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GM Considers Building Ventilators At Indiana Plant

General Motors has already started working with a ventilator company, Ventec Life Systems, to help it expand production of the essential medical equipment. Now it might start building the devices itself.
Jeff Kowalsky
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AFP via Getty Images
General Motors has already started working with a ventilator company, Ventec Life Systems, to help it expand production of the essential medical equipment. Now it might start building the devices itself.

General Motors says it's "exploring the feasibility" of building ventilators for the medical supply company Ventec Life Systems at a GM facility in Kokomo, Ind.

Health officials have warned of a dire ventilator shortage as the coronavirus spreads and the number of COVID-19 cases soars.

GM had previously announced it would support Ventec's efforts to boost production, but had not indicated plans to use its own production lines to manufacture the essential medical devices.

Kokomo is home to a GM Components Holdings facility where electronics and machines are built.

Ford has also been assessing how it can boost the manufacturing of ventilators, which are essential for saving lives in severe cases of COVID-19.

The White House has the power to require companies to start manufacturing essential medical supplies, but has not yet used that authority.

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Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.