General Motors is ready to ship its first round of ventilators for the treatment of patients with Covid-19 starting Tuesday, the company said in a statement.
GM (GM) started building ventilators in partnership with Ventec Life Systems last month at GM (GM)’s plant in Kokomo, Indiana.
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a nearly $500 million contract with GM under the Defense Production Act to produce 30,000 ventilators that will be delivered to the national stockpile.
GM said Tuesday that 600 ventilators will be shipped by the end of this month, with the rest of the government’s 30,000 ventilator order completed by the end of August.
“GM’s rapid mobilization of America’s manufacturing might in defense of our country is a proud salute to the ingenuity of its engineers, the true grit of its UAW workers on the line, and America’s doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals fighting for our lives at the front lines,” said Peter Navarro, assistant to the president.
This first batch of ventilators from GM will be sent to hospitals in Gary, Indiana, and Chicago, according to Navarro.
Other automakers have also announced efforts to help address the critical shortage of ventilators.
Ford has been working with GE Healthcare to build ventilators at a factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Ford will be building a relatively simple ventilator designed by a Florida company that can be used to treat Covid-19 patients who don’t require more sophisticated machines.
The automaker has said it expects to make as many as 7,200 of the machines a week. Ford is also working on other supplies, including respirator masks for healthcare workers.
Ford executives have said they are coordinating their efforts with GM to make sure no parts suppliers are overtaxed by their combined requests for help with ventilator parts.
Tesla has also shown off work it is doing to design ventilators made from parts used in Tesla cars. Tesla has not indicated how long it might be before those ventilators could be ready for ready for production.