2 minute read
5 Oct 2020
8:46 am

Car makers save jobs


Demand for auto parts remain about half of pre-pandemic levels.

Spanish carmaker SEAT moved quickly to help with the effort to bolster supplies of sorely-needed medical ventilators, developing a model based on a window-washer motor. (This picture is for illustrative purposes only.) AFP/File/PAU BARRENA

A group of South African car-part makers have switched their focus to the local production of breathing aids, a move to help the country’s health system and protect jobs threatened by the Covid-19 crisis. Shocked by images of virus-ravaged Italian hospitals earlier this year, the collective – which includes engineers and doctors as well as businessmen – decided to use South Africa’s initial hard lockdown to help address a shortage of ventilators. After studying the country’s specific needs, they began developing a non-invasive breathing device that had proved effective in countries such as the UK and doesn’t require specialist intensive-care...