Mercedes Benz to resume second shift in Brazilian factory as sales slowly recover

The Brazilian unit of Mercedes Benz (DAIGn.DE) said on Wednesday it has resumed a second shift in its factory located in Sao Bernardo do Campo, an industrial suburb of Sao Paulo, to increase social distancing among employees as sales begin to rise. The German automaker added that most of its employees working in production lines since May will have their contracts temporarily suspended. The other 50% that were previously furloughed will take over auto production until Aug. 31, as agreed between Mercedes Benz and workers union. “With this schedule, we will have fewer people working per shift, which guarantees social distancing,” the vice president of human resources at Mercedes-Benz for Latin America, Fernando Garcia, said in a statement. “In addition, we have temporarily adjusted our production volume to meet specific orders from truck customers,” Garcia added. Mercedes Benz’s announcement comes as auto sales begin to recover from months of stagnation triggered by the economic fallout from COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil’s auto sales have risen to 132,800 units in June, three sources told Reuters, compared with 62,200 in May. They added that approximately 10,000 trucks and buses were sold last month, up from 5,460 in May.

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