Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced automakers to take a two-month production hiatus back in March, Ford has been producing all sorts of personal protective equipment to help those fighting the virus on the front lines. Now, however, Ford ventilator production is winding down as the automaker is very close to completing the 50,000 units ordered by the Trump administration earlier this year.
Currently, the U.S. government has a surplus of ventilators, with 108,000 of them sitting in storage. Around 12,000 of them have been sent out to various hospitals around the country, and are being used for COVID-19 patients who are in the worst of conditions.
So far, 47,000 Ford ventilators have been produced in conjunction with General Electric, which has a $336 million dollar contract with the government. Production has been ongoing at the Ford Rawsonville Assembly Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with around 1,500 employees helping to assemble the life-saving PPE.
While ventilator production is winding down, Ford is still making respiratory masks and other forms of PPE. So far, Ford has shipped hundreds of thousands of masks to to coronavirus hot spots across the U.S. Additionally, the automaker has also been producing other forms of PPE equipment including face shields, respirators, and gowns over the past several months.
In addition to producing PPE, Ford also recently contributed over $1 million to COVID-19 relief through its employee donation match program, which provided Ford employees, their families, and friends with a way to help fight the growing pandemic that kept them at home and unable to volunteer in traditional ways. The funds were distributed to 47 nonprofits and community groups in 20 countries, 29 percent of which went to hunger relief efforts.