Ford Australia will produce and donate up to 100,000 face shields to Australian health workers fighting the Coronavirus.
The shields are being assembled using locally-produced materials, as health authorities battle global shortages in their push to properly protect workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis.
More than 50,000 have already been produced at an assembly line in Broadmeadows, Victoria.
Ford collaborated with the Victorian government to design the shields, and tested them in five hospitals.
“We said from the beginning of COVID-19 that any way we could help, we would help,” said Ford Australia CEO, Kay Hart.
“Producing face shields is certainly something new for us, but our innovation team and engineers were able to test a number of different designs in hospitals and with their input we have been able to get the face shield right for the people who will be wearing them.
“With testing of the prototype shield now complete, we’re quickly ramping up production and working to dispatch the shields to medical workers and other facilities that need them.”
Globally, a number of carmakers have switched focus from building cars to developing and building medical equipment.
Ford USA is working with GE Healthcare to expand ventilator production, while General Motors has teamed up with Ventec Life Systems to build ventilators.
Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari have also been producing ventilators in Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries by the Coronavirus.