General Motors officially will take on ventilator construction at its Kokomo facility, returning an estimated 1,000 workers to the local plant.
Via press release, GM and Ventec Life Systems announced VOCSN critical care ventilators will be produced in Kokomo as an effort to provide the critical, life-saving devices at a time when COVID-19 rapidly is spreading throughout the country. That effort will involve GM returning an estimated 1,000 workers to Kokomo in order to meet production needs.
“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” said GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This partnership has rallied the GM enterprise and our global supply base to support Ventec, and the teams are working together with incredible passion and commitment. I am proud of this partnership as we work together to address urgent and life-saving needs.”
According to a release, since March 20 GM and Ventec Life Systems, a company that produces ventilators, have been working through a means of implementing a plan for “immediate, scaled production of critical care ventilators.”
Efforts going toward tooling and manufacturing capacity for ventilators at the Kokomo facility already are underway. The first ventilators to roll off the line could be delivered as soon as next month, and capacity could be ramped up to manufacture more than 10,000 ventilators per month. That could even be scaled further.
”GM is in the position to help build more ventilators because of the remarkable performance of GM and Ventec’s global supply base,” said Barra. “Our joint teams have moved mountains to find real solutions to save lives and fight the pandemic.”
The release from GM noted the 1,000 employees that will be deployed to Kokomo will be “brought back” from GM’s Kokomo and Marion facilities.