For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to check the World Health Organization website.
The American automaker is earmarking the masks for the front line workers of the coronavirus pandemic, including police, firefighters, EMTs, and hospital workers. FCA will be donating the masks to those that need it most with the help of city, regional and national authorities.
“Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important,” said FCA CEO Mike Manley in a statement. “In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We’ve marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic.”
An FCA spokesperson told Detroit News that it would initially produce the masks at one of its Chinese plants. A more specific timeline on when deliveries will commence should be available in the near future.
The announcement comes on the back of FCA suspending production at its North American plants last week. Presumably mask production could also happen at those locations too, once they’re re-opened, but nothing is confirmed yet.
FCA and Ferrari, both under the same Exor umbrella company, are currently working with Italy’s Siare Engineering to double the company’s ventilator production. COVID-19 has hit Italy harder than any other nation, with over 63,000 cases confirmed as of March 23.
Both General Motors and Ford have expressed interest in helping global face mask production in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ve reached out to FCA for further details and will report on any updates.