Volkswagen is joining the nationwide efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus in the United States by manufacturing much-needed medical gear for health care workers deployed on the front lines of the outbreak.
The German automaker announced it is partnering with fabric supplier Faurecia to produce critical protective gear for health professionals.
The company has temporarily halted vehicle production in its factories in the U.S. and will instead be making medical gowns and face masks. According to reports, Faurecia has specifically modified its production lines to create the medical equipment. The first batches that will be completed will be heading to the epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S. in New York.
Volkswagen said the first shipment consist of 70,000 face masks and 5,000 gowns, all of which are ready for distribution in the coming days. The automaker also said the donations will reach Javits Center in New York City, which has been converted into a field hospital amid a continuously growing number of cases in the city in the past week.
As soon as they ramp up production, the two companies confirmed they will be able to manufacture as many as 250,000 face masks and 50,000 gowns every week.
And in the next few weeks, Volkswagen will also be announcing additional measures that are currently in its pipeline to help more health care workers.
As for customers, the company said owners of Volkswagen vehicles may be able to defer their car payments for 90 days, while those who are looking to purchase a new car may also qualify for the ongoing 0% financing for 72 months and up to 180 days without making their first payment.