Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley told workers that the automaker would help with the production of masks during the coronavirus crisis, a union representative stated on Monday.
Mask production would add to the continued effort by Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and rival automaker Ferrari to find ways to help Italy increase production of healthcare equipment such as ventilators.
Manley stated one of the group’s plants in Asia would be converted to create face masks for healthcare workers and would reach a target of one million masks monthly in coming weeks, UILM union representative Gianluca Ficco stated, quoting a letter sent by the CEO to workers.
FCA and Ferrari, both controlled by Exor, the investment firm of Italy’s Agnelli family, are in discussions with Siare Engineering, Italy’s biggest ventilator manufacturer, to help it double production of the life-saving machines which would be helpful in the coronavirus crisis, company officials stated last week.
FCA has temporarily halted most of its plants globally in response to the spread of the virus and a consequent drop in global auto demand.
Ferrari has also suspended operations at its two facilities in Italy.
“We need to use the present plants’ stoppage to equip ourselves with the necessary resources to face the emergency,” Ficco stated, adding he hoped that other large companies might follow Fiat Chrysler’s example.
Coronavirus has so far infected over 454,823 people and killed 20,545 worldwide.