General Motors announced today that it has officially started mass production of ventilators at its plant in Kokomo, Ind. The automaker will ship more than 600 ventilators in April and will fulfill the 30,000-unit order from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by the end of August, with additional capacity for production to continue past that date. The automaker’s $489.4 million contract to produce ventilators came as a result of the Defense Production Act, which President Trump put into action on March 27.
In a statement, White House Assistant to the President Peter Navarro said, “GM has moved swiftly in Trump time to manufacture one of the most critical lifesaving devices in America’s war against the coronavirus. 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.”
GM worked with Ventec Life Systems to produce these ventilators, beginning with an introductory conference call on Tuesday, March 17. Put another way, it took less than one month for GM and Vantec to put these lifesaving devices into production, a truly impressive timetable.