July 26, 2018 / 1:59 PM / 20 days ago

Mercedes-Benz mulls production shift away from U.S. but no decision taken

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) on Thursday said it was looking at ways to mitigate the impact of a trade war between China and the United States, a step which includes a review of whether to shift some U.S. production to Asia.

FILE PHOTO: The Mercedes-Benz logo is seen before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart, Germany, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo/File Photo

Since July, the Mercedes-Benz GLE sports utility vehicle which is built in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is being hit by tariffs when it is exported to China, hurting Daimler profits.

Asked whether Daimler would consider manufacturing the Mercedes GLE at its factory in Beijing, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said, “Of course we look at when parameters change, and how one could react to this, and whether we can set ourselves up in a better way.”

“We are thinking about such matters, but so far we have not come to a decision.”

Zetsche added that recalibrating the production footprint was costly and time consuming since it also required reconfiguring the supplier network.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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