As car factories around the world continue to shut down due to the coronavirus, some automakers have shifted to making something else besides automobiles. In order to help health workers and authorities out on the front line, Kia is considering to make face masks.
According to Reuters, the Korean automaker is looking to use its Yancheng plant in China in order to make the face masks. This comes after a spokesperson from Kia stated that the Chinese government encouraged automakers to do so. However, the spokesperson did not mention as to when Kia will begin manufacturing the said face masks, nor how many will they be able to produce.
Kia's plan to make face masks comes as no surprise as other automakers have announced their plans to help front line workers. Ford recently partnered up with 3M and GE to make ventilators, respirators, and PPEs.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that they are looking to manufacture and donate more than one million protective face masks per month to health workers and emergency responders. Even the Prancing Horse brand, Ferrari, is being tapped to make hospital ventilators as cases (and fatalities) in Italy continue to rise.
With Kia suspending operations at its Georgia plant in the U.S., as well as its facilities in Slovakia and India, perhaps the automaker can also use these idle factories in order to make more face masks for the front line workers. Here's to hoping that parts supply needed for face masks will not be disrupted amid the COVID-19 pandemic.