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People familiar with the matter say that when US President Donald Trump recently criticized General Motors' effort to produce ventilators in the push to help with the country's COVID-19 response, executives felt the company was being unfairly targeted, reported The Wall Street Journal.
GM had begun collaborating with a ventilator company a couple of weeks earlier, mobilizing more than 1000 employees and nearly 100 auto suppliers to start making the machines.
GM says it has been working to do its part since mid-March, but late last week Trump expressed frustration with the timeline, expecting the company and its ventilator partner, Ventec Life Systems, would be able to ramp up faster.
Ventec executives have turned over blueprints for the roughly 700 parts that go into its ventilator to the GM engineers, hoping to get their help scaling up production.
Ventec had provided a range of possibilities for monthly production of ventilators, with one as high as 20,000 a month, the sources said, adding that each scenario required a gradual increase for the GM operation to get up and running.
"The ramp-up schedule we're committing to is faster than anything we've ever done," said Phil Kienle, GM's head of manufacturing in North America, who was among the GM team that visited Ventec, adding "we're all outside our comfort zone."
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