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Technology Trump's Visit to Ford's Ventilator Plant Was Predictably Bizarre

03:15  23 may  2020
03:15  23 may  2020 Source:   thedrive.com

Dyson to manufacture 15,000 ventilators following UK call for help

  Dyson to manufacture 15,000 ventilators following UK call for help Many companies have offered to build much-needed ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, notably GM, Ford and Tesla. However, Dyson has now stepped up to the plate and the UK company known for vacuum cleaners and fans might have an edge over other non-ventilator makers. It developed the "CoVent" device in just ten days using Dyson's current digital motor technology, according to CNN, and has already received an order for 10,000 units from the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

Trump was not shown in it, but he said he wore a mask while touring a Ford facility building ventilators while away from press. Trump ' s visit is also in violation of Governor Whitmer' s executive order that bans visits by nonessential visitors to manufacturing facilities including those taking a tour.

When Donald Trump tours Ford Motor Co.’ s ventilator facility Thursday, there are more than a few ways the visit could get awkward. Dana Nessel, Michigan’ s attorney general, and Debbie Dingell, the U. S . Representative whose district is home to Ford ’ s plant , urged Trump to wear a mask at the

Good morning and welcome back to Speed Lines, The Drive's morning roundup of what matters in the world of cars and transportation. Today we're talking about President Trump's visit to Ford's ventilator plant in Michigan, whether troubled Nissan's partner Renault can survive without a bailout, and Lucid Motors--remember them?

Donald Trump in a suit standing in front of a store © Provided by The Drive

As a programming note: Speed Lines will not appear on The Drive next week, as I am absconding to a cabin in the middle of nowhere to attempt something as close to a vacation as I can manage during a pandemic. If you need to know what's going on, email Kyle Cheromcha or Jerry Perez directly and ask them. I'm sure they'd be thrilled to personally fill you in on an individual basis.

Maingear is building ventilators using gaming PC cases

  Maingear is building ventilators using gaming PC cases Numerous tech and automotive companies have stepped up to make ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that now includes gaming PC builders. Maingear has developed a ventilator, the LIV, that uses an old version of its F131 PC case as the chassis. Based on a platform already in use in Italy and Switzerland, it’s designed to be easy to use with automatic operation, presets and a touchscreen interface. Healthcare workers can start delivering oxygen in as little as 1.5 seconds. Maingear LIV ventilator The off-the-shelf components help keep the costs down. Maingear claims the LIV can be produced at a quarter of the price of conventional ventilators.

Trump called out a Ford electrician, Keith Pastorino, who spoke about the rapid ramp-up of this Pastorino said: "When I first heard the news that my plant was going to be building ventilators , it only took me Trump ' s visit is also in violation of Governor Whitmer' s executive order that bans visits by

President Trump didn’t wear a mask with reporters, despite the company’ s guidelines requiring them, but said he wore one during a private tour. Trump had touted his negative coronavirus test results earlier on Thursday.

Trump Praises Automakers, But Visit Eclipsed By Mask Controversy

In a normal timeline, President Donald Trump's visit Thursday to a Ford plant now making ventilators in Ypsilanti, Michigan would've been straightforward. Easy. Simple. Tour the facility, say some words, take some photos, give a thumbs up to all the work being done by factories everywhere with aggressive new safety measures in place.

That, of course, is not how things went down. While Trump did heap praise on Ford and the other American automakers, as quoted by Automotive News:

"I want to commend Ford, along with General Motors, General Electric, Fiat Chrysler and so many other companies, a lot of them in this area, for blazing a trail to safely restart America's economic engines," he said. "I want to thank you all for leading America back to work."

