March 25, 2020

Automakers Shift Gears Into Medical Equipment Production

By Tanya Gazdik

Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are among the automakers who have halted automobile production and are now lending a hand to produce urgently needed medical equipment and supplies.

Consumers have indicated in multiple studies that they respond positively to companies that put time and money into altruistic endeavors. So while these moves are not marketing per se, they are likely to be met with positive reactions from current and potential customers.

Ford is is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to companies that build respirators and ventilators. A new respirator could be produced in a Ford facility by UAW workers.

Ford and 3M teams are taking parts like fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow and 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles. They are also donating portable tool battery packs to power respirators for up to eight hours.