Ford (F) are providing over 200 vehicles to support the NHS and other essential UK organisations as they battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 10 NHS ambulance trusts, the British Red Cross, and St. John Ambulance are receiving the vehicles to boost their operations.
Ford are also lending vehicles to five police forces, four local councils, care homes, and utility companies.
Several essential businesses have been loaned vehicles, including supermarket giant Tesco (TSCO.L), which has received 43 Ford Transit vans to enable it to increase home grocery delivery services.
Ford is also equiping ACASA Care and Support in Hampshire with six vehicles to keep their team on the road in the event of any vehicle issues or breakdowns, and to allow them to hire much-needed additional support staff. ACASA employs 180 carers who provide support to 600 elderly and vulnerable clients.
ACASA managing director Oliver Alexander said: “A crisis brings out the best in people and in companies, and it certainly is very true in the case of Ford, helping us ensure we can look after people whose only visitors every day may be our care team.”
In total, 203 Ford cars, vans, and people carriers have been loaned to 40 different organisations as they ramp up their services to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The vehicles are being provided from the Ford of Britain Marketing and Sales demonstrator fleet and are being used to enable support functions rather than front-line patient services.
As well as loaning vehicles, the Ford demonstration fleet department is working with its service partner, DHL, to give operational support to the East of England Ambulance Service’s fleet team.
“We have two DHL specialists working over the next few weeks focusing on transportation, allocation reporting and fleet logistics, plus any other ad-hoc requests which Ford can support via online systems,” said Len Keen, product press officer for vehicle operations at Ford of Britain, who is co-ordinating the loans operation.
In the US, Ford is working with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare to expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders, and patients fighting coronavirus, including the production of respirators, masks, gowns, and testing collection kits.