Suppliers of components for the Mercedes-Benz A-class have been told that production of the vehicle will continue at a rate of 200 a day until the end of February, despite the car being taken off the market for three months.
UK companies – including Unipart which makes the gearbox shafts – are continuing to supply parts for the scaled down production operation.
Cars built during this period will be stored, with a stock of more than 20,000 vehicles building up as the cars await retrofitted changes to the chassis to improve stability.
Following the revelations that the car is prone to tipping over on hard cornering, Mercedes spent two weeks carrying out assessment tests before ordering the redesign of the chassis, with lowered suspension and wider tyres.
Chassis component suppliers were consulted over the weekend of 8 November about the time it would take to tool up for the redesigned components.
A further addition will be the fitting of Mercedes’ Electronic Stability Programme, manufactured in Germany by Robert Bosch, which faces an unplanned order from Mercedes for an extra 200,000 units for the A-class.
Mercedes expects a 1998 production of 165,000, some 20,000 less than first planned.