Daimler has been forced to store thousands of undelivered Mercedes-Benz SUVs at a former military airport in northern Germany after issues with a supplier created delivery delays.
GLE models were lined up in blocks, some of which were 15 cars abreast and seven deep, stretching down the tarmac at the former Ahlhorn airport near the city of Bremen. The vehicles, which start at about $56,000, were made in the U.S. for European customers.
Daimler has issued four profit warnings in little more than a year, most recently in July, when the company included a “slower model ramp-up” as one of the reasons for cutting its full-year guidance. At that time, CEO Ola Kallenius highlighted issues with the company’s SUVs on a quarterly earnings call. Problems with a supplier in the U.S. caused production bottlenecks, Kallenius said at the time.
A Daimler spokeswoman confirmed that the stored cars are related to the production problems with the GLE. She declined to say how many cars are being kept at the airport.
“The temporary storage of vehicles is a completely normal process,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
This isn’t the first time a German automaker has had to park inventory at an airport. Volkswagen Group leased thousands of spots at Berlin’s unfinished Brandenburg airport as the automaker rushed to approve cars before the start of new emissions rules.