The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people all around the world, and Ford – much like it has done countless times during its 117-year history – is lending a hand to medical professionals, medical supply manufacturers, volunteers and non-profits. Whether it be the Ford Fund helping in 20 countries through a new donation match program, Ford Credit providing relief to customers facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, Spin offering free rides to any healthcare workers in select U.S. cities, or the ingenuity of our 190,000 team members who are designing and producing equipment for the front lines, we are all living embodiments of the company’s belief that the freedom to move drives human progress.
Here is a roundup of many of the actions our Ford team has taken so far:
In the U.S., we joined forces with 3M, GE Healthcare and other companies to lend manufacturing and engineering expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting coronavirus. Through the first week of face shield production, we delivered more than 206,000 shields.
In the U.K., – as part of a 27-strong consortium team that includes including Airbus and Rolls-Royce – we joined forces to ramp up production of a ventilator made by Smiths Group, which supports those with complications from COVID-19.
In Germany, we provided Cologne University Hospital with a Ford Transit to help transport blood samples taken from suspected COVID-19 patients for analysis. We also donated medical material to the St. Franziskus Hospital in Cologne, including 350 protective face masks, 50 protective glasses and 250 protective medical coats.
In Spain, we provided a Transit Custom PHEV to the city of Valencia’s social services division for distribution of goods and medical supplies. We are also providing the Spanish Red Cross with a fleet of loan vehicles to transport personnel and move patients to hospitals. The vehicles will also be used to help distribute food to isolated elderly people or those in need, and to transport homeless people to shelters. In cooperation with the Generalitat and Servofluid medical institutions, we have developed face shields for healthcare personnel using our 3D printers. There are 15 employees working in three shifts and have already started production, making 300 face shields daily.
In France, we provided a Transit PHEV loan to the NGO Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul. They are taking care of poor and homeless people needing assistance during the crisis.
In Italy, we provided a Transit Connect to the Red Cross.
In Sweden, we loaned a Ranger Raptor to the steel construction company Dahl. Dahl is constructing a new field hospital in central Stockholm to house COVID-19 patients. The vehicle will be used to transport building material and workers.
In Romania, we are supplying approximately 400 elderly people from three counties with basic food and medicine, supported by the Ford Fund. Dealers are supporting this initiative with vehicles and volunteers.
In Canada, April McLellan, chairperson for Windsor Engine Plant Local 200 (and Ford Windsor Site team member), along with presidents from several UNIFOR locals, distributed hand sanitizer to hospitals, elderly care homes and health care facilities in Windsor.
In Australia, we loaned the Salvation Army a Transit to help them cope with increased demand for their meal service, which serves homeless and needy people on the streets of Melbourne. Teams in Australia and Thailand are also prototyping face shields and working with various parties on additional support we can provide.
In South Africa, we provided two Ford Rangers to the Red Cross in Port Elizabeth. The vehicles will be used by volunteers performing health service initiatives. We also provided three Ford Everests to Laudium Disaster Management to transport volunteers and deliver soaps to NGOs such as Hospice and DeafSA. We also provided Gift of the Givers with four vehicles in various locations that will be used by a team of doctors who will test citizens and provide medical assistance. As of last week, we have been engaging with senior government officials, specifically on face shield development, and are trying to get a prototype in place for review by the Presidential National Command Council for approval.
In Brazil and Argentina, we will produce 50,000 face shields to be donated to the Bahia state health department in Brazil and Cruz Roja Argentina (Red Cross Argentina). We have also offered offering 32 vehicles (31 cars and one Transit ambulance) to the Red Cross organizations in Brazil and Argentina to assist volunteers in moving medical supplies. In Brazil, we have joined a task force to fix non-functional ventilators created by CNI (Brazilian Industry Association).
In China, volunteers raised money to donate a Ford Transit Ambulance with an isolation chamber and additional medical supplies. The Nanjing Volunteer Corps donated 1,800 N-95 respirator masks to Nanjing Gulou Hospital. And Willis Zhang, is a Lincoln sales manager for North Area China and also son to a COVID-19 patient in Wuhan, the pandemic center in China, served as a volunteer to help to distribute medical supplies for local hospitals.
In the Philippines, we partnered with auto influencer James Deakin to provide Lifeline 16911, a medical provider that offers 24/7 quick emergency response, ambulances, doctors-on-call, and patient transfer with a Ford Transit. This is especially useful for healthcare workers now, as public transportation is shut down. Ford Fund also administered a grant of $10,000 to buy personal protection equipment and medical supplies to donate to various hospitals.
In New Zealand, Ford has donated two Transits to the Auckland City Mission during the country’s lockdown. The Auckland City Mission has seen a massive spike in demand for food parcels from vulnerable families around Auckland. The Ford Transits are helping meet that demand and also transport essential workers.