GM to build 30,000 ventilators for national stockpile through $489.4 million contract under Defense Production Act

GM to build 30,000 ventilators for national stockpile through $489.4 million contract under Defense Production Act

April 8, 2020 0 By Gloria Hornyak

General Motors has signed a $489.4 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to build 30,000 ventilators for the national stockpile under the terms of the Defense Production Act invoked by President Trump.

HHS said GM is scheduled to deliver 6,132 of the Ventec Life Systems-designed VOCSN critical care ventilators by June 1 and the entire supply by the end of August. The agency will then deploy the devices across the country as needed.

GM has already begun to retool its automotive electronics factory in Kokomo, Ind., to manufacture the ventilators and plans to begin production in mid-April using paid-volunteer UAW employees, who will be working under safety measures that include social distancing, the use of protective equipment and increased sanitization of the facility.

The price being paid for each ventilator comes to $16,300, which is below the estimated retail price of $18,000, according to Ventec. GM CEO Mary Barra had previously said that GM would be manufacturing the units at cost and a GM spokesman confirmed  that that is still the case.

Along with the ventilators, GM has also started producing Level 1 surgical masks at its factory in Warren, Mich. with the goal of ramping up production to 50,000 per day.