Production at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in Vance is still being affected by a fire that caused significant damage at a production supplier in Michigan last week.

According to a Thursday status update from Mercedes, teams from Alabama and Germany have been working to re-establish the flow of parts to the Tuscaloosa County plant since a fire at Magnesium Products of America, a parts supplier in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, that was damaged from a fire May 2.

Magnesium Products makes die-cast vehicle parts out of magnesium. In addition to Mercedes, the company also makes parts for companies like Fiat, Tesla Motors, Ford, General Motors and Audi.

Felyicia Jerald, a spokeswoman for MBUSI, said that after the fire at Magnesium Products, MBUSI was able to build some SUVs between May 7 and May 11, but was unable to build the SUVs this week because of the lack of parts. However, Jerald added that team members were able to work on a modified schedule despite the setback.

"We have worked with our supply base to reestablish part flow and we anticipate getting the first round of parts next week to slowly begin ramping up SUV production operations," Jerald stated in an email sent Thursday. "We are optimistic that as we go forward we will be able to add more production -- gradually getting back to our normal production operations."

The email notes that production of the C-Class sedans has not been affected at the Tuscaloosa County plant.

MBUSI is the only Mercedes-Benz plant that was affected by the fire, although other car manufacturers, such as Ford, were also affected. According to an article published in the Detroit Free Press, Ford on Friday will resume production of the Ford F-150 pickup truck at its plant in Dearborn, Michigan, after being delayed for more than a week.

Jerald did not specify when MBUSI would be able to return to its normal production schedule for SUVs.

 

Reach Drew Taylor at drew.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.