In order to support the growing crisis in Britain related to the COVID-19 outbreak, UK based auto companies are being asked to help the local community by building more health equipment, including breathing ventilators during this unprecedented pandemic. This initiative is about optimizing production availability and saving as many lives as possible.
Jaguar Land Rover is currently the only operating car production facility in the UK given the closures initiated by BMW, Honda, Toyota, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, Mercedes Benz, Peugeot, and Volkswagen as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Jaguar Land Rover has acknowledged that they have been contacted by the local health officials and are willing to help the UK community in any way possible during such an abnormal time period. The UK car giant is currently in communication with officials on how to logistically support this initiative.
JRL isn’t the only one
Other companies that UK health and government officials have contacted include PSA, Honda, and Ford. Honda, which has produced an overall lower volume of cars over the last year, is still evaluating the proposed plan from officials. Ford is also still gauging the circumstances overall before proceeding with the new production utilization proposal.
It appears as though the companies are willing to help out during the crisis, but aren’t sure how reasonable the health equipment project is, considering global government shutdowns and travel restrictions. The safety of the production teams is also a primary concern as they work closely together on builds, going against recommended social distancing guidelines.
At this time, the UK has confirmed 2,626 COVID-19 cases. However, health experts estimate that the actual cases may be between the 35,000-50,000 range. The total number of deaths related to the virus in the UK is now documented at 104. Prime Minister Boris Johnson detailed further measures to contain the virus and minimize spreading the disease by eliminating non-essential travel and enabling work-from-home programs for employees where applicable.
The Prime Minister’s call for the additional production of necessary medical equipment has spurred the initiative to produce more ventilators with the help of UK car companies. With so many people compromised by the virus, hospitals are running out of ventilators which are vital in helping patients to breathe. Hospitals are desperate for additional ventilators and it has been challenging for designated health equipment companies to keep up with the demand. Car companies could help to drastically increase the availability of ventilators to those in need.
On the other hand, car companies creating new ventilators for hospitals and patients in need is no easy feat. The car production teams would have to abide by supplementary industry guidelines and quickly learn the obligatory electronic elements for creating the ventilators.
It may take months for car companies to build the new ventilators, and it is unclear how the UK-based automakers recent production closures may impact this action. Being able to supply the required parts for the health equipment may also be a challenge since countries have tightened up their borders to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.