Further demonstrating its commitment to meeting the needs of those affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak, Toyota (NYSE:TM) announced today that it plans to being production of 3D-printed face shields next week. After deliveries to two healthcare facilities in Texas, the automaker plans on providing face shields to hospitals in Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.
In addition to face shields, Toyota said that it's prepared to produce masks, and it's currently seeking partners to provide the necessary filters. Moreover, the company stated in a press release that it's "finalizing agreements to begin working with at least two companies that produce ventilators and respirators to help increase their capacity."
Ted Ogawa, the incoming CEO for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), was quoted as saying: "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. Our message to the medical equipment community is we are here to help, please utilize our expertise."
Toyota is one of several automakers contributing its help in the fight against COVID-19. Ford, for example, recently announced that it will help to produce personal protective equipment as well as respirators, while General Motors says it's ready to start making ventilators.
Besides the production of medical equipment, TMNA and its affiliates in 13 states have donated $500,000 to the United Way to assist in the relief effort.