Chinese car manufacturer, BYD, has joined the fight against the current corona virus pandemic by switching to the production of badly needed face masks and sanitizer. With corona virus affecting 221, 579 people at last count and killing almost 9000, many countries are facing shortages of essential supplies like masks and sanitizers. The car manufacturer, which is based in the Chinese city of Shenzhen and is backed by renowned investor, Warren Buffett has announced that it is producing 5 million masks on a daily basis. This makes the plant the largest such facility in the world for the mass production of face masks. The factory is currently working at full capacity to churn out these masks.
BYD Chairman and President Wang Chuanfu had created a special task force comprising leaders from different business divisions and over 3,000 engineers working in research and development, design, processing and other roles to design and create a new production line for masks to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in late January. In less than two weeks, the work was completed and the production lines started operating from February 8. BYD also finished working on R&D of medical-grade hand sanitizers in just six days, with the sanitizers being sent to medical staff on the front lines of the epidemic after only eight days. BYD now manufactures about 300,000 bottles of hand sanitizers every day.
The production of masks calls for the use of absolutely clean and sterile environments and equipment, and BYD used its dust-free rooms, which were previously used for the assembly of smartphones for this purpose.
“A production line for high-quality face masks requires about 1,300 parts for various gears, chains, and rollers, 90% of which are BYD’s self-made parts,” said Sherry Li, Director General of BYD’s President Office.
BYD, which also makes batteries for electric vehicles supplied the masks to its own employees to that it can ensure normal production. It went on to supply the rest of the masks to the general population in Hubei, which served as the epicenter of the coronavirus, and to hospitals and public transport.
With cases of corona virus subsiding, many factories have returned to work and have retooled their production lines to make masks and medical clothing to meet surging demand.
SGMW, a joint venture of SAIC Motors, General Motors and a local partner has also started production of masks and is producing about 2 million masks on a daily basis.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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