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Auto Parts Makers ‘Jump Into the Fire’ of Medical Gear Production As Canada Faces Shortages

Anastasia Ustinova, SME
May 1, 2020

Last month, when Flavio Volpe put out a call to auto parts makers to assist in the production of medical supplies, the president of the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association wasn’t convinced that the industry, often pressured by cost and process efficiency, would be able to pull it off.

The president of the Canadian Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association Flavio Volpe receiving a delivery of masks at The Woodbridge Group’s headquarters.

Yet, in the past three weeks more than 165 companies stepped up to volunteer, including two dozen that have already received Department of Health Canada certification and started making masks, ventilators, face shields, gowns and test swabs.

“We jumped in, without asking questions, without a guarantee of purchase orders or covering of prototyping costs, into the fire,” Volpe said. “Because if we hadn’t, who else would supply these implements at a time when we needed them yesterday?”

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