/Key Words: Trump slams GM, says auto maker should start making ventilators ‘NOW!!!!!!’

Key Words: Trump slams GM, says auto maker should start making ventilators ‘NOW!!!!!!’

General Motors Co. on Friday got sideswiped by a series of tweets from President Donald Trump who criticized the auto maker for not providing the ventilators that it said it would.

Trump stated that GM said it would only provide 6,000 ventilators, in late April, and that it wanted “top dollar,” after saying recently that 40,000 ventilators would be provided “very quickly.” A number of companies in different industries have pledged to help make medical supplies to help diagnose and treat patients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” Trump tweeted. “Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke ‘P.’”

Mary B. is in reference to Mary Barra, who has been chief executive of GM since January 2014, and chairman since January 2016. In a separate tweet, Trump clarified what he meant by “Invoke ‘P,’” saying he was referring to the Defense Production Act.

The “P” allows the president to “expedite and expand” the supply of needed resources from the U.S. industrial base. Trump has his own way of asking to expedite the supply.

“General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant in Ohio, or some other plant, and START MAKING VENTILATORS, NOW!!!!!!.” The caps and number of exclamation points are direct quotes. He also called on Ford Motor Co. to makes ventilators, “Fast!!!!!!”

In fact GM no longer owns the plant at Lordstown in Ohio, but GM announced soon after on Friday that it and Ventec Life Systems will build ventilators at its Kokomo, Indiana facility, with the Food and Drug Administration-cleared ventilators scheduled to ship as soon as next month.

GM said in a statement that it will be “donating its resources at cost,” according to a Bloomberg report. It’s also beginning to make surgical masks at a manufacturing facility in Warren, Michigan, north of its Detroit headquarters. Output will start next week, ramp up to 50,000 a day within two weeks and may eventually get to 100,000.

Last week, GM said it was working with Ventec to produce respiratory care products to support the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

GM also said it would also start making surgical masks as its Warren, Michigan facility, with production beginning next week. Within two weeks, the company expects to make up to 50,000 masks a day, with the potential to boost production to 100,000 a day.

Investors didn’t seem too shaken by the tweets. GM’s stock

GM, -3.41%

 fell 4.9% in midday trading, but have inched higher since Trump’s tweets. The stock was down about 5.1% just before the first tweet, and had been down as much as 8.1% at its intraday low.

FactSet, MarketWatch

Trump’s tweets come after he said late Thursday in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity that he didn’t believe New York needed the 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asking for. Cuomo recently urged the Trump administration to use the “P” to get companies to make needed supplies.

Also read: Soaring demand for ventilators creates political tension, promises to ramp up manufacturing.

GM’s stock is on track to snap a three-day win streak in which it rocketed 28.2%. It was still down 41.4% year to date, however, while shares of rival Ford Motor Co.

F, -0.19%

 have slid 45.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -2.38%

  has lost 23.4%.

Original Source