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Ironically, The Masks Will Be Produced In A Certain Location

GM Kokomo

Soon after President Donald Trump declared he would use his authority vested in the WWII-era Defense Production Act, American automakers began announcing plans to join in the medical war effort against the COVID-19 coronavirus. As seen in other parts of the world, and now here, a shortage of personal protective equipment for health-care workers, ventilators and other medical equipment makes the situation more dire than it needs to be. To help alleviate this, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have announced plans to the fabricate necessary medical equipment that’s needed immediately.

On Friday, GM announced a collaboration with Seattle-based Ventec Life Systems to build ventilators. The Detroit automaker has suspended production in all of its North American facilities, and has its salaried workforce largely working from home. According to The Detroit News, GM is eyeing its Kokomo, Indiana manufacturing facility to produce the ventilators. A manufacturing timeline is not currently known.

The GM Kokomo facility is a relatively small one, and employs just under 400 people. The plant is operated by a subsidiary known as GM Components Holdings, LLC, and produces things like semiconductors when it’s not making emergency ventilators. Kokomo is also the location of an FCA facility where an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Speaking of which, FCA will be producing and donating much-needed face masks at one of its facilities in, get this, China. Conversion of the facility is said to have started today. When asked about the choice of location, FCA PR responded by saying it’s “the fastest way we could get relief to U.S. first responders and health care workers was to use one of our operational plants,” according to The Detroit News. FCA is also working with ventilator manufacturer Siare Engineering International Group in badly hit Italy, which is currently the epicenter for COVID-19 in Europe, followed closely by Spain and then Germany.

Lastly, Ford Motor Company is currently said to be in preliminary talks with both the United States and United Kingdom governments on how to provide a speedy solution.


Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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