Big Three Automakers, Tesla Look to Make Ventilators for COVID-19 Patients

Dearborn’s Ford, Detroit’s General Motors Co., and California’s Tesla have been given the go-ahead to make ventilators, according to a Tweet by President Donald Trump. Auburn Hills’ Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also is in talks with an Italian ventilator manufacturer.
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Ford, GM, FCA, and Tesla are in talks about or beginning to make ventilators to help coronavirus patients. // Stock photo

Dearborn’s Ford, Detroit’s General Motors Co., and California’s Tesla have been given the go-ahead to make ventilators, according to a Tweet by President Donald Trump. Auburn Hills’ Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also is in talks with an Italian ventilator manufacturer.

Ford announced last week it “stands ready to help the administration in any way we can, including the possibility of producing ventilators and other equipment,” and says it had preliminary discussions with the government. GM said it was exploring ventilator production at the time.

GM has since announced a partnership with Ventec Life Systems in Washington to help Ventec increase productivity of its respiratory care products. Ventec will use GM’s logistics, purchasing, and manufacturing expertise to build more ventilators.

“We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of GM. “We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis.”

The companies are partnering in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, a coordinated private sector response to the pandemic. It works to unite business leaders across the country to collect resources to complement and support government efforts.

“With GM’s help, Ventec will increase ventilator production,” says Chris Kiple, CEO of Ventec Life Systems. “By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership will help save lives.”

According to Reuters, FCA is in talks with Siare Engineering, the largest ventilator manufacturer in Italy. Reuters reported the story on Thursday.

Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, Tweeted on Friday that Tesla and SpaceX were making ventilators.

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