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Tesla, GM, Ford and FCA - to produce medical equipment for the fight with coronavirus

26 March 2020

After most of the major auto plants in the worlds announced their plans to suspend production, we could not pass the intentions of GM, FCA,  Ford and Tesla to keep working in order to help the production of additional medical equipment needed for fighting against the pandemic virus - Covid-19.

After several days of back-and-forth to the police office, Elon Musk decided to temporarily suspend the production process in Tesla’s factory in Freemont, despite his previous intentions to keep it working. According to his words, the plant is going to continue with only basic operations to support the vehicle and service operations, as well as the charging infrastructure. New york factory of the company will also temporarily shut down. All other facilities are going to continue their work, including Nevada plant and Supercharging network.

Tesla plant - production process
Credits: Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Tesla clarified that the sick and ill employees are allowed to use a certain amount of paid time off, and unpaid time off after that is exhausted, without any penalty. The health and safety of the workers remain the company’s first consideration. However, the shutdown of the whole factories will cause financial losses and will affect Tesla’s financial position. The crisis hits just when the company has started the first deliveries of Model Y and upon the end of the first fiscal quarter of 2020. Typically this is a time when Tesla rushes to deliver lots of cars, to hit the quarterly numbers and to keep its good stock positions. Despite the hard times, Elon Musk stated that the company is ready to help with the production of respirator and ventilators if necessary.

Meanwhile, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra compared the present situation with World War II-stylee mobilization. The big automaker has also offered help to the government for production for medical equipment and protective masks. GM has announced that has already started work with Ventec Life Systems and will speed up efforts to produce 200 000 ventilators in their plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

Ford reorganizing its production to support the fight with with Covid-19
Credits: The Ford Motor Company

Ford also stated that the company stands ready to help the administration in any possible way with the production of ventilator, mask or any other needed equipment. The famous manufacturer announced tits collaboration with 3M, GEHeathcare and UAW to lend engineering and manufacturing expertise to quickly expand production of needed medical equipment for fighting with Covid-19.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is also stepping to help the people at the front line of the coronavirus pandemic. The company will donate more than 1 million protective face masks per month. On 23rd March, the manufacturer announced that the production is about to start any moment and in the next few weeks the first deliveries across the USA, Mexico and Canada will be a fact. The face masks will be dedicated to police, EMTs, firefighters and hospital’s and clinic’s staff. This action will be the first part of a global program developed by the company through manufacturing, supplying and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those huge and famous carmakers reorganize their plants to provide better chances for the people at the first line in the fight with the invincible enemy – Covid-19.

Author: Danny Stoyanova