Auto Industry Responding to Needs of Haitian Earthquake Victims

Despite the economic turmoil of the past year, the automotive industry joined organizations and individuals from around the globe in offering assistance to the victims of last week’s 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

Last Friday, Toyota Motor North America, Incorporated announced that it is donating $500,000 to support the relief efforts of Doctors without Borders, Save the Children and the American Red Cross.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Incorporated vice president of philanthropy and community affairs, Michael Rouse, said the company chose to donate to Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders based on the organizations’ long history of relief work within Haiti.

Four of Toyota’s divisions – Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota North America, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America and Toyota Financial Services – will also match contributions made by their employees to the Red Cross between now and February 1. The company said there is no limit on the amount of matching funds it will donate.

Toyota has also offered to provide the Red Cross with vehicles including four-wheel-drive Tacoma and Tundra pickups for use in their relief efforts.

In addition, two of Toyota’s independent U.S. distributors, Southeast Toyota Distributors and Gulf States Toyota have stepped forward with generous contributions of their own. Southeast Toyota Distributors is contributing $100,000 to the Red Cross and Gulf States Toyota announced that it is donating that same amount to Hope for Haiti’s Children.

Last Wednesday, the General Motors Foundation approved the immediate availability of $100,000 in contributions to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and provided employees with a Web-link to allow them to donate directly to the Red Cross fund using their work computers.

On Thursday, Nissan made donations of $30,000 to the Red Cross. The donations included $25,000 in cash from Nissan North America and $5,000 in cash donations from Nissan Canada, Incorporated. Like Toyota, Nissan said it will match employee contributions but limited the matching amount to the first $25,000 donated for a total of $50,000 in donations.

The company says it will also donate $52,000 to Habitat for Humanity International. The donation will be earmarked to aid in the construction of 13 new homes once rebuilding efforts in Haiti get underway.

Eaton Corporation, a leading supplier of automotive engine parts, has pledged $100,000 to the Red Cross Fund and will match employee donations to the United Way Worldwide Disaster Fund to help support the long-term recovery efforts within Haiti.

Ford Motor Company has announced that its Ford Fund & Community Services division will match employee contributions up to $50,000 for donation to the American Red Cross. Ford is also working with its Port-au-Prince dealership, Behrmann Motors, to identify and respond to specific, critical needs within the affected area.

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