September 1, 2020

GM, Ford Complete US Contracts To Build Breathing Machines

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems partnered to convert the GM Kokomo ERC building to produce ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. - FILE PHOTO: Provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems partnered to convert the GM Kokomo ERC building to produce ventilators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Provided by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it has finished making 30,000 medical breathing machines for the U.S. government to help treat coronavirus patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services contracted with GM to build the ventilators at a converted auto electronics plant in Kokomo, Indiana, at a cost of $489.4 million.

The machines were designed by Ventec Life Systems of the Seattle area, and GM ramped up production in about a month when it appeared the U.S. and other countries would run short of ventilators. The ventilators were to be finished by Monday.

GM says Tuesday it has turned over control of the Kokomo operation to Ventec, which will continue to make ventilators there and in Bothell, Washington.

Earlier Ford announced it has finished making 50,000 ventilators for the government at a cost of $336 million. A portion of a factory near Detroit was converted to make the machines. It will now go back to producing auto parts.

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