In keeping with the global initiative that General Motors began executing a couple of months ago in the United States and China, GM South America is manufacturing face masks to safely resume the production of vehicles and components in the region. This is one of several measures that the company’s business unit has taken to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 virus, both in Brazil and in the rest of the southern countries of the continent.
The manufacture of face masks is carried out in a special assembly area installed in the São Caetano do Sul Complex, in the Brazilian state of Sao Pablo. This production line, which was installed in less than a month with a supplier from the Brazilian health sector, has a capacity to manufacture 38 thousand units per day, to be used by GM employees in South America with the progressive restart of face-to-face work.
“We are exploring all the possibilities of aid and mobilizing quickly to carry out actions on several fronts,” said Vice President, Manufacturing of GM South America, Luiz Peres, in a statement. “Mask manufacturing is a fundamental point in this struggle, and will be even more important when we resume our production. Making the masks with 100% national technology is also a way to promote the Brazilian economy, without competing with the health sector in the acquisition of this important item,” he added.
Notably, GM and many other manufacturers anticipate that face masks will become part of mandatory safety equipment for an indefinite period of time in various regions of the world. In the case of South America, the company developed a comprehensive supply plan for all its facilities in the nine countries in which it operates, especially in assembly plants where face-to-face work is essential.
The São Caetano do Sul plant, which restarted production last week, is the first and only GM manufacturing facility in the region that currently uses in-house masks. However, the company works hand in hand with the authorities of each country to achieve the prompt reopening of all the eight factories it owns in South America, distributed among Brazil (5), Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador:
Although the production of facial masks will go mainly to GM South America employees who return to their jobs, it will also be used as another way to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the region’s most vulnerable communities. In this sense, the automaker donated an initial batch of 100,000 face masks to families with health issues in Brazil.