How Luxury Automakers Are Joining the Fight Against COVID-19
You’ve heard of Ford’s efforts, but what about Lamborghini and Aston Martin?
You’ve no doubt heard of the plans the world’s largest automakers are cobbling together to fight the coronavirus pandemic, including Ford and GM producing medical supplies and Jaguar Land Rover deploying a fleet of new Defenders. They’re not the only car companies lending a hand, though.
Luxury automakers like Lamborghini, Aston Martin and McLaren — whose vehicles are normally the playthings of the one percent — are also diverting their factories, vehicles and staff to serve the greater public good.
While most of their factories have stopped making sports cars and grand tourers for the time being, here’s how some of these automakers are aiding COVID-19 relief efforts.
On Tuesday, the Italian marque announced its historic Sant’Agata Bolognese facility would start producing surgical masks and protective plexiglass shields which would be “validated by the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences of the University of Bologna and then delivered to the Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi” hospital. In a less tangible but no less affecting show of support, they’ll also be lighting up their headquarters every night with the colors of the Italian flag.
Paul Spire, president of Aston Martin Works, took to Twitter on March 27 to announce that they would be fixing cars of local healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 for free — whether they were Aston Martins or not.
Our volunteer staff are offering NHS workers at Milton Keynes University Hospital emergency car repairs to help them stay mobile as they fight to save lives. President of the business, Paul Spires, explains… #nhsheroes #nhsthankyou #protectthenhs #coronavirus #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/rU6ctObgxs
— Aston Martin Works (@AstonMartinWork) March 27, 2020
McLaren, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes and more
This week in the U.K., the McLaren Group announced it was joining a consortium of “businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors” to produce thousands of complete medical ventilators, as well as individual components. The group includes Formula 1 teams like McLaren and Mercedes as well as U.K.-based companies like Rolls-Royce.
CEO Oliver Blume said last week that the German automaker is donating five million euros to charitable organizations responding to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as offering vehicles with drivers for “the transport of relief supplies.” At the moment, the company isn’t producing medical supplies, but he said that could change.
This is not a comprehensive list, but it’s a good reminder that everyone — even companies that make cars that cost more than your house — can play a part in flattening the curve.
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