Automakers Looking Into Making Ventilators During Coronavirus Shut Down

The COVID-19 virus has shut down many major auto manufacturers, including Ford, GM, FCA, and Nissan. But with the shutdown, the companies are looking into other options. General Motors and Ford are looking into the possibility of setting up their plants to be able to actively build ventilators to help treat those sickened with Coronavirus.

As of now, the Detroit News reports the two automakers are in contact with the government about building the life-saving medical equipment.

“Mary Barra was in contact with the administration today to provide an update on the decision to suspend production,” GM spokesman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement confirming discussions between the company and the Trump administration. “She also indicated GM is working to help find solutions for the nation during this difficult time and has offered to help, and we are already studying how we can potentially support the production of medical equipment like ventilators.”

Ford’s chief communications officer, Mark Truby chimed in also saying, “As America’s largest producer of vehicles and top employer of autoworkers, Ford stands ready to help the administration in any way we can, including the possibility of producing ventilators and other equipment.

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, said the automaker would also be willing to do the same:

Naturally, this process would take some time and planning as cars and ventilators aren’t built similarly. While there is a national stockpile of ventilators, President Trump said Monday that states were on their own, and they should not expect the federal government to help when it comes to the machines. So this would be a big help to medical staff across the country.

If this whole scenario seems familiar, it is. The talk of the manufacturing switch is somewhat comparable to World War II, when General Motors and Ford switched their car factories to building weapons of war.

Overseas this switch is already happening. In the UK, car and aerospace manufacturers including McLaren and Nissan, are already working towards building ventilators for the National Health Service.