The partnership between General Motors and Ventec Life System to manufacture ventilators in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is seeing the first fruits of its labors. Today marks the start of mass production of the Ventec Life Systems V+Pro critical care ventilator at GM’s Kokomo plant.
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,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “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.”
GM is hiring 1,000 employees to manufacture the equipment.
Photo courtesy of General Motors
On March 17, General Motors and Ventec executive held their first conference call to explore the possibility of GM helping to increase Ventec’s production. Three days later, GM had engaged its global supply base and within 72 hours they had developed plans to source all the material necessary to create the products.
More than 1,000 manufacturing team members are in the process of being hired to produce the product.
The Kokomo plant was readied for production starting March 25 and on April 8 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded GM a contract to build 30,000 Ventec Life Systems V+Pro critical care ventilators under the Defense Production Act.
“Until there is a vaccine, critical care ventilators give medical professionals the tools they need to fight this pandemic and save lives,” said Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple. “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.”
According to the companies, more than 600 ventilators will be shipped this month, almost half the order will be filled by the end of June, and the full order will be completed by the end of August. GM has the capacity to build more ventilators after August if needed.