American carmakers to manufacture ventilators
General Motors, Ford and FCA are working round the clock to produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients
Donald Trump invoked federal government’s power, compelling General Motors to make ventilators for the treatment of coronavirus patients. Negotiations of Washington and GM didn’t go too well, forcing the President to bring in federal laws,
James Cain, GM’s spokesperson, said GM had worked with the ventilator manufacturer Ventec Life Systems “around the clock for over a week to meet this urgent need. Our commitment to build Ventec’s high-quality critical care ventilator . . . has never wavered.”
On Friday, GM said that it would join with Ventec to produce the medical equipment, including at its factory in Kokomo, Indiana. GM and Ventec would deliver the first ventilators next month with capacity to increase to 10,000 a month. GM will donate resources at cost.
GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler have all rolled out plans to help make medical equipment or protective gear to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Ford is working with Minnesota manufacturer 3M and GE Healthcare on efforts to build a modified respirator and a modified ventilator, the latter of which would need fast-tracked approval from the federal government for production. Ford and the United Auto Workers union also plan to make about 100,000 face shields a month for hospital workers.
Although GM has closed all its plants in North America, 1,000 UAW members will return to work to make the ventilators. The company also plans to make surgical masks at a Warren, Michigan, plant, reaching 50,000 a day in two weeks.
Source : Financial times