COVID-19: automotives provide manufacturing support
Amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, big brands within the automotive industry have been offering their production services to boost medical equipment.
To help increase the current supply of medical equipment needed in order to manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) big brands within the automotive industry are offering their manufacturing services, to produce the equipment needed to manage the outbreak.
These manufactuers include, Tesla is also looking to lend a hand to help with the efforts in the US. Currently the car manufacturer is already using bio-weapon level air filters for its electrical vehicles, which could be utilised for current outbreak efforts. “We will make ventilators if there is a shortage,” said Elon Musk on Twitter.
General Motors and Ford, who contributed to the war efforts in world war II with the production of airplanes and tanks, is also in talks with the US government to determine how they can help with the production of ventilators.
Elsewhere in the world
Leading the way within the industry, Chinese electric vehicle maker Build Your Dreams (BYD) has begun production on 5mn face masks, as well as up to 500,000 bottles of disinfectant per day.
In a company statement, BYD stated that the additional supplies will “help alleviate severe shortages that have affected hospitals and agencies across China in the face of the global COVID-19 outbreak.”
Being ground zero for the outbreak, China has been hit hard by the virus and although transmissions are now reportedly contained, around 80,000 people have been infected.
BYD reportedly began its manufacturing of ‘high-quality’ face masks at the beginning of February, after appointing a special task force which is operating day and night to help with the containment of the COVID-19 outbreak.
To produce these ‘high-quality’ face masks, BYD has completed research and development, as well as building mask manufacturing equipment within seven days, as well as increasing its capacity to another 5-10 new mask manufacturing machines each day.
“A production line for high-quality face masks requires about 1,300 parts for various gears, chains, and rollers, 90% of which are BYD’s self-made parts,” Sherry Li, director general of BYD’s president office, said in a statement.
Other equipment that is facing shortage include ventilators. Currently the UK has over 2,700 cases of COVID-19, with only 5,000 ventilators.
Auto manufacturer Nissan is assisting a consortium founded in response to the UK prime minister, which also includes the likes of Meggitt and MClaren, to help with the development of basic ventilator prototypes.
Nissan will focus on the manufacturing of ventilators alongside Meggitt (who produces oxygen systems for aircrafts) and McLaren to add its design expertise. The consortium is striving to build 5,000 more ventilators as soon as possible, with ambitions to build 30,000 which is expected to begin within one month.
For more information on business topics in the United States, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief USA.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.