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March 27, 2020

FCA readies face masks factory

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is in the process of converting its first plant to produce face masks for donation to first responders and health care workers.

By Olly Wehring

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is in the process of converting its first plant to produce face masks for donation to first responders and health care workers.

The first machinery has been delivered and installed with supply and donation coming on stream in the coming weeks.

FCA said it was expanding its programme 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 CEO Mike Manley. 

FCA will work in partnership with non-profit organisations and foundations that are providing food to children until schools return to session. Starting immediately, FCA will help provide more than 1m meals to school age children in the communities around its principal manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

The programme will then be extended nationwide in the US and to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.

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.

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