Coronavirus: Tesla joins General Motors in ‘patriotic’ offer to make masks

Musk’s tweet didn’t provide any further details on potential plans. Tesla’s plant in California continues to operate, while other carmakers including GM and Ford Motor Co. have temporarily halted work because of the coronavirus outbreak.
By : Bloomberg
| Updated on: 19 Mar 2020, 11:03 AM
File photo (REUTERS)
File photo (REUTERS)
File photo (REUTERS)
File photo

Tesla Inc. joined General Motors Co. in offering to manufacture hospital ventilators in auto factories shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak, an effort that would echo Detroit’s contribution to Allied powers during World War II.

Responding to Pakistan’s Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry and a tweet from a Tesla customer, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the company would make ventilators if there is a shortage. GM CEO Mary Barra also floated the idea, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Wednesday. On Fox News earlier, he described an unidentified auto executive’s offer to call back workers to idled plants to make the medical devices needed to treat critically ill virus patients, and said it was made “on a voluntary basis for civic and patriotic reasons."

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Ford Figo (HT Auto photo)
Ford Figo
1194 cc | Petrol | Manual | 18.5 kmpl
₹5.49 - 8.43 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Ford Aspire (HT Auto photo)
Ford Aspire
1194 cc | Petrol | Manual | 18.5 kmpl
₹7.24 - 8.73 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Ford Freestyle (HT Auto photo)
Ford Freestyle
1194 cc | Petrol | Manual | 18.5 kmpl
₹7.27 - 9.03 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Ford Ecosport (HT Auto photo)
Ford Ecosport
1496 cc | Petrol | Manual | 15.9 kmpl
₹7.99 - 11.78 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Force Motors Gurkha New (HT Auto photo)
Force Motors Gurkha New
2596 cc | Diesel | Manual
₹13.59 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price
Ford Endeavour (HT Auto photo)
Ford Endeavour
1996 cc | Diesel | Automatic (Torque Converter) | 13.9 kmpl
₹32.75 - 36.27 Lakhs**Ex-showroom price

(Also read: Why GM, Ford offering to make ventilators is throwback to WW II era)

Barra, 58, suggested ways the company could help during the crisis, a person familiar with the matter said. GM could use some of its excess factory space to build ventilators and has people looking into how that would be done, said the person, who asked not to be identified describing a private conversation.

FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on
FOLLOW US:Stay Updated with latest content - Subscribe us on

(Also read: Make us masks to fight coronavirus: UK government to Ford, Honda, Rolls-Royce)

The Trump administration has not yet formally asked GM to use its network of plants and suppliers to make any medical equipment, the person said.

Musk’s tweet didn’t provide any further details on potential plans. Tesla’s plant in California continues to operate, while other carmakers including GM and Ford Motor Co. have temporarily halted work because of the coronavirus outbreak.

After U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for arming and supporting Britain, France and other nations in 1940, Detroit’s auto industry quickly transitioned their car assembly lines over to make military jeeps, tanks and bombers. Within a year and a half after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, 350,000 workers moved to the Motor City to join in the war effort, according to the Detroit Historical Society.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week called on manufacturers to build ventilators. Carmakers Jaguar Land Rover Plc and Toyota Motor Corp. are among the companies that have offered to help.

Warren Buffett-backed Chinese automaker BYD Co. expanded into making face masks in February and now says it is the world’s biggest producer, churning out 5 million masks a day. The quick switch from one product to another highlights the urgency with which countries and companies are trying to stop the deadly virus from paralyzing operations.

First Published Date: 19 Mar 2020, 10:48 AM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city