We’re all in this coronavirus fight together. On top of offering incentives and payment deferrals and even offering vehicles to emergency responders, automakers are working with manufacturers of medical equipment to use their idle car factories to produce medical devices that are crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically ventilators.
Why ventilators? Because a lot of the important parts in a ventilator are very similar to the ones found in HVAC systems in cars. With some modifications and some help with sourcing parts from medical device manufacturers, car companies can use their existing factories to produce vital medical equipment.
But it’s not just ventilators. There’s a Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) plant in China that is being modified to produce surgical masks to send to emergency workers in the United States. FCA CEO Mike Manley is expecting to produce more than one million face masks per month, all of which will be donated to first responders and health care providers.
General Motors has been working with multiple auto parts suppliers to come up with a way to increase ventilator production. The car giant is also offering its expertise in purchasing and manufacturing to Ventec Life Systems, a Washington state-based medical device company that makes ventilators.
We don’t know a lot of specifics at this time about what Ford is planning on doing to help with medical device production, but we know the Blue Oval has had preliminary discussions with both the U.S. and U.K. governments about using its manufacturing capacity to aid in the COVID-19 crisis.
Even premium EV brand Tesla is getting in on helping out in any way it can. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been in contact with a ventilator manufacturer about teaming up on producing medical equipment, and he’s begun donating face masks that were originally intended to be used in Tesla facilities to medical centers that need them.
In a time when good news is sorely needed, it’s encouraging to see that some of the world’s biggest manufacturers are helping out with the coronavirus pandemic in a way that could save lives.
Looking for more info relating to you, your next vehicle, and the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out more of Autotrader’s Coronavirus content.