The company quickly formed a research team, and drew more than 400 equipment drafts within three days. They then spent seven days turning the drafts into actual machines. For each mask- machine, BYD took charge of 90 percent of the 1,300-plus components, including the gears, chains and rollers. Within a month, BYD created 100 mask production lines.
In BYDs Baolong industrial garden in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, more than 600 workers were packaging and examining the masks churned out from 100 production lines in a 15,000-square-meter ctory.
Besides internal use, BYD said some of the masks are donated to frontline hospitals, public transit companies, airports and ports. Some are given to the government for allocation, and some are provided to BYDs strategic partners.
We were in dire need of mask- machines, but each machine usually takes 40 days to make, Li said. Besides, it was impossible to buy such equipment during the epidemic, so we were determined that we would make the machines by ourselves.
We have 250,000 employees, and if we prepare two masks for each of them, we would need 500,000 masks, Li said. Shenzhen has more than 20 million people, and they would need more than 40 million masks if each person needed two masks.
Following the virus outbreak, masks became the most needed protective gear, in addition to disinfectants and protective overalls. Meanwhile, BYD was under pressure to resume work, said Li Wei, with BYDs presidents office.
On Feb. 17, BYDs first batch of masks went offline. Each line can make 50,000 masks a day. With the new production lines, BYD is able to make five million masks and 300,000 bottles of disinfectant on a daily basis, the company one of the biggest mask manucturers in the world.
BYD plans to expand its production lines to 200 with a daily capacity of up to 10 million masks. The masks will also be provided to other countries hit hard by the virus, after meeting domestic demand.
The ctory was used as an electronic production area just a little over one month ago.
On Sunday, BYD inked an agreement with local officials in Shenzhen, pledging to allocate 15 million masks to six designated supermarkets and pharmacies in Shenzhen. Each mask will cost no more than 2.5 yuan (36 U.S. cents).
Under such circumstances, BYD decided to make masks itself.
Many companies in China, including underwear and ship makers, have transformed their businesses to cater to the rising demand for masks amid the coronavirus epidemic. Now, a new participant has joined the list: Chinas leading new energy vehicle manucturer BYD.