With Coronavirus cases spreading rapidly around the world, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is devoting resources to produce face masks for first responders. Today, the automaker announced a plan to manufacture one million face masks per month. They will be donated to EMTs, police officers, firefighters, other first responders, health care clinics, and hospitals in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The automaker is presently installing manufacturing capability to create the masks, but the company's press release doesn't mention specific locations. A specific timeframe for manufacturing and delivery of the masks also wasn't mentioned, other than to say it should commence in the coming weeks. Though the announcement highlights North America for this initiative, FCA calls this the first action of a multifaceted global program to help combat COVID-19.
"Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important," said FCA CEO Mike Manley. "In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We've marshaled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic."
Once face mask production is underway, distribution will commence first with critical areas an North America as determined through coordination with city, regional, and national authorities. FCA says initial distribution will happen in North America, but it's unclear if face masks are part of the global plan. Further details on FCA's effort are said to be coming soon.
According to the March 23 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 33,404 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States with 400 deaths. 32,416 cases are still under investigation.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to Produce Face Masks for First Responders and Health Care Workers
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is stepping in to help those at the front line of the coronavirus pandemic by manufacturing and donating more than 1 million protective face masks per month. Production capacity is being installed this week and the company will start manufacturing face masks in the coming weeks with initial distribution across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The face masks are to be donated by FCA to police, EMTs and firefighters, as well as to workers in hospitals and health care clinics. This action is the first of a multifaceted global program being developed by the company through applying manufacturing, supply chain and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on this initiative, FCA CEO Mike Manley said: "Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important. In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We've marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic."
FCA will be working through national, regional and city authorities to ensure that the donated face masks are being directed to the people and facilities in the most immediate need. The company will disclose further actions related to the fight against the Coronavirus in the coming days.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people around the globe. For more details regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.