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GM, Ford complete US contracts to build thousands of ventilators

GM ramped up production at a converted auto electronics plant in about a month when it looked like the U.S. and other countries would run short of ventilators.

DETROIT — General Motors says it has finished making 30,000 medical breathing machines for the U.S. government to help treat coronavirus patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services contracted with GM to build the ventilators at a converted auto electronics plant in Kokomo, Indiana, at a cost of $489.4 million.

The machines were designed by Ventec Life Systems of the Seattle area, and GM ramped up production in about a month when it appeared the U.S. and other countries would run short of ventilators. The ventilators were to be finished by Monday.

GM says Tuesday it has turned over control of the Kokomo operation to Ventec, which will continue to make ventilators there and in Bothell, Washington.

Credit: AJ Mast for General Motors
General Motors and Ventec Life Systems team members assemble the final group of ventilators Saturday, August 29, 2020, to complete the 30,000 unit order for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Kokomo, Indiana.

Earlier Ford announced it has finished making 50,000 ventilators for the government at a cost of $336 million. A portion of a factory near Detroit was converted to make the machines. It will now go back to producing auto parts.

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