Daimler AG is suspending production at a Mercedes-Benz SUV plant – one of the first car factories in the U.S. to reopen — due to a shortage of parts supplied from Mexico.
The Vance, Ala., operation won’t build vehicles next week, according to an internal notice viewed by Bloomberg. Workers are being given the option to use vacation time or go without pay and file for state and federal unemployment benefits.
The Mercedes plant reopened late last month after idling for five weeks as much of the U.S. manufacturing base shut down to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Now, as U.S. carmakers plan to restart their operations beginning next week, Mexico’s government has sent mixed messages as to how soon it will allow auto companies to reopen.
After sending several conflicting messages over the past three days, Mexico said Friday that plants can reopen before June 1 if they follow various safety protocols. Numerous automakers and suppliers are confident that their protocols will keep employees safe as they restart production throughout North America next week.
Daimler representatives in Germany and the U.S. didn’t immediately comment. The company said in its internal notice to workers at the plant in Alabama that the factory will schedule makeup production for June 29 through July 1, a week that the factory had been slated for a summer shutdown. The facility builds GLS and GLE SUVs.
Automotive News contributed to this report.