Mercedes-Benz U.S. International resumed production at its Alabama plant April 27 under new COVID-19 guidelines to ensure worker safety.
The operations began Monday with one shift.
“In the weeks following, we will gradually bring in additional team members to begin running at full production volume,” the company said in a statement. “Our team members’ health and safety have top priority at Mercedes-Benz. Therefore, the halt of production and administration was a measure to ensure this and to further contain the spread of the pandemic.”
The automaker began shutting down the plant March 23 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said April 17 it planned to resume operations April 27. The global automaker has had to deal with a global pandemic as it evaluates when and how to restart operations, with a consideration of its supply chain and other local factors.
“During our shutdown, we have monitored and learned from other Mercedes-Benz plants around the world as they returned to work,” the company’s statement said. “Measures adopted in Alabama include the mandatory wearing of face masks, temperature checks at entry and separation of team members in break rooms, cafes and common areas.”
Mercedes said it sought guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and benchmarked the best safety practices with groups like the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
“We have developed robust and best practice safety measures to ensure our team member safety as we return to work,” MBUSI said. “Our goal is a maximum reduction of personal contact and hygiene measures have been further intensified.”
Mercedes employees who have jobs that allow them to work remotely are doing so.
“We will continue to monitor federal and state guidance and regulations throughout this ramp up period and will make whatever changes as may become necessary to ensure our team members’ safety and to ensure the required production capacities of the highly demanded SUV models coming out of Alabama,” the company said.
MBUSI produces the GLS and the GLE SUV and Coupe models.