GM is stepping up.


General Motors

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US automakers have a history of swapping priorities during times of need. We saw them build wartime essentials during World War II, and now, General Motors is gearing up to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The automaker said Friday evening it will collaborate with Ventec Life Systems to help scale up and build life-saving ventilators. GM itself won’t be building the machines, but the automaker will lend its logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise to Ventec as it ramps up production.

GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement, “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,” and the automaker will continue to look for ways to help amid the crisis.

The automaker joined Ford and Fiat Chrysler this week to shut down all North American auto production amid the spread of COVID-19, the disease the novel coronavirus causes. For now, these automakers expect the shutdown to last until March 30 to protect workers at production plants across the continent. GM previously confirmed to Roadshow that it had spoken with the Trump administration about ways to accelerate ventilator production.

Roadshow reached out to Ford and FCA to learn if they also had plans to support ventilator production. Ford said, “We are having discussions with both the US and UK governments about the feasibility of producing ventilators” and mentioned past history about building various medical equipment. An FCA spokesperson said they were unaware of any conversations between the the automaker and federal government.


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