Ford Joins Tesla and GM to Work on Urgent Production of Respirators and Ventilators

Written by: Michael Harris
June 23, 2020
  • Ford supporting GM to increase the production of ventilators, while Tesla is in discussion with Medtronic
  • 3M and Ford to work together on air-purifying respirators and ventilators
  • United States has around 160,000 ventilators that are seen as critical medical equipment for patients with COVID-19

The US President Donald Trump said that his administration has given a green light to Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to start producing ventilators and respirators.

These medical devices are seen as critical infrastructure for patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19. The New York Times reported earlier that the US has around 160,000 ventilators across the country, with additional 12,700 in the National Strategic Supply.

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“We have had preliminary discussions with the U.S. and U.K. governments and looking into the feasibility,” Ford spokesperson Rachel McCleery said. “It’s vital that we all pull together to help the country weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever.”

Trump signed an order to invoke the Defense Production Act, which requires businesses to sign contracts or fulfill orders deemed necessary for national defense, however it is still not clear whether these provisions have been activated by the administration.

Ford has teamed up with General Motors’ healthcare arm and the health care giant 3M (NYSE:MMM) to work on the critical equipment needed for the treatment of coronavirus patients. More precisely, Ford will support GM with the production of ventilators.

On the other hand, Ford is teaming with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of its air-purifying respirators, while also looking at ways to increase the production of respirators and ventilators to cope with a surge in demand.

“We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs,” Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett said.

He also stated that Ford’s aim is to work towards increasing the supply of necessary medical equipment.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, said earlier that he held discussions with the medical device giant Medtronic about ventilators.

“Medtronic will work with Tesla and others to try and solve this ventilator supply challenge,” a Medtronic spokesperson said to confirm Musk’s claims.