General Motors to build 30,000 ventilators

General Motors has signed a $489.4 million contract to build 30,000 ventilators with the U.S. Department of Health in time of the COVID-19 crisis.

The automaker is setting up this work for the national stockpile under the terms of the Defense Production Act invoked by President Trump.

HHS said that General Motors (GM) is scheduled to deliver 6,132 of the Ventec Life Systems-designed VOCSN critical care ventilators by June 1, 2020, and the entire supply by the end of August. HHS agency will then deploy the devices across the country as needed.

General Motors (GM) has already started to retool its automotive electronics factory in Kokomo, Ind., in order to manufacture the ventilators and plans to start the production in mid-April using the paid-volunteer UAW employees, who will be working under the safety measures, that include social distancing, the use of protective equipment and the increased sanitization of the facility.

The price being paid for each of the ventilator comes to $16,300 that is below the estimated retail price of $18,000, according to Ventec. General Motors (GM) CEO Mary Barra had previously said that the automaker company would be manufacturing the units at cost and a GM spokesman confirmed to Fox News Autos, that that is still the case.

General Motors (GM) has also started producing Level 1 surgical masks along with the ventilators, at its factory in Warren, Mich, with the goal of ramping up the production to 50,000 per day.