Carmaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Tuesday jumped into the emergency push by major U.S. manufacturers to produce thousands of ventilators and respirators needed to help combat the spread of the coronavirus under a partnership code-named “Project Apollo.”
By joining forces with General Electric’s (GE.N) healthcare unit and 3M Co (MMM.N), Ford is taking heed of U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for U.S. automakers to work across sectors in producing equipment needed for the pandemic.
The rapid outbreak, which has killed more than 16,500 people globally, has strained healthcare systems around the world and led to a shortage of ventilators needed to treat patients suffering from the flu-like illness, which can lead to breathing difficulties and pneumonia in severe cases.
“We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs,” Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett said.
Ford said its partnerships were code-named “Project Apollo” after the Apollo 13 launch in 1970 when a lunar landing was aborted after an oxygen tank failed two days into the mission, forcing the astronauts to improvise a fix.
Ford and GE Healthcare will expand the production of GE’s ventilator design to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing caused by the pathogen. In addition, they are developing a simplified design that Ford could begin making at one of its plants. – READ MORE
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