Cologne-based carmaker: Ford wants to start up plants again

 Cologne-based carmaker: Ford wants to start up plants again © dpa Ford logo in Cologne The auto industry is preparing to relax the shutdown in Germany. After Volkswagen, Audi and Daimler, Ford has now announced that production in Germany will start up again. "The temporary production stop is expected to last until May 4," says a Ford spokesman. On March 19, Ford had closed almost all plants in Europe. The plant in Cologne, where the Fiesta is being built, is affected. A total of 7,000 employees had to stop working in production and the adjacent areas.

Ford Motor Co. (F) has informed the White House that it now requires everyone visiting its factories to wear face masks Trump is scheduled to tour a factory that has been repurposed to make medical breathing machines. President Trump has refrained from wearing masks in recent public appearances.

From building trucks to ventilators , Ford plant ’ s crisis response on display during Trump ' s Michigan visit . President Trump will be in Michigan on Thursday to visit a Ford plant where workers have been making personal protective equipment and ventilators .

Trump mentioned the upcoming Ford Bronco SUV, calling it a "big winner," and saying Ford planned to hire 2,000 workers to build it at the nearby Michigan Assembly Plant. The vehicle is expected to go on sale early next year.

Much of the visit was eclipsed by other controversies. First, Trump visited the plant technically in violation of an order from Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer--whom the president and some of his most ardent supporters have frequently targeted--to avoid tours of manufacturing plants. Second, the mask thing. Michigan's attorney general requested Trump wear a mask while there, as all personnel are required to, but he waffled on whether he would or not and Ford didn't step up to force him to do so. So in the end, Trump did, but only when out of the view of cameras, something he readily admitted to.

"Well, I did wear--I had one on before.  I wore one in this back area, but I didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it. But, no, where I had it, in the back area, I did put a mask on," Trump said. "I think it sets an example.  I think it sets an example both ways." He later railed against the United Auto Workers union for not endorsing him.

Trump to tour Ford ventilator assembly plant in Michigan

  Trump to tour Ford ventilator assembly plant in Michigan President Trump will head to Michigan for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began on Thursday where he will tour a Ford plant currently producing ventilators for hospitals.White House spokesman Judd Deere made the announcement on Twitter Sunday evening, linking to Crain's Detroit Business, which first reported the news.NEW: President @realDonaldTrump to tour @Ford's ventilator assembly plant in Ypsilanti on Thursday | h/t @ ChadLivengood @crainsdetroit | https://t.

President Trump didn’t wear a mask with reporters, despite the company’ s guidelines requiring them, but said he wore one during a private tour. Trump had touted his negative coronavirus test results earlier on Thursday.

President Trump didn’t wear a mask with reporters, despite the company’ s guidelines requiring them, but said he wore one during a private tour. Trump had touted his negative coronavirus test results earlier on Thursday.

There's no deep analysis to come away from here, except to say that as the auto industry returns to work--with some hiccups and pauses as reinfections happen at factories and as many workers are openly fearful of their safety--it is baffling that something as simple as wearing a mask in public for a couple weeks or whatever to protect other people has become such a needlessly partisan issue. Anyway, expect more repeats of this as we close in on the election in November. Auto factories are always props for this sort of thing. And Trump isn't done sparring with officials in the home state of American car manufacturing.

I would give anything to live in a timeline that isn't as dumb as this one.

Renault In Trouble

Moving right along. One automaker having a lot of trouble right now is Renault, the French automaker that lacks a large global footprint--it recently exited China, the world's largest car market--and its sales are tanking like everyone else's during the pandemic. France's finance minister has warned that without government loans, Renault could go out of business. The French government already owns a 15 percent share of Renault, but the automaker may need more direct funding even as it seeks to cull $2.2 billion in expenses over the next two years.

Michigan attorney general calls on Trump to wear a mask on visit to Ford plant

  Michigan attorney general calls on Trump to wear a mask on visit to Ford plant Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is imploring President Trump to adhere to health guidelines and wear a facial covering when he visits a Ford ventilator assembly plant in her state later this week. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In an open letter sent to the president on Wednesday, Nessel noted that under Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) stay-at-home order, manufacturers are required to suspend all non-essential visits, including tours.

