The COVID-19 crisis might have turned the lights out albeit temporarily for the auto industry but manufacturers have kept themselves busy doing charity work – mostly for front liners – in recent weeks.
With lockdowns enforced not just in the Philippines but all over the world, auto brands have been forced to close dealerships, stop the trade and allow employees to either work from home or inevitable furloughs.
Amid the uncertainty, automakers found themselves doing something out of the ordinary.
Here’s a round-up of the activities outside the corporate headquarters and plants:
Toyota PH aids communities, supports frontliners
With all kinds of public transportation suspended, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. has coordinated with various local government units and hospitals to lend out its company vehicles to doctors and nurses serving in different healthcare institutions.
To date, 47 Toyota vehicles have been allocated to help bring urgent care to patients. Other units were also lent to volunteer groups who are distributing personal protective equipment to healthcare workers in various hospitals.
Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation (TMPF) also handed out donations for health care workers and families who need support.
Some PPEs, such as isolation gowns, surgical gowns, and surgical gloves were donated to Santa Rosa Community hospital, while sacks of rice and grocery packages were distributed to far-flung areas and certain communities including the Toyota Santa Rosa Gawad Kalinga Village which is home to more than 150 families.
As Metrobank Card Corporation’s way of expressing gratitude to their passion, commitment, and bravery, frontliners who are Toyota Mastercard credit card holders will be given Petron fuel rebates from April 15-30,2020. Through this, we hope mobility is made lighter and more convenient for our frontliners.
Toyota Financial Services Philippines extended the payment terms for their customers. Likewise, expiring insurance policies under Toyota Insure and warranty coverages for Toyota vehicles have been extended. Toyota vehicles scheduled for Periodic Maintenance Services are also given a 30-day grace period.
Hyundai donates PPEs to UP-PGH
Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official Philippine distributor of Hyundai passenger and commercial vehicles, boosted ongoing containment efforts with a fresh supply of personal protective equipment to the heroic front liners at UP-Philippine General Hospital (PGH). UP-PGH is one the country’s COVID-19 designated hospitals.
HARI recently made an initially delivery of 300 of 2,500 PPEs for front liners at the UP-PGH.
The donation was channeled through #HyundaiSAGIP, the flagship disaster relief program of HARI’s corporate social responsibility arm, H.A.R.I. Foundation, Inc. (HFI). Established in 2009 as a quick response to Hyundai car owners whose vehicles were damaged by the Ondoy floods, HyundaiSAGIP has since expanded into a response, recovery, and resilience program.
The country’s premier state-run University Hospital and the largest government health facility and referral center is HFI’s staunch partner in the flagship Alagang Breastfriend free breast cancer screening and information dissemination campaign.
“We cannot stop at this point. We need to help flatten the curve. Our contribution will most certainly boost the morale of our heroic health workers in our united effort to contain the spread of the disease. As partners in health, HARI and UP-PGH are committed to be in solidarity with every Filipino in these unsettling times,” said HARI and HFI President Maria Fe Perez-Agudo.
Lamborghini shifts focus to ventilators for COVID-19 cause
Strengthening its efforts at curbing the further spread of COVID-19, Automobili Lamborghini is providing resources and equipment from its Research and Development Department for the co-engineering and production of breathing simulators to support Siare Engineering International Group, Italy’s top manufacturer of ventilators.
The breathing simulator enables the tester to carry out an initial evaluation of the ventilator’s performance before reaching the final checking stage, when the ventilator undergoes a comprehensive test using certified equipment.
Lamborghini in the past two weeks has used its 3D printing laboratory to design, produce and validate the simulator, optimizing the components and enabling the production of 18 simulators per week.
The development of breathing simulators with Siare complements Lamborghini’s move of converting some departments of its Sant’Agata manufacturing plant to create medical equipment—surgical masks and protective plexiglass medical shields—for use in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Production of the surgical masks—donated to a hospital in Bologna—are being done by artisans at the saddlery from where the interiors and other special customized touches for Lamborghini cars come. The line churns out 1,000 masks a day.
