Taiwan's Foxconn says to make ventilators with Medtronic

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks Taiwan-based Foxconn's facility in the Racine County town of Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin, U.S., April 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn will make ventilators with U.S. firm Medtronic Plc to help patients afflicted by the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Wednesday.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, is best known for assembling Apple’s iPhones at factories in China.

In a statement released through company founder Terry Gou’s office, Foxconn said it was currently cooperating with Medtronic to design and develop ventilators, and medical and technical personnel from both firms were working closely on this.

The companies hope to speed up production time so the ventilators can be put to work as soon as possible, it added.

Medtronic Chief Executive Officer Omar Ishrak told CNBC that Foxconn’s Wisconsin plant would be used to make the ventilators.

Other companies in the United States are also rushing to make ventilators as the coronavirus spreads rapidly there.

Ford Motor Co said last week it will produce 50,000 ventilators over the next 100 days at a plant in Michigan in cooperation with General Electric’s healthcare unit, and can then build 30,000 per month as needed to treat patients infected by the coronavirus.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Christian Schmollinger