Ford, GM could make coronavirus ventilators, other supplies after factory closures

Coronavirus caused Detroit's three automakers to agree to partial factory shutdowns

Major American auto manufacturers Ford and General Motors are floating the idea of helping produce ventilators and other equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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"We stand ready to help the administration in any way we can, including the possibility of producing ventilators and other equipment," Ford said in a statement. "We have had preliminary discussions with the U.S. governments and are looking into the feasibility. It’s vital that we all pull together to help the country weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
FFORD MOTOR COMPANY7.28+0.26+3.70%
GMGENERAL MOTORS COMPANY31.92+0.13+0.41%

Detroit's three automakers agreed to partial factory shutdowns, deep cleaning of equipment and longer periods between shifts to head off union demands for U.S. plant closures. But now Ford's and GM's spaces could continue to be used.

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"We are currently studying how we could help with solutions during this crisis, this includes studying how we could potentially support production of medical equipment," a GM spokesperson told FOX Business. "We do not have any details to share at this time as it is an internal review."

Closeup detail of a hospital ventilator machine in an operating room

Doctors and nurses throughout the U.S. are sharing about stretching their supplies by reusing masks as they take precautions against catching or spreading the virus.

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"Just finished up a busy emergency department critical care shift, and hoping I stay healthy enough to go back for another," Dr. Kelly Wong of Brown Emergency Medicine in Rhode Island wrote on Twitter. "This mask and these safety glasses went into a paper bag with my name on it so that I can reuse them tomorrow on shift... and maybe the next shift... and maybe the next shift #GetMePPE."

The Trump administration has even called for construction companies to donate masks that health care providers could use as more and more Americans test positive for the virus.

FOX Business' Grady Trimble contributed to this report.