Mar 15, 2020 - 06:40 pm

Carmakers to step up to help combat Coronavirus

BYD now among the world's largest mask makers; UK looks to produce ventilators.

To help combat the spread of Covid-19, BYD says it is now among the world’s largest manufacturers of medical face masks and disinfectants after retooling a plant in China. Meanwhile, the British government is asking carmakers to turn to make respirators.

First to China, where BYD claims it is now among the world’s biggest mask makers as the country continues to crack down on the Coronavirus. To deliver the badly needed medical face masks as well as disinfectants, BYD has reconfigured its production lines that previously made high-end cell phones in the Longgang district of Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

The retooling in itself, however, forced BYD to set its engineers a new task: to make mask machines. In the beginning, the company had difficulty in finding the mask-producing tools but built its own in seven days. BYD says it can now make dozens of the machines per day. “A production line of masks has 1,300 components, 90 per cent of which were made by our company,” said Li Wei, a senior manager speaking to China Daily.

The new plant can produce 5 million masks and 300,000 bottles of disinfectant per day and is already working at full capacity, according to BYD.

Meanwhile, in Europe, similar measures are being envisioned. The UK Government’s latest approach to Covid-19 includes asking car and other manufacturers to help to make extra ventilators for the National Health Service, NHS. Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC, that “anyone who can” should “turn their engineering minds and production lines to making them … We need to produce more.”

So far, Rolls-Royce did not reject the possibility that its production could partially switch to the manufacturing of ventilation equipment, reports the Guardian. Rolls-Royce, JCB and Unipart were all expected to speak to the prime minister on a conference call. It is unclear whether this has happened to date. (BYD),, (reactions)


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15.03.2020 18:53