KEY POINTS

  • "We will make ventilators if there is a shortage," tweeted Elon Musk
  • The automaker giants are in talks with the White House about using their vacant car factories to manufacture breathing equipment
  • Some carmakers have questioned whether their plants would be suitable to produce such equipment

Tesla Inc. joined General Motors Co. and Ford on Wednesday in offering to use its manufacturing expertise to help build ventilators in its auto factories shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak.

GM CEO Mary Barra on Wednesday offered to use the company's empty factory space in a “WWII-style mobilization” to make ventilators for hospitals.

In a statement, a Ford spokesperson said, "As America’s largest producer of vehicles and top employer of autoworkers, Ford stands ready to help the administration in any way we can, including the possibility of producing ventilators and other equipment."

A few hours later, Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk tweeted saying, "We will make ventilators if there is a shortage." His tweet didn’t provide any further details on potential plans.

The automaker giants are in talks with the White House about using its vacant car factories to manufacture breathing equipment to help the country tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several automakers have come forward to help overcome medical device shortages as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to overload hospitals. Given the norms of medical precision, as well as the need for certification to produce such instruments, some carmakers have questioned whether their plants would be suitable to produce such equipment.

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

The Trump administration has not yet formally asked manufacturers to use their network of plants and suppliers to make any medical equipment.

tesla-1724773_640 Tesla Photo: Pixabay