TORRANCE — In light of the storm that devastated the East Coast, manufacturers are reaching out to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Toyota led the pack with a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross. Hyundai, Volkswagen and Ford each contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross relief fund for hurricane victims, while General Motors gave a $250,000 gift.
Shigeki Terashi, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America Inc., said, “On behalf of Toyota, we express our sincere condolences to the families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since we have operations and many dealerships in the affected regions, we felt a special responsibility to lend a hand. In addition to this contribution, many Toyota employees are already involved in volunteer activities to support those in need. We very much appreciate their support.”
Toyota also launched a Customer Outreach for the 13 states affected by the hurricane. The campaign will help lease and retail customers who are delinquent or become delinquent due to the circumstances caused by the storm. Toyota’s outreach program will look to identify if customers may be eligible for payment-relief options, including extensions and lease deferred payments, redirecting billing statements, and arranging phone or online payments.
Chevrolet also reached out to Red Cross. Along with a monetary donation, the manufacturer donated 50 Express cargo vans the organization can use in its relief and recovery efforts.
“It is during disasters like this that we all need to pull together as a country and Chevrolet has a role in that,” said General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “Making these vehicles available quickly where they can do the most good is something we can do right now.”
Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Inc., added, "It is our hope that this donation will provide some relief to those affected and help them rebuild their communities and their lives."
In addition to its $500,000 contribution to Red Cross, Volkswagen announced it will provide matching funds to any employee donations made to the organization of their choice.
Ford also announced that it will assist hurricane victims. Ford Motor Co.’s customers are eligible for a $500 bonus cash savings off vehicle MSRP on any eligible 2012 or 2013 Ford or Lincoln models. Ford Credit also implemented its own Disaster Relief Program, allowing qualified customers to delay one or two monthly payments.
“Severe weather has ravaged the East Coast and the loss in personal property as a result is enormous,” stated Curt Skaluba, east region manager of sales, parts and service operations for Ford. “To help with the recovery, Ford is pleased to announce a special offer to help those in need replace vehicles destroyed by this devastating storm.”