The federal government will pay GM $489 million to produce 30,000 ventilators through August, a deal that may be too late to meet critical demand as U.S. coronavirus cases peak.
GM will produce the ventilators at an Indiana plant and provide them to the government at-cost. President Trump ordered the company to begin making the much-needed devices 10 days ago under the Defense Production Act.
But the wartime-like manufacturing effort won't help hospitals treat an immediate onslaught of coronavirus patients.
The Washington Post reported this weeekend that U.S. cases are predicted to peak in two weeks, but the bulk of GM's ventilators won't be ready for at least six more.
The contract requires at least 6,000 ventilators be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile through June 1, and GM has said it will start producing 10,000 units per month by as early as mid-May.
According to scientific modeling cited by The Post, the country will need 32,000 ventilators in mid-April. Last week the federal government said only 10,000 remained in its stockpile.