MEXICO – (Agencies) – Ford’s unit in Mexico said it would produce 100,000 facial shields at one of its local plants to help curb the outbreak of coronavirus in the country and parts of Central America.
The company said in a statement that the initiative is part of “Project Mexico,” which seeks to use its capabilities to rapidly increase the development of this medical material in the complex of the state of Chihuahua, which can produce 700,000 engines annually.
“Ford de Mexico has the goal of producing 100,000 face shields within the next few days and as necessary to increase production in the coming weeks,’ said Ford in a statement and explained that production would begin during the week of April 27th.
Currently, most of the assembly plants are suspended their operations in the country due to the health emergency. However, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would authorize them to restart activities once the automotive industry in the United States does so.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the entry into Phase 3 of the contingency in Mexico, the U.S. automaker General Motors (GM) announced that it would produce nine million covers.
In a statement, Francisco Garza, president and CEO of GM Mexico, explained that it would be from late April when it begins to manufacture surgical masks level 1 in the plant located in Toluca, State of Mexico.
“We are very interested in contributing to the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in our country and supporting the frontline doctors and nurses to whom we recognize their great effort to save lives in the face of pressing circumstances,” reads the statement.
Francisco Garza said that during the next six months, the company would produce 1.5 million monthly covers, which will be allocated to hospitals in Mexico City, State of Mexico, San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato and Coahuila, states where the company has operations.
Besides, the automotive company foresees that the capacity adapted for this specialized manufacture may increase and manufacture another model of mask, so it is already looking for raw material that meets the appropriate characteristics.
“I am very proud of the group of employees who decided to participate in supporting us in this work. To them, we are guaranteeing the maximum hygiene care to prevent any risk of contagion,” Garza added.
The Toluca plant produces 1.5 L turbo engines for vehicles such as Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain.
It is worth mentioning that since the end of March, GM announced that in the United States, it would adapt its plants for the production of surgical masks and fans to attend the coronavirus pandemic.
This initiative of GM Mexico was also joined by the producer of toilet paper and napkins Elite, who, a few days ago, purchased a machine for the manufacture of surgical mouth caps for its plant in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.
The general director of the company, Francois Bouyra, said in a statement that it would have a production capacity of 1’500,000 units per month, most of which will be donated to health institutions in the region to reduce the risk of infection.
The manufacturing process will be completely automated; that is, there is no human intervention in its elaboration, which guarantees high sanitary requirements and will have a capacity of between 60 and 80 masks per minute.
The Ministry of Health (SSA) confirmed 857 deaths and 9,501 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mexico during the afternoon press conference held at the National Palace.
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