COVID-19

FCA stepping up to produce face masks for first responders, health care workers

Aerial exterior view of the 3.3 million square-foot Chrysler Group's Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.). The facility has been making trucks since 1938 and currently produces the Ram 1500.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is used to making Alfa Romeos, Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps. Now, the company is transitioning to producing face masks in the wake of a call to action in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

FCA has committed to manufacturing and donating more than 1 million protective face masks per month, starting in the coming weeks. The company says that this action is the first in a global initiative that has been developed by the company to apply manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering expertise to support the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important," said Mike Manley, FCA CEO. "In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We've marshalled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic."

FCA has not confirmed exactly which facilities will be used for the manufacturing.

Distribution is slated to be to first responders and health care workers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The company will be working with national, regional, and city authorities to support distribution to ensure that the masks go to the people and families at highest risk for contamination.

FCA's new giving and business initiative is called "Drive Forward".

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

A new initiative by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles called "Drive Forward" will allow customers to take advantage of low-cost financing, online vehicle purchasing, and several donations to aid the nation.

"We are all one community and we can help during these unprecedented times," said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA. "We want to both offer consumers support and assist them financially while we all work hand in hand toward better days. And we'll continue to explore additional opportunities as a company to help as we all navigate our way through this difficult time together."

FCA Brands - Fiat, Chrysler, Ram Trucks, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Dodge

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Today, FCA launched a new Online Retail Experience (ORE). According to a release, "ORE is a digital retailing solution that allows customers to complete the entire vehicle purchase process online and from the comfort of their own homes. Not only can consumers purchase a vehicle off a dealer lot, they can conduct a vehicle trade-in, apply for credit, receive price and payment estimates and review service protection plan options."

Customers can explore the new shopping experience via the company's branded Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck, Fiat, and Alpha Romeo websites. A local dealership works to finalize the sale and deliver the vehicle to the purchaser's home.

FCA is also offering well-qualified buyers zero percent financing for 84 months and no payments for 90 days on select FCA 2019 and 2020 models.

In March, the company announced that they would work to produce 1 million face masks per month to aid first responders and health care workers. Now, FCA has announced that it is donating 1 million meals to school children across North America as well.

FCA Is working to produce face masks for first responders and healthcare workers. Here, an employee works on a Jeep Wrangler at the company's Toldeo plant during a time of normal vehicle production.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is continuing to support the first responders and communities that surround their plants. A series of announcements today confirmed those efforts and showcased new initiatives.

"There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty," said FCA CEO Mike Manley.

The company is in the process of converting a plant to produce face masks for donation to first responders and health care workers. So far, the machinery has been delivered and installed.

The face masks will be donated by FCA to police, EMTs, and firefighters, as well as to workers in hospitals and health care clinics. Supply and donation are forthcoming on a timeline of weeks not months.

Many sources are reporting that there is a worldwide shortage of masks, as well as respirators, ventilators, and various types of protective gear.

Additionally, FCA Is working with non-profit organizations to provide more than 1 million meals to provide school-age children in the communities around their key manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. There are plans for the program to be extended nationwide and onto Canada and Mexico.

Most children in the U.S. are out of school due to the coronavirus epidemic. No Kid Hungry, a charity that works to combat childhood hunger, estimates that over 234 million children in the U.S. alone are now at risk of going without meals as they rely on schools to provide meals.