The President of the United States, Donald Trump, ordered on Friday (27) that Ford and GM start producing artificial respirators immediately, as an aid to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump gave the order on a social network, saying that “General Motors must immediately open its 'stupidly' abandoned unit in Lordstown, Ohio, or some other” to start making the equipment, and that Ford must also start production respirators quickly.
General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW !!!!!! FORD, GET GOING ON VENTILATORS, FAST !!!!!! @GeneralMotors @Ford
"As always, things like 'this' General Motors never seem to work. They said they would give us 40,000 much-needed respirators 'quickly'. Now, they are saying there will only be 6,000 at the end of April and they want a dollar loud. It's always a mess with Mary B. ", said Trump referring to GM President Mary Barra.
Soon after the publications, he triggered the Defense Production Act. The law allows, among others, the president to require companies to accept contracts for essential materials and services, and to provide incentives for the production and supply of critical materials.
Ford has not yet responded.
GM says it will make respirators and masks
Following Trump's criticisms and threats, GM has announced that it will produce respirators at its Kokomo plant in Indiana from early April.
In a statement, the company said that the company, in addition to a partner, specializing in the production of respirators, "is ready to deliver the first ventilators next month and increase the manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 intensive care ventilators per month, with the infrastructure and the ability to expand further. "
About 1,000 workers will be responsible for the production of respirators. The Kokomo plant is used, under normal conditions, to manufacture electrical components for GM vehicles.
The company also said it would temporarily convert its factory in Warren, Michigan, to produce surgical masks. Production will start as early as next week, with a capacity of up to 50 thousand masks per day. If necessary, GM said it could make up to 100,000 parts a day.
In Brazil, GM will get respirators
Chevrolet will adapt part of two facilities to repair respirators, important devices in the most serious cases of patients with Covid-19.
The initiative was taken in conjunction with the Ministry of Economy, Senai and the Brazilian Association of Clinical Engineering, and should also involve other manufacturers, whose names have not yet been informed.