STORM UPDATE: Industry starts pledging funds, relief efforts

Publish Date: 
Nov 5, 2012
By Holly J. Wagner

OEMs and other industry players are stepping up to offer help for dealers and others affected by Hurricane Sandy. Here is a list of those offering assistance:

American Honda announced a pledge of $500,000 to the American Red Cross-Disaster Relief Fund, for use during relief and recovery efforts in areas affected by the storm. The Honda donation consists of cash as well as Honda products including portable generators and water pumps for use in the relief and rebuilding efforts. A special company fund will match its associates' personal contributions to the Red Cross on a dollar-for-dollar basis at various Honda companies.

  • Honda is working with the American Red Cross to establish online channels that will facilitate donations from Honda and Acura auto dealers, Honda powersports and power equipment dealers, customers, suppliers and others interested in supporting the Hurricane Sandy relief effort through the Red Cross. The OEM says the online channels will be available within 24 hours.
  • In addition, Honda Financial Services is instituting measures to provide relief to customers directly affected by the storm, including temporary adjustments to policies on fee payments, late credit bureau reporting, extensions of loan payments, waivers of late charges and other services when appropriate.

BMW North America has given $1 million to American Red Cross toward storm relief efforts. "We are encouraging our employees across North America to volunteer their time and money to do the work underway. Our dealers already are active in their communities and we thank them for stepping up to meet the needs in their local areas," said Ludwig Willisch, CEO and president, BMW of North America. BMW is headquartered in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., one of the areas that sustained damage from the hurricane. 

Polaris Industries sent 10, military-grade MRVS 700 4x4 vehicles to the Salvation Army to support its storm relief and recovery efforts. “Our thoughts are with those struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said CEO Scott Wine. “The Salvation Army is working tirelessly to ease their hardship, and we hop the vehicles we provide will hasten relief efforts and help restore some normalcy to those affected by the storm.”

VP Racing Fuels sustained little damage at its regional distribution center in Newark, Del., and has had all hands on deck shipping 5-gallon pails of its VP Small Engine Fuel to the storm-battered region. 

“In the aftermath of the storm, there are thousands of generators providing backup power and chainsaws used in removing debris, along with other gas-powered tools,” said Jim Kelly, VP’s eastern regional manager. 

“We’ve shipped significant amounts of VP Small Engine Fuel to our usual supply lines, as well as to fire and rescue units, municipalities and others involved in recovery efforts. But we still have a large inventory of VP-SEF in place to serve anyone in the region who may be in need. We encourage anyone who is having difficulty finding fuel to let us know, and if UPS or trucking companies can access your area we can get it there.”

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has pledged $1 million to jump-start a national fundraising campaign for the Emergency Relief Fund of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. The fund provides financial assistance to dealership employees affected by natural disasters. "It's wonderful that NADA is leading by example," said Bob Mallon, chairman of the NADA Foundation. "We want to be in a strong position to provide timely assistance to dealership employees as they work through the long process of recovery. We now need to reach out to dealers everywhere to join in the relief campaign." The NADA Foundation is working with Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, and Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.

Dealernews will update this article with additional information as it becomes available. If your company is contributing funds and/or efforts to assist those in the affected area, please send your information to hwagner@dealernews.com.