First I heard this interesting episode of Planet Money (one of my favourite podcasts):
Among other things, they talk about the partnership between GM and Ventec, a small manufacturer of ventilators in Seattle. The contribution of GM has nothing to do with cars, but the fact that they are a “massive supply management marvel”. GM allowed Ventec to procure in just a few days the hundreds of parts needed manufacture their products, up to a quantity of 200,000 ventilators (from their current 200/month).
Then today there’s this tweet by Tim Cook:
Again, in just a few days Apple can design, source, manufacture and distribute masks in huge quantities.
Over the years these companies have created incredibly sophisticated infrastructures that allow to produce incredible amounts of complicated products and distribute them to billions of clients. They can produce car or phones, but they can quickly solve problems for ventilators and masks.
This bit of globalisation might turn out to be useful.