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Ford, 3M, GE Healthcare partner to make coronavirus medical equipment

Ford Motor announced Tuesday that it will join the effort to “speed production” of respirators to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker said in a statement that it’s collaborating with 3M to manufacture “Powered Air-Purifying Respirators.” The two are working on a “new design leveraging parts from both companies,” according to Ford.

It is possible Ford will produce the new respirator in a Ford facility in Michigan. 

Discussions have been intense over the last four days, officials said in a conference call. Ford engineers are playing a key role in the effort, and using parts that are currently used in the bestselling F-150 pickup, the company said in a call.

Other automakers, including General Motors and Tesla, have also taken steps to help produce medical equipment, including ventilators. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also procured more than 1,200 ventilators from China to distribute for free to U.S. hospitals.

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