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GM: First 20,000 masks expected to be delivered by April 8

GM expects to deliver 1.5 million masks a month

DETROIT – By next week, GM expects to deliver its first 20,000 masks to frontline workers, the automaker announced Tuesday.

GM says it launched a “rapid-response” project to produce masks at scale on Friday, March 20 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Seven days later, the team had produced their first sample on the new production line at he Warren Transmission Plant. When at full capicity, GM said it expects to delivering about 1.5 million masks each month.

“Our team began looking at ways we could quickly utilize our talents and resources to help in the shared fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Thom, GM vice president, Global Manufacturing Engineering. “Working around the clock, our team rallied with incredible passion and focus to come up with a plan to produce masks that will help protect the women and men on the front lines of this crisis.”

General Motors ramps up to begin manufacturing Level 1 face masks Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at its Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility. Production will begin next week and within two weeks ramp up to 50,000 masks per day, with the potential to increase to 100,000 per day.. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)
General Motors ramps up to begin manufacturing Level 1 face masks Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at its Warren, Michigan manufacturing facility. Production will begin next week and within two weeks ramp up to 50,000 masks per day, with the potential to increase to 100,000 per day.. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors) (© 2020 John F. Martin and General Motors. This image is protected by copyright but provided for editorial and social media use. The use of this image for advertising, marketing, or any other commercial purposes is prohibited.)

By Monday, March 30, more than 2,000 masks were produced by teams working through the weekend, GM said. The automaker said these initial test samples will be used to ensure the quality standards are met. Once these quality measures are completed, the team expects to start producing masks for delivery early next week.

GM and the UAW will seek more than two dozen paid volunteers from Detroit-area plants to staff mask operations.

The team expects to have 20,000 masks ready for delivery on Wednesday, April 8. Once the line is running at full speed, it will be able to produce up to 50,000 masks every day – or up to 1.5 million masks a month. GM is currently developing a plan for distributing the masks, including using some of this important safety equipment to protect employees in critical GM operations, such as team members producing ventilators in Kokomo, Indiana.

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