UK Manufacturers Targeted To Aid Health Crisis

Mon 23rd Mar 2020

As the coronavirus crisis reaches its peak, the UK’s car manufacturers are amongst a number of industries being asked to help with the manufacture of ventilators.

In an effort to build the number of ventilators required to cope with the crisis, car factories are being asked to repurpose their efforts to help support the NHS. Companies such as Ford and Honda have already announced their willingness to get involved, while one of Britain’s biggest brands, JCB, is also being drafted in.

Many UK car manufacturers have been forced to close in the unprecedented financial climate, and now the Government is calling on British industry to step in. A Government spokesman said: “Preparing for the spread of the coronavirus outbreak is a national priority and we're calling on the manufacturing industry and all those with relevant expertise who might be able to help to come together to help the country tackle this national crisis.

"We need to step up production of vital equipment such as ventilators so that we can all help the most vulnerable, and we need businesses to come to us and help in this national effort."

Toyota has indicated that they would be ‘more than willing’, while Ford and Honda have both shown support. A Ford spokesman said “we want to help where we can in the current situation and we have been approached on this specific matter and are currently in discussion."  Honda admitted that they had already began discussions with the government, saying: “We have been contacted by government about the feasibility of Honda supporting the manufacture of additional ventilators.”

It’s still undecided as to whether the manufacturers will have to bring in new technology or whether they can use their existing tooling.