Ford Plans to Use F-150 Parts to Make Respirators to Help With Coronavirus Outbreak

Ford Motor Company announced that it would temporarily close its factories due to the coronavirus. Now the company says it will convert parts for its popular F-150 pick-up truck to make much-needed medical equipment.

Michael Martinez of Automative News tweeted on Tuesday, “[Ford] plans to build respirators, ventilators [and] face shields in Michigan in partnership with the UAW, GE Healthcare & 3M.”

Ford is planning on partnering with 3M to use their HEPA filters as well as fans used in F-150 seat fans and batteries from power tools to build portable respirators. The company said it is aiming to produce 1,000 per month.

Additionally, Ford said it is also designing face-shields for medical professionals and is working with General Electric to start making ventilators. 

Ford said it hopes to produce at 100,000 face shields per week.

The news comes as pressure has mounted for President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of much need medical equipment.

Trump appeared reluctant to use the power to direct businesses to produce medical equipment during a press briefing on Sunday, “You know, we’re a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela, ask them how did nationalization of their businesses work out? Not too well.”

Instead, he praised companies for voluntarily stepping up to start producing the much needed medical equipment.

“We’re doing it on our own,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford told NBC News’ “Today.” He continued, “We’re doing it on our own. Obviously, the White House has put a call out for companies to help but, frankly, we were doing this.”

“We’re so happy to help, and we’re going to do absolutely everything we can…We haven’t talked to anybody about any kind of reimbursement or anything like that,” he added.

Published in IJR