General Motors will hand off ventilator production at its Kokomo, Ind., facility to Ventec Life Systems in the coming weeks.
The automaker was hired to build 30,000 of them in partnership with the ventilator company through a $490 million contract from the federal Department of Health and Human Services to help build up a national stockpile to address surges in COVID-19 cases.
GM told Automotive News that it expects to complete the order by the end of August, but that Ventec will continue to run the operation on a month-by-month lease to increase its production capability. The company also manufactures the VOCSN critical care ventilators at its own facility in Bothell, Wash.
GM is producing the devices at cost. About 800 people are currently employed at the operation, 70 of whom are GM workers who will return to their previous positions in the company, while the others will be considered for jobs under Ventec management.
HHS also awarded a $336 million contract to Ford and GE Healthcare to build 50,000 ventilators at the automaker’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Michigan, where production is ongoing, a Ford spokeswoman told Fox Business.