Evacuees from Hurricane Harvey shelter in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. Several automakers are supporting the American Red Cross efforts to support shelters like this through donations. (Photo source: American Red Cross)
Cleveland, Ohio – Automakers are responding the devastation of Hurricane Harvey by donating money and offering financial assistance to customers suffering from the storm’s aftermath.
Toyota Motor North America’s San Antonio truck plant is far west of Houston and the Gulf Coast counties hit by the storm, but company officials pledged $3 million to support charitable relief efforts, the leading pledge of any automaker.
“As fellow Texans, our hearts go out to those who have lost so much and we would like to extend a helping hand to help with the recovery,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. “At Toyota, we have a comprehensive approach to disaster relief, working with numerous organizations to provide help where it’s needed.”
The $3 million pledge will come from Toyota, distributor Gulf States Toyota, and Toyota Financial Services. Donations include cash, payment assistance for customers, matches to employee contributions, and vehicle donations.
Nissan is donating $150,000 to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts, and the company will match employee donations up to $100,000. The automaker is also loaning 20 Titan pickups to relief agencies to use for disaster relief.
Ford is donating $100,000 to relief efforts and will match employee contributions up to $50,000, bringing the total donation to $200,000 if employees donate the maximum. The automaker is also offering payment deferrals and other financing assistance to customers.
Honda has pledged $100,000 to the American Red Cross, and it is working with that group and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to identify other needs. Company officials say they may also donate generators and water pumps.
Volkswagen is donating $150,000 to the Red Cross, and Hyundai is offering deferred payments and other financial assistance to its customers.
About the author: Houston, Texas, native Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.