Following completion of its 50,000th ventilator for COVID-19 patients, Ford is now targeting production of 100m masks by the end of 2021 for communities across the US with limited access to personal protective equipment.

The automaker, currently manufacturing 2.5m medical grade masks a week for its employees and at risk communities, is boosting the number of mask-making machines by mid- to late-October to increase production and achieve that goal.

It is working with Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm, to identify donation recipients across the US through a network of nonprofit and state and local partners. The company is focusing on military veterans, schools, food banks and African American communities, among others.

Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, said: "Working together, we're setting a goal of producing 100m masks for families, children, individuals and communities who need them most."

Ford Motor Company Fund recently shipped 10m face masks to the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Disabled American Veterans and other local organisations to protect against COVID-19.

Ford, working with the UAW, has produced 72m pieces of personal protective equipment to meet the enormous demand.