© General Motors © Ventec Life Systems General | April 16, 2020
General Motors, Ventec ready to ship ventilators
As part of a joint effort to provide critical equipment to the healthcare industry in its response to COVID-19, General Motors is in the process of shipping the first batch of ventilators as part of GM’s contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The first phase of approximately 600 Ventec Life Systems V+Pro ventilators will be shipped this month, with approximately half of the 30,000-unit order to be filled by the end of June. The full order is expected to be completed by the end of August, and GM has the capability to build more if asked to. GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said, "Thousands of men and women at GM, Ventec, our suppliers and the Kokomo community have rallied to support their neighbors and the medical professionals on the front lines of this pandemic. Everyone wants to help turn the tide and save lives. It is inspiring and humbling to see the passion and commitment people have put into this work." Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple said, "Until there is a vaccine, critical care ventilators give medical professionals the tools they need to fight this pandemic and save lives. This partnership is an historic effort and a great reminder of what can be accomplished with the power of American innovation and American manufacturing skill uniting together around a singular mission to save lives." In addition to sourcing hundreds of parts and assemblies from various suppliers, the effort required the design of a new manufacturing process and reconfiguration of GM's Kokomo factory. More than 1,000 manufacturing team members are being hired and comprehensive health and safety protocols specific to the current coronavirus pandemic are being implemented, the press release stated. Support for GM came from several fronts, including the UAW-GM Department and UAW Local 292, community groups and elected officials in Kokomo, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.