Mercedes-Benz joined other automotive manufacturers in temporarily halting production at its plants starting Monday, March 23. The plants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Charleston, South Carolina will be halted for an initial period of two weeks.
According to a release sent to new media outlets, “The employees’ health and safety has top priority at Mercedes-Benz. Therefore, the halt of production and administration as a measure to ensure this and to further contain the spread of the pandemic. Wherever essential work is necessary, the company will continue operations in coordination with the respective authorities. All appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees will be taken.”
The release also states that management is monitoring the situation and will take further measures as required until the situation improves.
While the plant is down, Mercedes-Benz has agreed to be a host at its Tuscaloosa plant on Tuesday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a blood drive that will assist DCH Health System. LifeSouth will use the Admin 1 parking lot to collect donations. They hope to collect blood from up to 30 donors per hour.
“We are fortunate to have a partner such as Mercedes-Benz committed to our health and safety,” said Bryan Kindred, president and CEO of DCH Health System. “The current blood shortage could affect patients in our community who need immediate surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients fighting cancer. This effort has the potential to make a tremendous positive impact.”
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, in Tuscaloosa, produces more than 300,000 units annually, comprised of the GLE SUV, GLS Luxury SUV and the GLE Coupe. It employs approximately 3,800 members.
Mercedes-Benz Vans LLC, in Charleston, employs approximately 1,300 workers making Sprinter and Metris vans.