Mercedes-Benz’ Vance, Alabama facility to resume production on Monday

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 30, 2011

Mercedes-Benz’s tornado-stricken assembly plant in Vance, Ala., is set to resume production on Monday. The damage is widespread, affecting parts of Tuscaloosa, Ala., as well as Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. International auto-assembly plant located just north of the city. Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Felyicia Jerald said that the plant didn’t lose power and had only minor damage to its siding and roof.

These wouldn’t have resulted to production delays but the company wanted to give its employees the chance to “support their families, friends and communities that were severely impacted."

The models that Mercedes-Benz builds in its Vance facility include the GL, M and R class. The carmaker has yet to provide an estimate of its losses.

The tornado ripped through 300 miles of land in the southern regions of the U.S., cutting the power to auto parts suppliers as far as Virginia. There were about 200 deaths recorded in five states due to the disaster. Power to Toyota Motor Corp.'s engine plant in Huntsville, Ala., was cut off.

However, Toyota spokeswoman Tania Saldana Blersch said that the plant itself suffered minimal damage. Toyota hasn’t revealed yet when it plans to reopen the plant.

Actually, suspension of production at Toyota's North American factories on Mondays and Fridays had already been announced to last until June 3 due to parts shortages from the March 11 earthquake.

Plants operate at half production on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Huntsville plant manufactures the V-6 and V-8 engines that are used by the U.S.-built Tundra and Tacoma pickups, and the Sequoia SUV.

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