Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornadoes Close Tuscaloosa, Alabama Mercedes-Benz Plant

The Mercedes-Benz plant responsible for North America's supply of ML's, GL's and the new C-class starting in 2012, had been forced to shut it's doors at least until Monday after a series of powerful tornadoes ripped through the area.

The plant, located in Vance, Alabama, just east of Tuscaloosa, was not severely damaged but is suffering in supply disruptions because of the Mercedes-Benz method of "just-in-time" deliveries for parts.  The automated system reduces backup's and parts storage concerns by ensuring that only the exact number of parts required at any given time are on hand.  When local outside suppliers lost power after the storms they were unable to maintain the production and delivery of parts.

The plant did suffer minor damage to it's employee fitness center and an auxiliary building on the property, and several employee owned vehicles were damages by falling trees.  No injuries were reported at the plant.

Downed trees outside the Vance, Alabama Mercedes-Benz factory.

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