In March 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) hit the U.S. hard and one of the biggest struggles was ensuring Americans all over the country had the medical equipment necessary to fight the pandemic. But rally Americans do, and it wasn’t long before numerous companies found ways to help.
With the biggest automakers able to produce necessary medical equipment in manufacturing facilities, the country turned gears quickly to help. Ford became one of the biggest driving forces in that rally to fight COVID-19. But the company isn’t stopping now, as Ford continues spreading cheer through the holiday season.
Ford becomes one of the country’s biggest ventilator manufacturers amid COVID-19
As COVID-19 cases spiked and essential medical equipment dwindled, Ford switched gears at many of its facilities to start making PPE (personal protective equipment).
But by the end of March 2020, Ford landed a $336-million contract with the American government alongside GE (General Electric), to make as many ventilators for COVID-19 patients as possible.
According to Ford’s press release, the company agreed to work alongside GE Healthcare to produce an FDA-cleared ventilator at one of its Michigan manufacturing facilities.
Taking its new contract with the U.S. seriously, Ford established “the goal to produce 50,000 of the vitally needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed.”
These specially-designed GE/Ford ventilators are unique and even use Ford F-150 technology, operating under “air pressure without the need for electricity” and increasing its usability for any patient, anywhere.
Of course, this contract would be in addition to the PPE, such as face masks/shields and respirators, Ford had already started producing and donating to first responders and health care workers.
Ford has donated PPE to the state of Kentucky, 1.5 million masks to the state of Michigan, and 2 million masks to the state of Ohio. And that’s just a few examples. In fact, Ford created “Project Apollo” to supply millions of PPE to hospital and medical workers.
No love lost: Ford reinvests its COVID-19 profits to help fellow Americans
In just a few short weeks, Ford became one of the biggest suppliers of COVID-19-related medical gear, producing 200,000 gowns per week by May 2020.
In less than six months, the company made those 50,000 ventilators agreed upon, and then some. Fox Business claims the Ford Motor Company “turned a $50 million profit on the $336 million contract it entered with the U.S. government.”
But while it appears the horrors of COVID-19 just helped an automaker become even richer, Ford actually “won’t be putting any of it in the bank.”
That’s because Ford’s Chairman, Bill Ford Jr., recently announced that Ford would be “reinvesting the funds into future COVID-fighting efforts.” Ford is doing more than just donating its profits, however.
Ford sends a message of hope
In addition to making ventilators, masks, gowns, and other PPE since the onslaught of the pandemic, Ford is committed to doing more during the holiday season and beyond to battle COVID-19.
In sharing its message of hope, Ford is donating its profits from government contracts to the fight against COVID-19, as well as continuing to do more. Ford has promised to reinvest money into the production of at least 100 million masks, which will be donated to underserved communities.
And that doesn’t include the other vows Ford is making this holiday season. According to Fox Business, the announcement of its $50 million reinvestment comes on the heels of its announcement that Ford “will donate up to $3.5 million to military charities” through the end of the year.