- GM confirmed that it's retooling a plant in Indiana to manufacture ventilators with Ventec Life Systems.
- The partnership could increase capacity to more than 10,000 ventilators per month; hospitals confront a critical shortage of ventilators as the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads across the US.
- GM also said that it would produce surgical masks at a plant in Michigan.
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On Friday, General Motors confirmed that it would build ventilators at a factory in Indiana, in partnership with Ventec Life Systems.
The VOCSN critical-care ventilators are FDA-cleared and could begin shipping next month.
"Across all manufacturers, there is a global backorder of critical care ventilators capable of supporting patients fighting COVID-19," Ventec said in a statement.
"Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further."
Some details about the use of the factory in Indiana were earlier reported by The New York Times .
Ventec said that it would also expand manufacturing capacity at its Bothell, Washington, facility.
GM and Ventec announced a partnership earlier this week . But on Friday, President Donald Trump attacked GM and CEO Mary Barra for a deal for FEMA to buy ventilators that reportedly fell through.
The companies said that efforts to retool the Kokomo, Indiana, plant, which normally supplies electrical components for vehicles, were underway "around the clock."
"Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further," Ventec said.
According to Ventec CEO Chris Kiple, "This unique partnership combines Ventec's respiratory care expertise with GM's manufacturing might to produce sophisticated and high-quality critical care ventilators."
"This pandemic is unprecedented and so is the response, with incredible support from GM and their suppliers," he added. "Healthcare professionals on the front lines deserve the best tools to treat patients and precision critical care ventilators like VOCSN are what is necessary to save lives."
The companies said that work started last Friday, March 20, on an immediate plan to mass-produce ventilators, locating more than 700 parts required to assemble200,000 ventilators.
"GM is in the position to help build more ventilators because of the remarkable performance of GM and Ventec's global supply base," added Barra. "Our joint teams have moved mountains to find real solutions to save lives and fight the pandemic."
GM also said that it would start making "FDA-cleared Level 1 surgical masks at its Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility."
Production starts next week and could create up to 100,000 masks.
- Trump is attacking GM on Twitter after a report said the White House was reconsidering a deal to have the automaker help produce ventilators
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