KOKOMO, Ind. (April 30, 2020) – Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao traveled to General Motors’ Kokomo plant today to support the GM and Ventec Life Systems employees engaged in the production of lifesaving critical care ventilators.
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Ventec CEO Chris Kiple gave a tour of the ventilator production and testing lines. The vice president also engaged in a roundtable discussion with team members from GM and Ventec. The visit began shortly before 2 p.m. EDT and lasted approximately two hours.
Statement by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra
“General Motors and Ventec have worked seamlessly as one team with one mission: to make sure more critical care ventilators are available for those who need them. We delivered our first units in just one month because we have had incredible support from our suppliers, the Kokomo community, and state and federal officials. Their passion and commitment are helping turn the tide of the pandemic. We are incredibly grateful to our team and everyone who has supported this lifesaving work and we appreciate the support and encouragement of Vice President Pence, Gov. Holcomb and Secretary Chao.”
Statement by Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple
“Nothing is impossible for the combined power of American innovation and American workers. Together, Ventec and GM worked as one team, with one mission to deliver critical care ventilators in one month. Under the leadership of the administration and in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this partnership ensures access to life support ventilators. Our combined team will continue working to support frontline medical heroes risking their health to save lives. We appreciate the support from Vice President Pence, Gov. Holcomb, and Secretary Chao and the gratitude expressed during their visit for the incredible teamwork.”
One team. One mission. One month.
- March 17-18 - GM and Ventec executives had their first conference calls to explore how GM could help increase ventilator production.
- March 19 - GM team departed for Ventec Life Systems’ facility in Bothell, Washington.
- March 20 - GM engaged its global supply base and within 72 hours, they had developed plans to source 100 percent of the necessary parts.
- March 25 - Crews began preparing the Kokomo site for production. GM is hiring more than 1,000 team members from the community to join current GM employees to ramp up ventilator production.
- March 27 - President Trump signed a Defense Production Act memorandum.
- April 8 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded GM a contract under the Defense Production Act to build 30,000 VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators.
- April 17 - The first VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators produced by GM and Ventec were delivered by UPS to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago. A third shipment was delivered by UPS to the Gary/Chicago International Airport on April 18 for distribution to other locations where the need was greatest.
- April 30 - Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao traveled to GM’s Kokomo plant to greet employees of GM and Ventec who are engaged in the production of lifesaving critical care ventilators.
More than 600 VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators have now been shipped at the direction of FEMA.
Photos and video of the first shipments as well as additional information about the historic partnership between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems can be found at www.VentecGM.com.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company committed to delivering safer, better and more sustainable ways for people to get around. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
Ventec Life Systems is redefining respiratory care to improve patient outcomes and reduce caregiver challenges from the hospital to home. Ventec's leading product, VOCSN, is the first and only Multi-Function Ventilator that seamlessly integrates five devices - a critical care Ventilator, 6 L/min equivalent Oxygen concentrator, touch button Cough assist, hospital grade Suction, and a high-performance Nebulizer - into one integrated respiratory system that is lightweight and mobile. VOCSN is fully customizable to meet patient needs for pediatric and adult patients.