In Italy, as we all know, the situation with the coronavirus remains critical. One of the biggest concerns of the authorities is to ensure that medical staff have all the necessary equipment to be able to respond to surging demand.
Many car manufacturers have stepped in to help meet the need for equipment, on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, the FCA Group (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has begun producing parts for ventilators to help Italian company Siare Engineering increase its production of equipment needed to treat patients with COVID-19.
Italy, the epicentre of the virus epidemic in Europe, had asked Siare to triple its normal monthly production as part of the government's efforts to increase the number of intensive care beds.
FCA said that with the support of the Ferrari group and the investment company Exor (founded in 1927 by Giovanni Agnelli, one of the founders of FIAT in 1899), which has control over both car manufacturers, it had produced the first solenoid valves at its plant in Cento, northern Italy. This is one of the key components of ventilators.
The Cento facility normally produces high-performance car engines for the world market. It had been closed because of the coronavirus, but has now been partially reopened for this initiative.
With the additional supply of solenoid valves from Cento, Siare estimates that it will be able to reduce its total production time by 30-50%.
In addition to the production of the solenoid valves, a team of FCA specialists is also working alongside Siare's staff at its production plant near the city of Bologna.
"The objective is to help increase Siare's total production, with a gradual scaling up of daily output beginning from the first week of April", said the FCA Group in a statement.