Ford Teams With General Electric, 3M and UAW to Make Respirators for Health-Care Workers

Shares of Ford F jumped after the automaker said it was teaming with General Electric, 3M and the United Auto Workers union to manufacture respirators for medical workers.
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Shares of Ford  (F) - Get Report jumped after the automaker said it was teaming with General Electric  (GE) - Get Report, 3M  (MMM) - Get Report and the United Auto Workers union to manufacture powered air-purifying respirators for medical workers. 

Ford and GE Healthcare said they were expanding production of a simplified version of GE Healthcare's existing ventilator design, for the country's healthcare workers who are on the front lines fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

Additionally, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields per week, leveraging its in-house 3D-printing capability to produce parts for use in personal protective equipment. 

“This is such a critical time for America and the world. It is a time for action and cooperation," said Bill Ford, the Dearborn, Mich., company's executive chairman, in a statement.

"By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis.” 

The Ford and 3M teams have been locating off-the-shelf parts like fans from the Ford F-150's cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants, and portable tool battery packs to power the respirators for up to eight hours.

"Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett.

At last check, Ford shares were 8% higher at $4.33, GE stock was up 6.2% at $6.49, and 3M shares were 4.3% ahead at $122.90.