Coronavirus: Carmakers answer pleas to make medical supplies

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Carmakers are answering calls from governments to help make more ventilators and face masks to help out during the coronavirus pandemic.On Monday Fiat began converting one of its car plants in China to start making about one million masks a month.

The carmaker wants to start out production within the coming weeks, wrote its chief executive Mike Manley in an email.Other major automakers are watching ways they will shift manufacturing towards ventilators.

General Motors, Ford and Tesla within the US have all pledged their support to supply resources to form more ventilators, along side Japanese carmaker Nissan and Formula 1 teams within the UK.

Major car plants within the US, Europe and Asia have halted production to undertake to assist prevent the spread of coronavirus. But they’re still pledging to assist make ventilators and other vital medical equipment.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday: “Ford, General Motors and Tesla are being given the plow ahead to form ventilators and other metal products, FAST! choose it auto execs, let’s examine how good you are?”

It came after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had reduced barriers within the medical device approval process to assist speed up the assembly of ventilators.

“Medical device makers can more easily make changes to existing products, like changes to suppliers or materials, to assist address current manufacturing limitations or supply shortages,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a statement.

“Other manufacturers, like auto makers, can more easily repurpose production lines to assist increase supply.”

Last week, Formula 1 teams within the UK said they hoped to seek out “a tangible outcome within the next few days” to assist increase the availability of medical equipment. Working with the govt and health authorities, F1 said it had experts in design, technology and production capabilities who could help .

Nissan is a component of a consortium, including sports car firm McLaren and aerospace company Meggitt, looking to develop a replacement medical ventilator. “We are fully focused on the project,” McLaren said during a statement, but warned of the “limited time and scale of the challenge”.

Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra said his company, The Mahindra Group, would begin work immediately to explore how its factories could make ventilators. The conglomerate is that the world’s largest tractor maker and India’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer, according its its website.

Source: BBC NEWS

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