Maruti Suzuki to supply 10,000 ventilators by May-end to fight Covid-19
India's largest carmaker -- Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) -- on Friday said that it will complete its first order of 10,000 ventilators in collaboration with AgVA Healthcare, an existing approved manufacturer of ventilators, to the Central government by the end of May.
The first ventilator was manufactured on April 11, within 10 days of MSIL joining with AgVa Healthcare, a new and small start-up to scale-up ventilator production.
Speaking to ANI over the phone about the production of ventilators, MSIL Chairman R C Bhargava said: "We have been approached by the government to help them in ventilator manufacture in the fight against Covid-19."
"We considered this and informed that we ourselves have no technology and no knowledge of ventilator making. The government wanted ventilator in April, May and June. We found a company AgVa, which is not even two years old and has very little production capacity. But it has a ventilator that was approved by the government," Bhargava told ANI.
The MSIL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the AgVa on March 30 and has produced 1,250 ventilators till date.
"Thus, we decided to join hands with this company and assist them in scaling up the production, thinking that together results could be more optimum. On March 30, we signed a kind of MoU with AgVa. That time there was no production at all. By April 11, we started our production and 1,250 ventilators have been produced till date," he said.
Bhargava further said that daily production rate of ventilators is going up steadily and now 250-300 ventilators are being produced on a daily basis, which will soon be scaled up to 400 ventilators per day.
The MSIL is supplying ventilators to the government on a regular basis.
"The daily production rate is going up steadily. It has now reached 250-300 ventilators a day. By the end of this month, we are planning to hit 400. This means 10,000 ventilators in a month. We will complete the supply of 10,000 ventilators by the end of May. If the government wants more, then in June we will give them another 10,000," he said.
While AgVa Healthcare is responsible for the technology, performance and related matters for all the ventilators, the MSIL is using its suppliers to produce the required volume of components and use its experience and knowledge to upgrade systems for the production and quality control of the higher volumes.
The MSIL chairman further said the rapid scale-up has been possible due to the efforts of their team, support from several supplier partners which assisted them in procuring and shipping materials from China, manpower and various other things.
On being asked if the MSIL is planning to import ventilators, Bhargava said that AgVa should become a major ventilator manufacturer as they produce good quality products.
"We now want AgVa to become a major ventilator manufacturer as their products are really good. It would of national importance that this company should develop the capacity of making ventilators in large scale and supply ventilators outside India. I think there is a sizeable demand for ventilators abroad," he said.
He further said that masks are also being produced by the joint venture of the MSIL.
"Masks are being produced by another joint venture company of ours. They have already supplied two lakh masks to Haryana and one lakh to Gujarat. The owner of the company is planning to donate around two million masks for corona warriors and other officers on duty," he said.