And the world discovered he couldn't afford to heal himself. So-called rich countries, poor countries … The COVID-19 pandemic produces almost the same effects everywhere and acts as a terrible revealer of the huge flaws in health systems, including those deemed "the best in the world" (follow my look … )

As a result of the lack of beds in intensive care, shortages of masks and protective gloves, and above all a largely insufficient number of artificial respirators.

To combat these shortages, some manufacturers have already gone into war economy mode and are adapting part of their production chains. Thus we have seen the LVMH group produce and begin to distribute tens of thousands of tonnes of hydro-alcoholic gel, while at the same time SMEs whose activity is not their specialty convert their workshops to the manufacture of protective masks.

Car manufacturers in war economy mode

Today's new initiative comes from several automakers, who have offered to use their manufacturing expertise to help alleviate shortages of medical devices as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to overload hospitals. General Motors, Tesla and Ford were among those who offered help in the United States. On Wednesday afternoon, GM CEO Mary Barra offered to use factory empty space as part of a "World War II-style mobilization" to make artificial respirators for hospitals that are running out. The idea made its way to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who said last night that Tesla "will make respirators if there is a shortage," adding that "Tesla makes cars with sophisticated air conditioning systems. SpaceX manufactures spacecraft equipped with survival systems. Fans are not difficult to manufacture, but cannot be produced instantly. "

Ford also offered to help, saying that as America's largest vehicle producer and largest automotive employer, it is ready to assist the government in any way possible, including the ability to produce respirators and other equipment.

But it is not only in America that industrial goodwill is manifested. The British government has asked automakers to help it produce respirators. In addition to possible help from Ford, Jaguar and Toyota both offered to help. A Jaguar spokesperson told Automotive News Europe that "As a British company, we will naturally do our best to support communities during this unprecedented time." Rolls Royce told the Daily Mail that the company "will do what it can to help the government and the country" to fight the pandemic.

But, according to Robert Harrisson, a professor of engineering, making artificial respirators is not that easy. For him, if the manufacturers have the necessary skills and capacities, it is on the supply side of parts and the installation of the manufacturing tools that the complexity of the process will lie.

Recall that Tesla had raised some questions following statements by Elon Musk to whom some criticized to minimize the extent of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, and the fact that its main factory in Fremont, yet classified in activities "no -essentials ”continued to run during the crisis.

No news from French manufacturers for the moment.