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Germany Asks Auto Giants to Make Medical Gear to Fight Virus

The German government asked domestic car manufacturers to consider producing medical equipment such as masks and ventilators to help fight the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
The request forms part of wider efforts by authorities to tap engineering and production resources and tackle severe supply bottlenecks in critical medical equipment, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public. Germany News
“This is a company decision. Companies have to take the decision themselves,” said a spokesperson for the country’s economy ministry.

Political leaders in the U.S. and Europe have intensified talks

Political leaders in the U.S. and Europe have intensified talks over engaging private companies across industries in the battle against the virus as health care systems reel from a surging number of infections and fatalities. At some Spanish hospitals, doctors and nurses have even resorted to taping garbage sacks to their arms to shield themselves after running out of disposable coats.  Germany Medical News  A spokesman for carmaker Volkswagen AG said in an emailed statement the company is in talks with authorities and has forged an international task force to explore options. While medical equipment was a new venture for the firm, it could start production as soon as it receives the necessary information, he said.
The the firm has more than 125 industrial 3-D printers that have so far been mainly used to build components for vehicle prototypes, the spokesman added.
The virus crisis is crippling economies the world over. Germany’s will shrink by 5% this year due to the impact of the pandemic, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday, citing calculations taken from the government’s supplemental budget.

Germany Government Latest Updates

Over the past week, companies unrelated to the medical device industry have offered to retool factories to help make equipment to treat the afflicted. Germany Political News Ferrari NV and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are in talks with Italy’s biggest ventilator manufacturer to help boost its output, while in the U.S, General Motors Co. has said it could use some excess factory space to build hospital ventilators.
Elton Musk, the billionaire chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. who initially downplayed the risks posed by the virus, tweeted Saturday that he had talked with Medtronic Plc about making ventilators. Germany Press Release Distribution Services

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