In World War II, carmakers stopped automobile production to build tanks, warplanes, and all other kinds of war materiel. Now, amidst a pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, carmakers are being tapped into duty again... but this time, it's for medical equipment.
Major global automakers are looking into the possibility of shifting their now-stalled production lines to produce equipment for hospitals, specifically ventilators.
Italian automakers Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), as well as parts manufacturer Marelli, may actively help the coronavirus-stricken country through Siare Engineering. According to Reuters, the company wants the help of the three auto industry players for help in assembling the ventilators.
“We’re talking to Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, and Marelli to try to understand if they can lend us a hand in this process for the electronics part,” said Gianluca Preziosa, Chief Executive of Siare Engineering.
Across the Atlantic, American automakers are also in the process of helping out with ventilator production. One such automaker is General Motors (GM) which is working with Ventec Life Systems, together with an NGO called StopTheSpread.org. If the collaboration pushes through, the automaker could help Ventec to drastically scale up their production.
Ford is also reportedly in talks to help produce ventilators as well. U.S. President Donald Trump has urged automakers to join the fight as well with ventilator production. Even Elon Musk's Tesla may be joining in as well.
The fight against COVID-19 is pushing the health systems of many nations to the limit, particularly with the availability of ventilator equipment. The effects of the virus damage or worsen existing conditions in the respiratory systems of patients, thus making hospital ventilators a critical and precious tool in fighting the direct effects of the pandemic.