Inside INdiana Business

GM to build ventilators at Kokomo plant

(photo courtesy of General Motors)

KOKOMO, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has confirmed previously-reported plans to utilize its Kokomo manufacturing facility to build critical care ventilators. The automaker is partnering on the effort with Washington-based Ventec Life Systems, which is also ramping up production at its manufacturing facility.

GM says efforts to set up tooling and manufacturing capacity at the Kokomo facility are underway. The companies expect to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a capacity of producing more than 10,000 ventilators per month.

“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” said Mary Barra, chief executive officer of GM. “This partnership has rallied the GM enterprise and our global supply base to support Ventec, and the teams are working together with incredible passion and commitment. I am proud of this partnership as we work together to address urgent and life-saving needs.”

Approximately 1,000 workers from GM’s Kokomo and Marion facilities are being tapped to build the ventilators. The automaker says it will have the infrastructure and capability to further scale production as needed.

GM says it will also begin manufacturing FDA-cleared Level 1 surgical masks at its plant in Warren, Michigan. Production is expected to begin next week and ramp up to 50,000 masks per day within two weeks.