Nearly three months after the first effects of the COVID-19 pandemic suspended manufacturing operations, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) said it has reopened all nine of its manufacturing locations in North America.
The reopening of the Saltillo and Santiago Truck Manufacturing Plants in Mexico on June 1 marked the beginning of a full restart of operations and the start of resupply for commercial vehicle operators across the world. The Saltillo and Santiago plants are strong nodes in DTNA’s production network and help support the trucks manufactured for export to the 35 countries in which DTNA sells commercial vehicles. Daimler’s supply chain relies heavily on both the U.S. and Mexico for all new truck manufacturing in North America, with components and subassemblies crossing the border in both directions.
Leveraging the learning from a global network of new vehicle production facilities from Daimler AG, DTNA implemented universal safety protocols along with measures tailored for each facility in its network to make workspaces as safe as possible and fully comply with all federal, state and provincial, and local regulations. At all of its facilities across the U.S. and Mexico, DTNA has also established localized task forces comprised of plant leadership and labor union representatives to routinely assess and fine-tune its protocols.
Among the safety measures implemented are standardized cleaning regimens, redesigned workflows in observance of social distancing, redesigned layouts of common spaces, employee and visitor temperature screening with health questionnaires, and frequent communications to the employees.
Although facilities in Mexico did not open for full production until June 1, following the precedent of sites in the U.S., operations in Santiago and Saltillo did reopen for employee training, testing of safety protocols and limited production the week of May 18 following certification by the federal government.
The company said that it saw a pickup of trucking activity through May and in answer, the pace of manufacturing at DTNA continues to advance with over 500 trucks, buses and specialty chassis produced per day in the past few days.