UK automotive manufacturing firms have been asked to help produce ventilators for the NHS amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Currently the NHS has around 5000 ventilators at its disposal.
A Downing Street spokesperson 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.”
“We want to help where we can”
A Ford spokesperson confirmed that the firm had been approached by the government, and 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.”
The carmaker currently produces vehicle parts at Bridgend and Dagenham.
Meanwhile, Honda said: “We have been contacted by government about the feasibility of Honda supporting the manufacture of additional ventilators.”
The firm’s Swindon plant currently produces the Civic hatchback, but according to the Financial Times, discussions with the NHS regarded whether there is room for new, bespoke medical equipment lines, rather than existing tooling being repurposed.
Toyota said it has not been contacted directly, but a company representative said the firm would be “more than willing” to investigate how it could be of assistance.
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