Supply disruptions haven’t affected luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz yet, but they are possible down the road, warned Ernst Lieb, the automaker's U.S. CEO, in an interview on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.”
Lieb responded specifically to concerns of supply disruption in Japan post-earthquake, saying that, “It looks like most of our supply is not coming from that region, so it didn’t affect us yet.”
The German car company, owned by Daimler AG, has manufacturing suppliers throughout Europe. But, Lieb said, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe from disruptions. “Some of our colleagues out there are seeing issues now in the pipelines. But probably in April, we'll see the effect.”
Rather than serving as a competitive advantage, Lieb pointed out that Mercedes will not be able to capitalize on supply disruptions that might befall its rivals, particularly Honda , Nissan , and Toyota in Japan, which may have problems with production and selling to the U.S. market.
“If you change your production schedule, you need two or three months lead time,” he said.
“It’s impossible to take advantage of it.” The company’s targets for the month of March and April are already fixed and underway. “In terms of volume, I don't think we'll see much of a change in our strategy there. We need lead time to do that.”
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