March 27, 2020

General Motors Works To Use Kokomo Facility For Ventilator Production

Article origination IPBS-RJC
General Motors and Ventec Life Systems are partnering to convert the GM Kokomo, Indiana, ERC building for the production of Ventec ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. - Photo provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems are partnering to convert the GM Kokomo, Indiana, ERC building for the production of Ventec ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

President Donald Trump ordered General Motors on Friday to accelerate ventilator production under the Defense Production Act. 

A week ago, GM announced it was partnering with Ventec Life Systems to build ventilators in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The auto manufacturing company says it is currently working to retool its facility in Kokomo to start building the machines. 

While Indiana officials haven’t specified the state’s need, medical professionals and government leaders across the country have expressed concern with the lack of ventilators to treat severe cases.

READ MORE: Can I Go For A Walk? Here's What A 'Stay-At-Home' Order Really Does

LEE MAS: ¿Qué Necesita Saber Acerca Del Coronavirus? Tenemos Respuestas.

When asked about the conflict between the company and Trump, Gov. Eric Holcomb says he applauds GM’s efforts here in the state.

“I’ve been in contact with them today,” says Holcomb. “They’re planning to move forward and I hope that they will be able to accommodate; help meet the need for the nation and I’m proud they’ll do it in Kokomo, Indiana, in part.”

The partnership with Ventec will use an estimated 1,000 Hoosier workers from the Kokomo and Marion facilities to produce the machines.

In a news release, GM said it plans to have the first ventilators ready in April and build 10,000 units per month with room to expand, depending on federal needs.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.

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