Three car makers with major UK manufacturing plants have confirmed they are willing to build medical ventilators to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Vauxhall, Honda and Toyota have all said they would be “keen to assist” in producing these ventilators, which would go to help patients with symptoms of coronavirus.

The news follows the Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s comments that UK engineering firms, including car manufacturers, would be asked to set aside factory capacity to build ventilators ­– a vital piece of medical equipment for some coronavirus victims.

The Health Secretary told the BBC: “We want anybody who has the manufacturing ability to turn to the manufacture of ventilators.” He also added that, while the UK has around 5,000 medical ventilators, it desperately needs more.

When speaking to Auto Express, a spokesperson for Vauxhall said: “We have been in contact with the UK Government and are keen to assist at Vauxhall Motors’ Ellesmere Port plant.”

Toyota, on the other hand, said while it had not been contacted by the Government, it was also “more than willing to investigate” how it can support the current situation.

In addition, Honda too confirmed it had been contacted by the Government about supporting the manufacture of “additional ventilators”, as well as the “feasibility” of doing so.