mask distribution, staggering lunch breaks and shifts, barriers in workstations and partitions on break tables, and cleaning of high contact and high touch surfaces. Spokesman Robert Burns said employees showing symptoms such as fever have been encouraged to stay home.