Ordered Into Action: GM and Feds Announce Ventilator Deal

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ordered into action gm and feds announce ventilator deal

To its credit, General Motors was already preparing a foray into ventilator production when President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, locking the automaker into a pact to build truckloads of the life-saving equipment.

On Thursday, details of the no-profit deal became clear.

As reported by CNBC, federal officials say the automaker will add 30,000 ventilators to the federal stockpile by the end of August, with the deal carrying a pricetag of $489.4 million. The publication confirmed that GM will not make a profit off the effort.

Amid large coronavirus outbreaks in New York City, Detroit, and other locales, most automakers are doing their part in providing personal protective equipment to hospitals and state health agencies, but ventilators are a complicated piece of kit. They’re not cheap, either.

GM partnered with Ventec Life Systems to make the order possible. Despite media reports claiming a lofty sale price for the units, the agreement with the feds shows a per-unit price of $16,000, well below the $50k price tossed around last week.

Production starts next week, with the Department of Health and Human Services claiming first batch of over 6,100 ventilators due for delivery at the beginning of June. While the production surge could be seen as coming too late for the onset of the pandemic, it’s crucial for future outbreaks. Many health officials anticipate a second or even third wave of the virus over the next 18 to 24 months.

Production will take place at GM’s underutilized Kokomo, Indiana components plant, where the company expects to employ 1,000 workers on the ventilator initiative. It’s good news for UAW Local 292, which has long sought to boost the plant’s workforce.

“We remain dedicated to working with the Administration to ensure American innovation and manufacturing meet the needs of the country during this global pandemic,” said GM in statement.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • SaulTigh SaulTigh on Apr 09, 2020

    I think we're going to end up building a bunch of vents that won't be needed. Been reading over the last day or so that doctors are now trying to do everything they can to NOT put WUHAN flu patients on ventilators. I've also been reading that 80-90% of people that are put on vents for any reason don't survive normally anyway, because once you get to the point of needing a vent, you generally aren't coming back from what ails you. My personal opinion is that the worst decisions get made when people give in to the notion that they HAVE to do something. I don't spend every flu season cowering in fear, and I refuse to do so now. Rationally, where I live, and with a normal level of precaution (wash hands, not touch face holes) and modest social distancing, the chances of me catching the WUHAN flu are very, very low.

    • JimZ JimZ on Apr 09, 2020

      guy has strong opinion from reading a few things on the internet. News at 11.

  • Dan Dan on Apr 09, 2020

    ARDS + ventilation is 50/50 at the best of times. It appears that when SARS-2 progresses to the oxygen starvation point it's also damaged the hemoglobin in the blood (among other things) to the point that ventilation rarely helps.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?