Car Industry

VW makes face masks, other medical supplies via partnership with fabric supplier

The German automaker partnered with Faurecia to build critical protective gear for those fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

75,000 pieces of medical gear shipped out last week.
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

Automakers around the world haven't only halted production to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, they've quickly stepped up to help health care workers on the front lines.

Volkswagen is the latest automaker to flip the switch to help build medical gear rather than cars. The German company said on Friday that it's working directly with its fabric supplier, Faurecia, to build medical gowns and face masks. The supplier modified its production lines to create the much-needed medical equipment, and the first batches are going to the COVID-19 epicenter of the US: New York. 

The automaker said the first shipment of 70,000 face masks and 5,000 gowns are ready for distribution. They'll go to the Javits Center in New York City, which was turned into a field hospital as case numbers continue to rise.

After ramping up production, VW and Faurecia said they'll be able to manufacture 250,000 face masks and 50,000 gowns per week.

VW promises it has more in the pipeline to help health care workers battling the virus and it will announce additional measures in the near future. 

For customers, the brand said current customers may be able to defer car payments for 90 days. Those who need to purchase a new car may also qualify for 0% financing for 72 months and up to 180 days without making their first payment. For those trying to navigate car buying amid the coronavirus outbreak, we've compiled a guide to every automaker offering new vehicle home delivery. And if you need help with making your own mask at home, we have that covered, too.

Read more: What automakers are doing to help cash-strapped customers

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First published April 3.