July 26, 2018 / 2:06 PM / 8 months ago

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

FILE PHOTO: The Mercedes Benz logo is seen at the 2017 New York International Auto Show in New York City, U.S. April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid/File Photo

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.

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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