Carmakers join coronavirus war: Kia, Fiat plan to make masks, Volkswagen hospital ventilators

Governments are urging automakers help in speeding up production of ventilators and other medical equipment that could help gap the shortage

South Korean carmaker Kia Motors is contemplating making masks in its China facility, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday. The news comes a day after Italian car giant Fiat Chrysler said that it plans to make a million face masks a month and distribute it in North America in an attempt to fight the deadly coronavirus.

An increasing number of companies and businesses across the world are joining the fight against coronavirus and are contributing in the best possible way. So much so, that some are even drifting from their core business and producing healthcare and medical equipment like face masks and hospital ventilators.

Kia Motors to make masks

Kia Motors
Kia Motors YouTube Grab

A Kia Motors spokesperson on Wednesday said that the company is planning to make face masks at Yancheng facility. The decision comes after the Chinese government encouraged carmakers to do so. However, he did not comment on the possible timing of the production. Kia has suspended operations at it Georgia facility in the United States and in India and Slovakia.

Kia's decision to make masks comes a day after Fiat Chrysler confirmed plans of producing masks and distribute it to emergency services in North America. The Italian carmaker plans to make at least a million masks a month. Fiat is also trying to help in production of respirators for patients in the ICU in Italy's hospitals. Fiat in a statement said, "Production capacity is being installed this week and the company will start manufacturing face masks in the coming weeks with initial distribution across the United States, Canada and Mexico."

Volkswagen plans to produce ventilators

Volkswagen Pixabay

Volkswagen too is trying its bit to fight the deadly coronavirus that has cost more than 11,000 lives globally. The company last week had said that it was joining other companies across the world to try out using 3D printing to produce hospital ventilators that could be used to fight the virus.

In fact, governments are enlisting automakers like Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Ferrari to speed up production of ventilators and other medical equipment that could help gap the shortage and fight the virus. General Motors in a statement had said that is closely working with Ventec Life Systems to help the medical equipment maker to use the carmaker's expertise to make more hospital ventilators.

Related topics : Coronavirus