The Coronavirus pandemic is raging through the world, exposing vulnerabilities of a number of industries. And, healthcare is one of them. As the number of people suffering from the lesser understood viral infection increases, healthcare supplies (including equipment) see a shortfall. And, this is particularly true of ventilators.
It is noteworthy here that that worldwide the population is ageing rapidly, especially in the North American and European region. Thus, these are also the places witnessing a high demand for ventilators and a low supply. In this hour of crisis, the auto industry steps-up. So, to save the day, it dabbles in manufacturing of ventilators. But, the question arises, are the ready?
Role of Auto Industry – Historical and Current in the Time of Crisis
Historically, this is an industry which remained at the forefront of crisis times such as that in World War II, when it produced tanks and fighter planes. But, healthcare is a delicate industry. And, some scientists believe that car manufacturers are not the perfect fit for creating medical equipment.
The reason they give for this is the fact that most manufacturers depend on specialized suppliers. Thus, they state that the ventilators sure do look alike automobile pups and air conditioners. However, they are mostly an outcome of assembling the parts. As, it is noteworthy, that most auto manufacturers don’t build them. This, however, is not to say that production capacities of a number of plants is not underutilized.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that car manufacturers feel that they are ready. Here, note that certain companies are already dabbling in creating prototypes, setting up research facilities, and producing ventilators. Companies that are involved in the manufacturing process of ventilators are Mercedes, Renault, Ford, General Motors, etc.
Only time will tell if the auto industry is equipped to hold the pulse of the demand-supply gap successfully.