2020 has been quite the year for many things, making history being the biggest. The Coronavirus outbreak has affected so much of our lives and daily routines. Even moreso than usual, it is important to focus on the positive during these times. Fortunately, good things will always arise from difficult situations. Times of crisis tend to bring out a sense of community and togetherness. Here at Rick’s Paint & Body, we’ve seen first-hand an abundance of people helping others here in the Augusta, GA area. Furthermore, we’re seeing businesses like vehicle manufacturers band together to help make life easier and safer for many.
Ford Motor Company Initiatives
Ford and Lincoln are among numerous vehicle manufacturers that have changed the way they do business. On March 16, 2020, Ford Motor Company announced that their finance customers will have the option to change their payment due date or even delay payments. They also released a “Built to Lend a Hand” program which provides customers with up to six months of payment relief. The goodwill efforts didn’t stop there. Ford Motor Company Fund also directed more than $500,000 to help nonprofit groups in Michigan, as well as supporting delivery of food to thousands of elders and children.
Teaming with other companies and finding creative ways to utilize resources are also on Ford’s agenda during COVID-19. In collaboration with 3M and Thermo Fisher, Ford is producing up to 3 million face shields and COVID-19 Collection Kits. They have also established a team of engineers within the company to create reusable medical gowns from air bag materials.
Generosity from General Motors
General Motors is not far behind on the innovation. GM partnered with a company called Ventec in order to mass-produce tens of thousands of masks and ventilators. The ventilators are Ventec’s V+Pro, which are portable and can function on battery power. The V+Pro is geared towards treatment in rural hospitals that may not have adequate resources for employees and patients. In the first week of production, GM delivered 20,000 of these masks and ventilators to healthcare workers on the front line. Within two weeks of this plan going into effect, they will have created approximately 50,000 masks a day. That’s almost 1.5 million masks per month! Their goal is to fulfill these orders through August 2020, but they are prepared to continue production into the following months.
Goodwill from Other Manufacturers
A few other manufacturers are also taking precautions and doing their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Volkswagen decided to close the doors at their manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, TN and sanitized the entire factory. Their employees continued to receive full pay during this time, including healthcare benefits and bonuses.
Toyota took similar steps, shutting down their North American plants and reassessing a resumption of production day-by-day. Like Volkswagen, Toyota is also conducted a deep cleaning and sanitizing of its facilities.
Tesla is another manufacturer that has halted all factory production. Co-founder and CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s plant Giga New York in Buffalo, NY as well as their location in Fremont, California, assisted in production of ventilators. The evening after production began, the Resmed, Phillips and Medtronic ventilators began dispersing to hospitals in New York.
Doing Our Part
During times like this, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making positive changes – no matter how small the impact might seem. Although these manufacturers are making big strides, remember that the smaller actions like washing your hands frequently, following CDC’s guidelines to social distancing, and staying up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 news are equally important. Let’s all remember to do our part to slow the spread!