Mercedes, Toyota to pause work at Alabama facilities
The Mercedes plant near Tuscaloosa and the Toyota Engine plant near Huntsville have announced in recent days that their facilities will be pausing production in light of the slowdown in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mercedes production pause will begin Monday, March 23 and last for two weeks, until Monday, April 6.
The Toyota engine manufacturing facility will also close on March 23. Employees will return on April 3, and production will resume on April 6.
The Toyota order applies to the already operating engine manufacturing plant the company has in the Huntsville area; it does not concern the massive Mazda-Toyota plant that is still under construction.
The Mercedes and Toyota announcements come quickly after Hyundai and Honda, two other automakers with plants in Alabama, announced similar measures earlier in the week.
Toyota executive Kim Ogle told WAFF, “This action is being taken to help ensure the health and safety of our employees, and due to an anticipated decline in market demand related to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will conduct a thorough cleaning at all of our manufacturing facilities during the shutdown.”
Mercedes sent out a statement that read, “Due to the worsening situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, Mercedes-Benz has decided today to halt the majority of its local production as well as work in selected administrative departments.”
“By taking this action, the company is following the recommendations of international, national and local authorities. The temporary halt applies to the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant (Alabama) as well as to Mercedes-Benz Vans LLC, Charleston (South Carolina),” the statement added.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.