With the Covid-19 outbreak still at large, BYD, one of the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturers, created a new plant in one of its industrial parks in Shenzhen, China to produce face masks and disinfectants to help alleviate severe shortages.

The plant is now capable of producing five million masks and 300,000 bottles of disinfectant daily, but what is truly remarkable is the pace at which the company’s employees worked to make it all possible.

In late January, a special task force was appointed by BYD chairman and president Wang Chuanfu consisting of leaders from different business divisions and more than 3,000 engineers involved in research and development, design, processing and other roles.

In less than two weeks, the task force finished two months’ worth of work in less than two weeks. This includes the R&D and manufacturing process of mask production equipment within seven days, which would normally take 15 to 30 days on the market.

The company is currently capable of producing about five to ten new mask-producing machines on a daily basis, further increasing the number of masks that can be produced at a rate of approximately 300,000 to 500,000 units per day. Each machines requires about 1,300 parts, 90% of which are BYD’s self-made parts.

The team also did R&D work on medical-grade hand sanitisers in six days, which were then shipped to medical staff on the front lines of the epidemic after just eight days. On February 8, the newly-built production lines started to produce these critical supplies, with hundreds of staff working both day and night shifts along with machines working around the clock.