To ensure supplies for doctors and hospitals in Germany, the Volkswagen Group is organising medical materials in China in the short term. The total value of the goods to be donated by the Group is about €40 million (around ₹329 crore).
The equipment – including face masks, gloves, disinfectants, clinical thermometers, protective goggles and protective clothing – is to be made available to medical personnel providing emergency treatment and care. Last week, Volkswagen had already donated about 200,000 FFP-2 and FFP-3 face masks for public health protection.
Earlier, the German carmaker had said it was joining other manufacturers around the world to explore using 3D printing to make hospital ventilators to combat the coronavirus.
In a statement, Volkswagen said it had assembled a task force, was testing materials and checking supply chains to see how it can use 3D printing to help manufacture hospital ventilators and other life-saving equipment.
Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, says: “Volkswagen is playing its part in mastering the global crisis. Our global orientation is our strength in this case. That also applies in this exceptional situation. China is on the road to normalisation. We are taking advantage of this fact and of our global logistics chains to ensure that this donation reaches doctors and hospitals as quickly as possible so that sick people can continue to receive the best possible levels of care."
Volkswagen HR Board Member Gunnar Kilian says: “The Group Board of Management is unanimous: we must not lose any time in the fight against corona. The main burden of combating the virus and caring for patients is born by physicians and nurses. They are providing an outstanding service and need our full support in their efforts. This is why we are convinced: Volkswagen is needed and is helping. I would especially like to thank our task force as well as our health, procurement and logistics teams in Wolfsburg and China. They have cooperated outstandingly well in a highly professional way to ensure that the equipment is delivered to Germany in record time."
(Also read: Volkswagen expects car market to recover in summer)
Over the past few days, Volkswagen had received a growing number of requests for help from hospitals, doctors and social facilities. As Volkswagen itself does not have available the total volume of supplies requested, the goods themselves will be ordered by the health services and Group Procurement, while Group Logistics will coordinate and organise transport. The top priority is to deliver the equipment to doctors and hospitals as quickly as possible. Distribution will be organised by public bodies.