MBUSI reopens Vance plant after temporary shut down related to coronavirus

Updated: Apr. 28, 2020 at 1:25 PM CDT
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VANCE, Ala. (WBRC) - Mercedes Benz US International restarted operations Monday at its plant in Vance.

A month ago, Mercedes announced it was shutting down temporarily to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The company said in a statement released earlier this month that it took recommendations into consideration from local, state and international authorities to extend a halt in operations by several weeks.

The temporary shutdown began on March 23. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said Mercedes reopening could be a sign that other businesses may also reopen soon.

Mercedes plant reopens
Mercedes plant reopens(MBUSI)

“As we begin a new phase, I think you’re going to begin to see a gradual restart of the economy within a very measured approach. And what Mercedes is beginning today is certainly moving in that direction,” Maddox told WBRC.

Here is a statement from Mercedes-Benz: “The Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant (MBUSI) began gradually ramping-up production beginning Monday, April 27th onwards, starting with 1-shift production. In the weeks following, we will gradually bring in additional Team Members to begin running at full production volume. Our Team Members’ health and safety has 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. During our shutdown, we have monitored and learned from other Mercedes-Benz plants around the world as they returned to work. 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. We also obtained guidance from the CDC 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. Our goal is a maximum reduction of personal contact and hygiene measures have been further intensified. As tasks permit, our team members also working remotely from home. 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.”

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