Let's just say this is not the norm.
Building new vehicles is not an easy business. There's so much happening behind the scenes the typical consumer is completely unaware of, such as suppliers, production itself, and transportation. Let's not even begin to discuss labor issues. It's such a complicated process it's almost a miracle the automotive production system works as well as it does. Of course, things happen that can easily cause potentially serious and money-losing disruptions.
Take what's happening to Daimler AG right now, for example. According to Bloomberg, the German automaker has been forced to store thousands of new and undelivered Mercedes-Benz GLE SUVs at a former military airport in Germany for one reason: supplier issues, which resulted in delivery delays.
Specific details remain unknown. The SUVs are still currently lined up, "15 cars abreast and seven deep, stretching down the tarmac." Every single one of them was built in the US at Mercedes' Alabama manufacturing facility for European customers. There have been reported issues with the automaker's SUVs related to profits, specifically a "slower model ramp-up." Now we know one of the reasons why. The production bottleneck involves a US supplier, according to new Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius.
A company spokeswoman confirmed to Bloomberg the stored vehicles are directly related to the production issues plaguing the GLE at the moment. She refused to say how many SUVs are currently parked on that airport runway. "The temporary storage of vehicles is a completely normal process," the spokeswoman wrote in an email. The Mercedes GLE, which begins at around $55,000, is one of the automaker's bestsellers. The fact so many of them are literally stuck in transit is a bit of a problem. But this won't be the last time an automaker has supplier issues.