The dimensions of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic now require society to pool all of its forces. Everybody can contribute to ensure that the exponential growth curve of new infections flattens out — and that our healthcare systems do not come up against their limits.
That’s why Daimler too has decided to interrupt most of its production operations as well as work in selected administrative areas. The goal is to protect employees, break up chains of infection, and prevent the further spread of the virus. At the same time we are witnessing an encouraging development: “Individuals have to keep their distance from each other, but at the same time societies are coming together,” says Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. As a part of society, Daimler too is launching assistance campaigns
We are making our 3D printers ready for the production of medical equipment and face shields.
In normal times, the 3D printers at Mercedes-Benz produce automobile components. Now Daimler is making its machines, know-how, and trained specialists available for the production of medical equipment. For about 30 years, Mercedes-Benz has gathered experience in the research and application of additive manufacturing. As many as 150,000 components are 3D-printed annually at Daimler’s car production plants. In usual times these components are primarily used in prototype construction and small-series production.
Beyond this, our international 3D print production network is working on so-called face shields made of plastic. More precisely, the brackets for these face shields are manufactured in our 3D printers, the production is based on open source data. The face shield sets resulting from this process are given to system-relevant institutions at no charge. The shields work as a physical barrier to stop droplets or saliva from being transmitted to the wearer’s face. At the same time they prevent the wearer from unconsciously touching his or her own face.
Our Formula One Team is developing and producing breathing aids.
In normal times, Formula One is all about fast cars. But these days, many of the competing teams have joined their forces and are now working at high speed to produce breathing aids. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team is working together with six other Formula One teams in order to help. So-called CPAP breathing aids, which have been developed in record time by the University College London and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, are already in use in hospitals; the company’s experts are currently producing more of these machines. The knowledge required to make the device – such as details on design, materials, tools and kit used in the prototyping process – is freely available for industry manufacturers, academics and health experts.
We are on the road with the emergency services of the city of Stuttgart.
In normal times, trained emergency paramedics work at Daimler plants to ensure medical services for all employees. Now, a team of volunteers from the plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim is working together with the emergency medical services outside the factory gates. The team and its ambulance have been completely integrated into Stuttgart’s public emergency medical services. Daimler’s paramedics are now dispatched directly by the control center of the German Red Cross, which is coordinating the emergency operations in Stuttgart. Daimler is releasing these employees from their regular duties for the duration of this deployment and is also making an ambulance vehicle available for this service.
We are supporting the setup of a temporary hospital with 1,500 beds in India.
In normal times, passenger cars for the local market are assembled at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Now Mercedes-Benz India is supporting the local authorities in their fight against the pandemic: The company has supported the setup of a temporary hospital in the town of Chakan, Khed in the Pune District. The facility was developed in record time and allows the medical treatment of up to 1,500 patients of COVID-19. Mercedes-Benz will continue to support the local authorities, for example with medical equipment.
We have converted a bus into a critical care ambulance.
In normal times, the Mercedes-Benz Citaro is a tried and tested bus for inner-city and inter-city services. Now a very special Citaro is hitting the road for the German Red Cross Emergency Medical Services in the Heidenheim-Ulm Region: Within only three weeks and in close co-operation with the Red Cross, Daimler Buses has converted the bus from its demonstration vehicle stock into a high-capacity critical care ambulance. The special vehicle will now be used for the transfer of COVID-19 patients, this makes the bus the largest intensive care ambulance in Germany. The converted Citaro is a loan; initially it will be available to the Red Cross for a period of six months. The joint project is supported by the University Hospital in Ulm which is providing the specialized medical staff. The public utility company SWU Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm GmbH is also on board the project and is providing drivers and maintenance personnel. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro (built in 2019 as an inter-city bus with 45 seats and standing room for 40 persons) is equipped with four complete intensive care beds for its new function.
We are helping with donations in cash and in kind.
In normal times, respiratory protective masks are used at Daimler to protect employees doing their daily work in a number of production areas. Now Daimler has donated 110,000 masks to the state government of Baden-Württemberg. These masks are sent to the points where they are urgently needed: hospitals and doctors’ offices. Daimler’s subsidiaries in the markets are also providing all kinds of assistance quickly and pragmatically. For example, the Mercedes-Benz Star Fund and Daimler Greater China have donated money to local organizations tackling the pandemic, the same holds true for Mercedes-Benz Korea. And Daimler is also supporting by making vehicles available – the products for which the company is best-known all around the world. Commercial vehicles from Mercedes-Benz are on the road for nonprofit organizations operating near Daimler locations.