Apr 14, 2020 - Economy

GM begins ventilator production to replenish U.S. stockpile

Image of GM CEO Mary Barra and Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple visiting ventilator factory.

GM CEO Mary Barra and Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple talk with employees at an Indiana electronics plant that has shifted to producing ventilators for the federal government.

General Motors on Tuesday began mass production of critical care ventilators that will be delivered to the federal government to replenish depleted U.S. stockpiles in the fight against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The automaker has a $489.4 million contract to produce 30,000 ventilators by August under the Defense Production Act, which President Trump invoked on March 27 in an effort to meet exploding demand for the life-saving devices.

Details: GM and its partner, Ventec Life Systems, said they will ship more than 600 ventilators this month, and almost 15,000 by the end of June. All 30,000 will be delivered by the end of August, but GM said it has the capacity to build more ventilators after August if needed.

“Thousands of men and women at GM, Ventec, our suppliers and the Kokomo community have rallied to support their neighbors and the medical professionals on the front lines of this pandemic. Everyone wants to help turn the tide and save lives. It is inspiring and humbling to see the passion and commitment people have put into this work.”
— GM CEO Mary Barra

The big picture: The Trump administration has said it is working with about 10 ventilator companies to obtain about 100,000 of the machines over the next 100 days.

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