This is war. The only thing we can do right now is work together.
Auto manufacturers get it and they’re stepping up to the plate by finding ways to manufacture respirators, ventilators and other critical equipment instead of cars. General Motors, Fiat, Ford, Tesla, Nissan, and others have openly signed on to help aid the Covid-19 crisis. The challenge is getting supplies to those in need in time.
Addressing #COVID19 is a group effort. We are grateful for the discussion with @ElonMusk and @Tesla as we work across industries to solve problems and get patients and hospitals the tools they need to continue saving lives. We're all in this together. https://t.co/MdZ3u8k2nR
— Medtronic (@Medtronic) March 21, 2020
Taking Action When and Where They Can
Recognizing their ability to not only manufacture highly technical equipment and get it to market quickly, as well as supply chain expertise and cutting edge technology like 3-d printing, auto manufacturers stepped in to take action by helping to manufacture medical equipment during the Coronavirus crisis.
General Motors stepped up to offer its manufacturing and supply chain expertise; the company partnered with Ventec Life Systems, a ventilator manufacturer, to help with production and speed up the process of getting them to hospitals.
Ford culled its talent quickly, partnering with 3M and GE Healthcare. Together, these companies will produce medical equipment for healthcare workers, including 3M Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) and versions of GE ventilators. Ford also plans to make over 100,000 face shields per week for healthcare workers.
Fiat Chrysler is manufacturing face masks for healthcare workers and first responders. They are also looking to produce ventilators. FCA is also partnering with non-profit organizations to provide food for children until school is back in session. They will help provide over 1 million meals to children in communities near their operations nationwide and in Mexico.
PRESS RELEASE: https://t.co/mdEmCjBuRh
Protecting first responders and healthcare workers is critical.. To protect those on the frontlines of #COVID19, we’re going to start production of protective face masks to donate across the United States, Canada and Mexico. #InItTogether pic.twitter.com/cgxJ2wVx0f
— FCA-North America (@FiatChrysler_NA) March 23, 2020
Hyundai’s Hope On Wheels initiative which benefits pediatric cancer and over the life of the program has raised more than $160 million, donated $2 million to children’s hospitals throughout the nation to support coronavirus drive-thru testing centers. Children with compromised immune systems are at higher risk and this will help with testing more safely.
Elon Musk of Tesla purchased 1,000 surplus ventilators from China which were donated to the state of California. He also donated 50,000 N-95 masks to the University of Washington’s Medical Center. Musk also said on Twitter that Tesla’s New York-based factory would reopen for ventilator production as soon as possible.
“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation. By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”
Auto Manufacturers in Other Parts of the World
Kia Motors Corp (South Korea) is examining making face masks at its Chinese factory to help fight the spread of the virus. While South Korea only reported 8,961 coronavirus cases, 110 deaths from Coronavirus, it’s anticipated that the virus will infect millions more around the globe.
Fiat Chrysler’s CEO Mike Manley said that one of the company plants in Asia would be producing face masks for healthcare workers with a goal of one million masks per month in the coming weeks.
Ford China joined Jiangling Motors to donate 10 specially equipped Transit ambulance vans to hospitals in Wuhan, where the outbreak started. Ford is also reacquiring 165,000 N95 masks from China that were originally sent by Ford to China to help battle the coronavirus.
And to show support for Italy and the community, Automobili Lamborghini lit up in the colors of the national “tri-colore” flag on March 26th.
We are going to fight every way we can to save every life that we can.
That’s what it means to be an American and that’s what it means to be a New Yorker. pic.twitter.com/1cREWGx9t9
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 25, 2020
We Are Stronger Together, After All
During this unprecedented time everyone is coming together to help. As a hotspot in the US with the most cases (over 20,000 and counting) New York is taking all the help they can get. This week the Jacob Javitts Center, where the New York Auto show takes place each year, was converted into a hospital by the National Guard. It will house 1,000 beds for Coronavirus patients and is being prepared for 1,000 more beds for less intensive medical care.
Meanwhile, designer Christian Siriano heard of the shortage of masks for healthcare workers and stepped up to the plate. His staff is both working in house (a small set up that is government-approved) and from home and have been produced up to 500 masks a day. Local residents and small businesses are also pooling money together to help feed healthcare workers. As Governor Cuomo says, it’s the American way.