Its Continental Europe plants are also producing face shields.

Ford is using its UK manufacturing sites, including its UK facilities to produce PPE for essential workers to use during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company's Dunton Technical Centre in Essex is producing face masks, with three teams of ten working around the clock, using newly-installed new purpose-built machines that are capable of producing between 60 and 90 general-use disposable face masks per minute.

"To get these machines up and running in such a short time, the response from everyone involved has been just amazing," said Chris White, manager, Dunton Technical Centre, Ford of Europe.

"The machines were sourced from China, and a Ford China team worked non-stop to prepare the delivery and ensured we could easily learn how to install and use them. Now, just a few weeks after the project was kicked off, we’ve already got our staff covered."

Ford starts manufacturing face masks in Dunton

Meanwhile at its European manufacturing plants in Germany, Spain, and Romania will work on face shield production.

Ford's Rapid Prototyping Center in Merkenich, Germany, is using in-house injection-moulding machines to produce up to 5,000 face shields per day for use across all Ford facilities in Europe. It's Valencia plant has 3D printed 300 face shields per day, while its Craiova plant in Romania has made nearly 10,000 face shields.

"We want our production facilities to be prepared and our staff protected – but we are determined to ensure that this has no impact on those tackling the COVID-19 crisis from getting the personal protective equipment they need," said Rene Wolf, director of manufacturing, Ford of Europe.

Gallery: Ford starts manufacturing face masks in Dunton