President Donald Trump will visit a Ford factory in the important electoral state of Michigan to tout what he says is his success in fighting the coronavirus, the White House said. Trump is in full campaign mode and his latest trip away from Washington, after weeks of lockdown, will highlight his claim of

Trump visits Michigan Ford plant , says churches to reopen "very soon". Lara Logan on efforts to counteract Trump ' s message on COVID-19, new Fox Nation special honoring veterans.

From Reuters, quoting Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire:

"Yes, Renault could disappear," Le Maire. Renault is due to present details of a cost-cutting plan to save 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) in expenses in the next two years. First-quarter revenue fell 19 percent to 10.1 billion euros, with sales in Europe falling 36 percent as the effects of coronavirus lockdowns started to be felt.

Among the options being considered are closing several small component plants in France and the Alpine assembly site in Dieppe, France; and ending assembly at the historic Flins plant outside of Paris, although it could be repurposed for other uses.

[…]  He added that the government was seeking commitments from automakers in three areas in return for help during the coronavirus crisis: electric vehicles; the fair treatment of sub-contractors; and that they base advanced technology activities in France. The French government has also asked automakers to relocate vehicle production in France.

"Renault is fighting for its survival," Le Maire said in the interview published late on Thursday. "I haven't yet signed the loan."

It's a good thing Renault has its longtime alliance partner Nissan to fall back on here, because otherwise--oh, wait. Never mind.

The Next Tesla Fighter (?) Rises In Arizona

Muskian antics aside, Tesla remains the clear frontrunner in the EV world. But many legacy automakers and startups are issuing their own challenges. The latest one in the latter category is Lucid Motors, which has been around for several years but hasn't actually made any production cars. Until now. Bloomberg reports that aside from the usual coronavirus setbacks, it's on target to start rolling cars out of its Arizona plant in 2021. In fact, construction has actually been on schedule out there.

CDC will issue guidance on reopening U.S. churches: Trump

  CDC will issue guidance on reopening U.S. churches: Trump CDC will issue guidance on reopening U.S. churches: TrumpChurches, like many businesses across the United States, have been mostly shuttered in an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, though some states have allowed them to reopen with limitations.

The company, backed by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, boasts several Tesla veterans. Its CEO Peter Rawlinson was formerly the chief engineer of the Model S. Its VP of manufacturing had a similar role at Elon's company too. And with strong state and local incentives behind it, Lucid aims to make a big splash soon in the luxury EV space.

We'll see what happens. Will Lucid be the next Tesla, or the next Faraday Future?

On Our Radar

China's Geely to explore deeper cooperation with Daimler: chairman (Reuters)

As Covid-19 Hits Electric Vehicles, Some Thrive, Others Die (Bloomberg)

Nissan considering 20,000 job cuts, mainly in Europe, developing nations: Kyodo (Reuters)

Read These To Seem Smart And Interesting

The Secret History of the Texas Rangers (Texas Monthly)

The Coronavirus Quieted City Noise. Listen to What's Left. (NY Times)

Elon Musk Is The Hero America Deserves (Bloomberg)

Facebook Says It Will Permanently Shift Tens of Thousands of Jobs to Remote Work (The Verge)

Your Turn

Did Ford get played by Trump's visit here? I'm coming up short trying to think of anything the automaker got out of that visit.

Whitmer: 'Disappointing' to see Trump not wear mask during Ford visit .
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) criticized President Trump's decision to not wear a mask publicly during a tour of a Ford factory as "disappointing" in an interview."It wasn't surprising but it was disappointing," Whitmer said in an appearance on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow on Thursday."As you saw in the footage, all of the Ford executives wore the masks. All of the employees were wearing masks, all of the press were," Whitmer said. "And it's"It wasn't surprising but it was disappointing," Whitmer said in an appearance on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow on Thursday.

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