As the world continues to grapple with the global COVID-19 pandemic, several sportscar manufacturers in both the United States and Europe are using their facilities and resources to contribute to the fight against the disease, producing vital equipment like face shield, masks and ventilators.
In Italy, one of the European country to be hit hardest by the virus, Lamborghini has begun efforts to produce surgical masks and protective plexiglass shields to be used by the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna. The hospital, which is located just over 30 kilometres removed from Lamborghini’s production facilities in Sant’Agata Bolognese, has had a relationship with the producer of the Huracan GT3 Evo for years, explains CEO Stefano Domenicali:
“During this emergency, we feel the need to make a concrete contribution,” said Domenicali. “The S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital is an institution with which we have had a collaborative relationship for years, through both professional consultancy in promoting programs to protect our workers’ health, and in research projects. We will win this battle together by working in union, supporting those who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic every day.”
It is estimated that the Italian supercar builder will be able to produce 1000 masks and 200 protective shields a day.
In the United States, General Motors is gearing up for the mass production of face masks, having completed an assembly line and begun production, with the company expecting to deliver 20,000 masks in the coming week.
“Our team began looking at ways we could quickly utilize our talents and resources to help in the shared fight against COVID-19,” said Peter Thom, GM Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering. “Working around the clock, our team rallied with incredible passion and focus to come up with a plan to produce masks that will help protect the women and men on the frontlines of this crisis.”
Toyota, the parent company of Lexus and their RC F GT3 raced by AIM Vasser Sullivan, has also stepped up in the wake of the crisis, gearing up for production of face shields as well as searching partnerships to aid in the production of face masks, ventilator hoods and respirator hoods.
Ted Ogawa, Toyota North America’s brand new CEO, offered a plea to the medical community, offering their help to those in need.
“With our plants idled and our dealers focused on servicing customers, we are eager to contribute our expertise and know-how in order to help quickly bring to market the medical supplies and equipment needed to combat the COVID crisis,” he said.
“Our message to the medical equipment community is we are here to help. Please utilize our expertise.”
Alongside the big budget players, American boutique supercar maker and Hypercar hopeful Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has also proved itself eager to contribute to the relief effort. It has previously offered the use of its production facility in Danbury, Connecticut as a temporary hospital if needed, and has since focused its effort on producing a makeshift protection device for hospital staff fashioned from a full-face snorkeling mask and a CPAP filter.
Glickenhaus is currently seeking approval from the FDA, aiming to receive an Emergency Use Authorization to begin producing the device. The company has released a video explaining the production of the device, which you can watch here.