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General Motors switched from the prototyping to production on Monday in its quest to deliver 20,000 face masks for health care workers combating the coronavirus pandemic this week.
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GM is on track to meet its goal of delivering its first 20,000 masks on Wednesday, a GM spokesperson told FOX Business. GM's vice president for Global Purchasing and Supply Chain Shilpan Amin is pushing the company's hundreds of suppliers (the list includes NGK Spark Plugs and Mitsubishi Electric Co.) to make masks by sharing GM's "step-by-step manufacturing plans."
"Our ultimate goal is to get more masks to the people who desperately need them," Amin wrote in a note on Saturday. "We also recognized it would be counterproductive if GM – or any other manufacturer – competed for supplies with existing medical-mask companies. By making available GM's production processes to our global supply base, we hope to facilitate other companies' efforts to bring more materials, more equipment and ultimately more facemasks to the community."
GM estimates it will scale up to producing 50,000 masks a day by next week. GM, in partnership with the United Auto Workers union, was seeking more than two dozen paid volunteers to make the masks in March.
GM's progress on face masks comes after President Trump slammed the company in March, saying their ventilator production was too slow. GM is the first company he applied the Defense Production Act to during the pandemic.