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GM & Ford Start Ramping Down Ventilator Operations

Both companies will soon close out their multi-million-dollar government contracts.

In late March, General Motors joined the national effort to ramp up ventilator production when it partnered with Ventec Life Systems and skilled up its staff at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana, to make ventilators. One employee even mentioned that she felt like a "modern-day Rosie the Riveter."

About a week later, Ford announced plans to repurpose an auto parts factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan, west of Detroit, to make about 30,000 ventilators per month.

Both companies were tasked with helping fill supply shortages of critical care devices used to treat COVID-19 patients. When doctors moved away from the treatment, the ventilators were moved to the government's medical equipment stockpile. 

According to Reuters, both GM and Ford are nearing the end of the ventilator production run and are ramping down operations. 

GM and Ventec Life Systems have delivered more than 20,000 ventilators. Their $489 million government contract calls for 30,000. 

Ford has built about 47,000 of the 50,000 ventilators it will deliver to General Electric as part of a $336 million government contract.

The companies had about 1,500 people working ventilator assembly lines. 

According to GM, operations will transfer back to Ventec on September 1, 2020. Ventec will take on the temporary employees assigned to the job, while GM's worker will get back to automotive business. 

GM plans to transfer ventilator operations to its partner Ventec on September 1, 2020. 

Union workers at GM will return to the automaker, and temporary workers will remain with Ventec.

According to Ford, full-time workers were sent back to their home plants in May. Temporary workers hired for the job will have a chance to be hired on to make the new Ford Bronco at a factory near Detroit.

According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, about 12,000 ventilators are deployed at U.S. hospitals, and 108,000 ventilators in the government stockpile.

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