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Last 7 Days


by Tim Beissmann

The world’s automotive manufacturers continue to raise funds in their own unique way to assist the emergency efforts in Haiti after the January 12 earthquake.

More than 150,000 people have been buried in the capital Port-au-Prince alone and 600,000 are homeless. Official estimates suggest the death toll could rise above 200,000.

Chrysler is doing its bit, with new CEO, Olivier Francois, donating his “eco” trimmed 300C to the American Red Cross after inviting 300 celebrities to sign it at Sunday’s Golden Globe awards.

Manufactured specially with bamboo, cork and recycled materials, ink from Samuel L Jackson, Sandra Bullock, Morgan Freeman and Sigourney Weaver is expected to see the 300C raise US$1 million in an upcoming auction.

The donation is on top of US$100,000 the Chrysler Foundation has already given to Oxfam America and the US Fund for UNICEF to support relief and recovery efforts.

Chrysler dealers, employees and retirees are also digging deep, while dealerships in Puerto Rico are collecting household and non-perishable items.

General Motors made a similar contribution, auctioning a one-of-a-kind crystal red 2008 Chevrolet Corvette on Saturday for US$200,000.

The limited edition was the last of 427 cars built specifically for North America and was worth only US$80,000 when new.

It took GM’s total contribution to US$300,000 so far, after earlier in the week donating US$100,000 to the Red Cross.

The world’s largest automotive manufacturer has become the automotive world’s largest supporter, last Friday donating US$500,000 to the Red Cross, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders, the latter two having a long-running commitment to programs in Haiti.

Two independent distributors have also found US$100,000 each for the cause, while Toyota North America plans to match without limit the contributions of employees until the end of the month.

Ford is also matching employee donations (up to US$50,000 per worker) to the Red Cross and working closely with its dealership in Port-au-Price, Behrmann Motors, to do critical work on the ground.

American Honda has pledged more than US$300,000 to the Red Cross and is supplying water pumps, portable generators and other Honda products.

Hyundai and Nissan will both contribute at least US$100,000 to the earthquake relief effort as will supplier Eaton, while Bridgestone’s contribution has already exceeded US$150,000.

(with Automotive News, Haiti photo by Reuters)




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