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Mercedes-Benz has further gas reduction plans in back pocket, production chief says

Bangkok International Motor Show

BERLIN (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz has planned out measures by which it could reduce gas consumption by up to 50% but has not reduced it beyond 10% as of yet, the carmaker's production chief Joerg Burzer said on Friday.

"We are prepared to do that any minute," Burzer said on the sidelines of the opening of a new digital training campus in Berlin. "Let's see what's coming."

Chief executive Ola Kaellenius said in July a 10% gas reduction had already been achieved and that a further reduction of up to half could be implemented.

Still, all contingency plans to prevent a production halt depended on supplier networks managing to deliver parts, Burzer warned.

The comments echoed Volkswagen executives on Thursday who said the automaker was exploring short-term measures like stocking up parts on ships and trains and, in the medium term, switching to suppliers abroad if European suppliers could no longer withstand the pressure of high gas prices.

Volkswagen said it had already reduced its gas intake by over 20% and could reduce it further to a mid double-digit percentage.

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, editing by Rachel More)