April 8, 2020 / 8:38 AM / 2 months ago

BMW to start producing face masks

Oliver Zipse, CEO of German luxury carmaker BMW poses with a mask after BMW donated protection masks and gloves to the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

MUNICH (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) will start producing face masks to help protect its own staff and the public against the spread of the new coronavirus, Chief Executive Oliver Zipse said on Wednesday.

Zipse said BMW would soon be able to produce several hundred thousand masks per day.

The company has already delivered 100,000 masks to the government from its own existing stocks, and handed over another 50,000 masks and a million medical gloves on Wednesday, with a further million masks to be handed over in the next two weeks.

BMW said on Monday that a production stoppage at its factories is being extended by two weeks until April 30.

Reporting by Joern Poltz, writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Michelle Martin

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