For most of us, the phenomenon that Covid-19 has created – crippling industries, stalling economies and panic buying – is nothing like we’ve ever seen before but while some quarters of society are behaving worse than they’ve ever been, there are some silver linings.
And its the other section of humanity coming together – putting aside all differences – unlike the politicians we (are forced to) call leaders, to fight a common cause and the auto industry is no different.
McLaren and Nissan, led by an engineering company called Meggitt, announced that they have come up with an emergency ventilator prototype that’s set for production within four weeks.
While McLaren is working on designing a simpler version of the ventilator, Nissan is supporting existing ventilator producers.
Bentley, Porsche and Skoda have also stepped up; offering their support to parent company Volkswagen as the quartet looks to produce ventilators via 3D-printing.
The company is reported to have more than 125 industrial 3D printers and is actively testing materials as medical equipment manufacturing is clearly uncharted waters for the automotive giant. However, as soon as they understand what’s needed to build the ventilators and have received the blueprint, manufacturing can begin.
As for General Motors, the company is working with Ventec Life Systems by allowing the medical device company to take advantage of GM’s logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise to scale up production of ventilators.
Even General Motors’ parts suppliers are gearing up for war as they’re preparing to manufacture parts which will be used to produce over 200,000 ventilators.
Fiat Chrysler announced that it will utilise its facilities in Asia, converting them to produce face masks intended for healthcare workers. The company is targeting to produce a million masks a month in the coming weeks.
Daimler has reportedly received requests from authorities for support on the matter and is said to be weighing their options. The company, together with Volkswagen have donated over 300,000 face masks, according to reports.