Ford, GM and FCA have stopped production, but there’s a chance it could begin again- not for cars, however. Just as Ford helped with war vehicle production in WWII, U.S. automakers may join the fight against Coronavirus. According to Automotive News, U.S. automakers are considering supporting medical supply production, such as ventilators.
“As America’s largest producer of vehicles and top employer of autoworkers, Ford stands ready to help the administration in any way we can, including the possibility of producing ventilators and other equipment,” Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery told Automotive News. They said they have been speaking to both U.S. and U.K. governments on the idea.
GM spokesperson Jeannine Ginivan told Automotive News that GM has offered to help the nation, and are studying how they can do that. One possibility is through production of medical supplies, like the ventilators so desperately needed.
As of now, however, there is no official decision from GM. The decision is only being analyzed, but the Trump administration has spoken to two of the Detroit Three automakers. According to an interview with Fox News, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow spoke with two automakers.
“She’s (GM CEO Mary Barra) going to try to call them back so they can produce ventilators. They might even ask them to do it on a voluntary basis for civic and patriotic reasons,” said Kudlow.
In addition, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated on Twitter that Tesla would consider ventilator production. There is no word on FCA producing ventilators.
Ford has also committed to helping customers and the community during the crisis. They are offering payment relief for customers affected by Coronavirus, both lease and finance. Ford also launched many philopatric efforts in response, helping with food banks and donating money.
While nothing is confirmed, it would be great to see US automakers helping fight COVID-19. There is a massive shortage of medical supplies, like ventilators, in the U.S. If they can provide more supplies, and even employ healthy workers so they can earn money during today’s economic hardships, it seems like a win.