The gestures of goodwill and charity from the Australian automotive industry in response to the Victorian bushfire disaster has gone from a trickle to a flood, with even more companies coming forward and making their contributions known.
Ford, Audi, Nissan and Honda have all pledged donations and resources to the cause, with no doubt many other manufacturers are also rallying together in this time of need despite their own financial woes.
Ford has donated a new XR5 Turbo which will be auctioned during tonight's cricket telecast with all proceeds going directly to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. Bidders can access the auction via Cricket Australia's website at www.cricket.com.au.
"Everyone at Ford is horrified by the unprecedented disaster that has befallen our community over these past few days," said Ford Australia President & CEO Marin Burela.
"The loss of so many lives, homes and livelihoods in such a manner is almost beyond belief. Helping these communities rebuild will require long term support and Ford is committed to helping the victims and the appropriate authorities as they undertake the much needed rebuilding efforts."
This auction will supplement the company's other relief efforts, including four new Ford Ranger 4x4 vehicles to the Country Fire Authority, for use in the areas that have been hardest hit by the devastation.
These will join the 20 support vehicles Ford has already provided to the CFA for immediate use in recovery efforts, with Ford employees also given the chance to dig deep through an internal donation program which includes paid leave to undertake volunteering projects in the months ahead.
Audi Australia has contributed an undisclosed amount to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) which has now raised over $1million for the bushfire appeal.
Nissan Australia and parent company Nissan Motors in Japan have announced an initial donation of $100,000 to the bushfire relief fund, each committing $50,000 to the appeal.
Nissan Australia Managing Director, Dan Thompson, said, “We are all shocked by the severity and impact of these fires and we are keen to do whatever we can in response to these tragic events.”
In addition to this, Nissan Australia has also announced it will match - dollar for dollar - any donation made by its direct employees to either the Australian Red Cross or the Salvation Army bushfires relief funds.
As if that wasn't enough, Nissan will also provide 100 Nissan vehicles through a special bushfire assistance program which victims of the fires will be able to borrow - at no charge - for up to six months.
Honda Australia has also pledged $200,000 to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund to help rebuild the shattered lives of many Victorians who lost everything in the devastating fires.
Honda Foundation Chairman Mr. Lindsay Smalley said, “Honda Australia and our dealer network around Australia are shocked and saddened at the destruction and loss of life and hope this donation will go some way to assist those in immediate need”.
BMW Group Australia has also chipped in an initial sum of $100,000 and will match any further contributions from its staff and employees dollar for dollar.
In addition, BMW Group Australia will provide support to members of staff who have been directly affected by the fires in Victoria.
“We’re moved by the severity of the disaster and the extent of the tragic human suffering,” said Guenther Seemann, Managing Director of BMW Group Australia. “On behalf of our employees and customers, we hope this donation will assist those affected by the Victorian bushfires.”