DETROIT -- General Motors and medical equipment maker Ventec Life Systems have delivered 30,000 ventilators to the U.S. government during the COVID-19 pandemic, the automaker said on Tuesday.
The deliveries were under a $489 million contract from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
GM said it has handed over operational control of its Kokomo, Ind., facility to Ventec to make ventilators.
On Monday, Ford Motor Co. said it is ceasing production of ventilators and returning the Michigan factory where they were built to full-time parts output after completing delivery of 50,000 breathing machines to the U.S. government.
The automaker, which had been producing the devices in conjunction with General Electric Co., shipped its final unit Aug. 28 to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, according to Rachel McCleery, a company spokeswoman.
Ford’s Rawsonville Road plant already resumed auto-parts production in May as part of an industry-wide restart following a shutdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The ventilators were made in a separate part of the plant that didn’t affect output of auto components, including transmission oil pumps, electric battery packs and fuel pumps.
The company has said its factories returned to 95 percent of pre-virus production by the end of the second quarter after shutting down its U.S. plants in the spring in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.
The U.S. car companies converted auto factories to manufacture ventilators and personal protective equipment in an effort they dubbed the Aresnal of Health, echoing Detroit’s World War II production of tanks and war planes known as the Aresnal of Democracy. President Donald Trump initially criticized the companies for moving too slowly but ultimately praised them. He toured Ford’s Ypsilanti, Mich., ventilator factory in May, where he courted controversy by choosing not to wear a mask in public.
Ford and GE Healthcare had originally planned to complete ventilator output in mid-July but had to seek an extension from HHS to accommodate new suppliers that were ramping up parts production.
“We had to resource roughly one-third of the parts from new suppliers to meet an increased volume,” McCleery said in an emailed statement.
Ford will continue to produce personal protective equipment and said it plans to deliver 10 million face masks to school districts across the U.S.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.