General Motors Co., Ford And Tesla Offer To Manufacture Hospital Ventilators

ventilators shutterstockPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens throughout the world and in the U.S., many of the world’s top conglomerates are stepping up to do their part in combatting the situation. Most recently, automotive giants General Motors Co., Ford and Tesla have offered to manufacture hospital ventilators at their factories.

This comes in response to the growing concern for the limited number of ventilators available at hospitals as the number of patients grows exponentially by the day. This move is reminiscent of how America’s car factories shifted to producing tanks, bombers, aircraft machines and other war weapons during the World Wars. Now, they are open to shifting their production to see how they can make medical equipment.

old GM FactoryPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

On Wednesday, March 19th, all three CEOs from GM, Ford and Tesla made statements that they are looking into finding solutions to make these ventilators at their factories. The question is now, how capable they are of being able manufacture the ventilators, which remains to be seen, as there are major differences in design, parts and tooling, assembly FDA certification and more that pose challenges while restructuring.

Tesla FactoryPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

CNN Business reported that Ford put out a statement on behalf of the company 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….We had preliminary discussions with the U.S. government and are looking into the feasibility.”
GM’s CEO Mary Barra also reported that they, too, had been in touch with the White House and were working on finding solutions to help.
And Elon Musk—though reluctantly after being pressed on Twitter to step up and help—tweeted, “We will make ventilators if there is a shortage.”

As of Wednesday night, both GM and Ford production plants have been shut down across the country, but Tesla has kept its factory in Fremont, Calif. open despite California’s most recent enforcement of shelter-in-place.