Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is stepping in to help those at the front line of the coronavirus pandemic by manufacturing and donating more than 1 million protective face masks per month.
Production capacity was installed this week and the company will start manufacturing face masks in the coming weeks with initial distribution across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The face masks are to be donated by FCA to police, EMTs and firefighters, as well as to workers in hospitals and health care clinics. This action is the first of a multifaceted global program being developed by the company through applying manufacturing, supply chain and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
FCA CEO Mike Manley said, “Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important. In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We’ve marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic.”
FCA is expanding its program of measures to support coronavirus relief efforts, focused on two principal areas: charities providing food services to children and support for a range of technical, logistical and manufacturing programs, such as face mask production.
“There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty," said FCA CEO Mike Manley.
Food programs for children in our communities
FCA will work in partnership with non-profit organizations and foundations that are providing food to children until schools return to session. Starting immediately, FCA will help provide more than 1 million meals to school-age children in the communities around our principal manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The program will then be extended nationwide in the U.S. and to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.
Mobilizing company resources
Following the first actions taken to start face mask production, the company is now investing technical, logistical and manufacturing resources at medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). With the donation of face masks produced by the company starting in the coming weeks, the company will invest to extend that production capacity to other plants and ultimately donate masks to first responders and health care workers across the world. Drawing on experience from the company’s engineering and logistics team in Italy who are assisting a local ventilator manufacturer, FCA is engaged with other companies producing ventilators and other much needed medical equipment and PPE.
“In this time of need, we’ve focused our resources on those actions we can implement quickly and that will have the greatest impact, as we did in Italy as soon as the emergency started,” added Manley.