Automakers rising to challenge of producing ventilators to combat COVID-19

Manufacturers across the automotive industry are working at breakneck speed, and with some success, to produce and assemble critical ventilators needed to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19), says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Mike Vousden, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “This truly is a historic moment in the automotive industry. Not since the two World Wars have manufacturers had to rapidly adapt their parts and production facilities faced such a threat.

“Despite the unprecedented pace and scale of the challenge, automakers are already outlining their expected production numbers and timeframes. Ford, for example, plans to build around 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days.”

General Motors is repurposing its Kokomo components facility to ramp up manufacture of a ventilator, too, working with Ventec Life Systems. GM and Ventec say they expect to produce around 2,000 devices per month to begin with and will ship before the end of April. In addition, GM is already manufacturing surgical masks at its facility in Warren, Michigan.

Vousden adds: “Despite the clear difficulties in repurposing production lines that usually make parts for cars, automotive companies have made astonishing progress.

“Redesigning products, adapting parts and building production lines from scratch normally takes months if not years, but the rapid spread of COVID-19 has seen these jobs completed in mere days. This around-the-clock effort could see thousands of lives saved if these medical devices can be built fast enough.”

More Media