The medical shields are made alongside the breathing simulators for Siare. Both are produced using a highly precise HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer with MJF technology.
The collaboration with Siare, as well as the earlier one with the University of Bologna’s Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences in making surgical masks and medical shields, is seen as a testament to Lamborghini’s societal commitment and its capability to use advanced technologies in battling the pandemic.
Ferrari in collaboration work for respirators, masks
Collaboration to produce valves for respirators and fittings for protective masks.
Ferrari has started to produce respirator valves and fittings for protective masks at its Maranello plant as one of its initiatives in support of health workers treating corona virus patients.
The department where car prototypes are usually built is producing these thermoplastic components using additive manufacturing technology.
Some valves have been developed by Mares, a diving equipment manufacturer, tailo r made to fit their mask s so as to create emergency masks to assist patients suffering from respiratory failure.
The logistics of the project were handled by Nu ovamacut Gruppo TeamSystem, who also helped with the research of the different companies who contributed to the succe ss of the project .
Other fittings are being supplied to Solid Energy, who will us e the m to transform Decathlon snorkel masks into aids to protect healthcare workers exposed to infection .
In the next few days, Ferrari plans to manufacture several hundred items of equipment that are already being distributed by some of the companies involved, with the coordination of the Italian Civil Protection, to various Italian hospital s including those in Bergamo, Genoa, Modena, and Sassuolo as well as to h ealth workers in the town of Medicina, near Bologna.
Nissan to make face shields for health care workers in Japan
Nissan will begin making protective face shields for health care workers in Japan who are on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.
The current plan calls for making 2,500 shields a month. Production will start this month at the Nissan Technical Center, the Nissan Research Center, and the company’s Yokohama Plant.
In addition, in response to a request from the Japanese government, Nissan is studying ways to support companies that manufacture ventilators and artificial heart-lung machines. Nissan plans to help these producers by proposing improvements to manufacturing procedures, providing working space or manpower to help companies step up production, and supplying parts that are in shortage.
Nissan has already started similar initiatives in other regions. In the U.S., the company is making protective face shields for health care workers in Michigan, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In the U.K., a team of volunteers from the Nissan Sunderland Plant have been supporting the delivery of protective face shields. More than 77,000 shields will leave the plant by the end of this week, and from next week, up to 100,000 shields will be distributed weekly. Nissan provided additional funds for an injection molding tool that greatly increases the number of shields produced.
In Spain, Nissan is beginning production of medical respirators in collaboration with Hospital de Sant Pau, the engineering company QEV Technologies and the Eurecat technology center. Manufacturing of the respirators will begin this week at Nissan’s Powertrain Plant in Barcelona.
The Nissan group will continue efforts to support measures against the spread of COVID- 19, leveraging expertise gained through vehicle engineering and production, using existing assets, and cooperating with governments and related parties in each country.
More Isuzu vehicles to transport front liners, deliver goods
Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) lent out an additional Isuzu NLR and Isuzu QKR modernized public utility vehicle to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to boost DOTr’s free bus service for front liners, now servicing 19 routes in Luzon.
Last March 27, Isuzu D-Max, Isuzu mu-X and Isuzu PUVs lendouts were issued to Biñan and Sta. Rosa Laguna, to help the country’s healthcare and frontline workers in their continuing fight to stem the further spread of the COVID-19.
The two PUVs from IPC would be turned over to authorized operators for their deployment to 19 specified routes in Luzon, where the extended enhanced community quarantine has been enforced until April 30.
In addition, IPC’s dealerships have also provided their own Isuzu vehicles. IsuzuInteco lent their PUV vehicles to transport healthcare workers and frontliners in the vicinity of Caloocan and Quezon City for free, Isuzu-BMD Motors provided relief goods, while Isuzu Iloilo provided a D-MAX for the city hospital’s use.
IPC President Hajime Koso said, “With this additional vehicle support, we at IPC hope that our dedicated and enduring heroes in the hospitals would find comfort and safety in their transport. Through our vehicles, we can help them fight the virus more efficiently and effectively.”