The world\'s strongest typhoon has just struck the country, but its devastating effects have shaken the whole world. Just like other sectors, the automotive industry has also mobilized to lend a hand. Many car manufacturers have extended help in the form of donations (in cash and in kind) and relief-operation efforts. May God bless them.
* BMW: According to Glen Dasig, the executive director for sales and marketing of distributor Asian Carmakers Corporation, BMW AG is donating 30,000 euros, and ACC is matching that amount for a total of 60,000 euros. Also, ACC is deploying 10 units of BMW X models to help transport Red Cross volunteers and relief goods.
Moreover, ACC has canceled the scheduled launch of the 4-Series on November 19, as well as the inauguration of a new BMW dealership at Eton Centris called AutoAllee. BMW AG\'s executive vice president for importer regions, Graeme Grieve, who is supposed to grace the occasion, will still arrive in the country on said date to sit down with Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon to discuss more effective ways to help the calamity victims.
* Chevrolet: The American car brand\'s distributor, The Covenant Car Company Inc., gave Philippine Red Cross a booth at this weekend\'s Motorama event at SM Mall of Asia, where visitors can give their donations. Also, the company held a friendly auction among its guests during the Motorama\'s opening-night dinner, raising a total of P141,000 for the benefit of Yolanda victims.
* Ferrari: According to Autostrada Motore, the official distributor of the Italian carmaker in the country: \"The Philippines is on the mind of people in Maranello. A commitment has been made by the Ferrari family, but we shall remain silent on the details for now.\" This commitment was conveyed directly to Autostrada Motore chairman and president Wellington Soong during his recent visit to Italy.
* Ford: Ford Philippines has several ongoing relief efforts, working closely with Red Cross, making donations, and helping affected employees. Since the Ford Tacloban dealership was destroyed, Ford has extended help to the dealer\'s employees by providing food, clothing, bedding and temporary shelter.
Ford Philippines employees have also pooled cash donations and relief goods for their Tacloban colleagues. And Ford employees all over the world \"have shown overwhelming concern and have been donating to the Red Cross to help the relief effort,\" according to Ford Philippines communications AVP Joseph Ayllon. \"Their donations will be matched by the company up to $100,000, combined with the $300,000 already committed by Ford and the Ford Fund.\"
Ford is also providing the Red Cross an E-150 ambulance and a Ranger to support relief operations.
* Honda: The Honda Group of Companies in the Philippines, through its corporate social-responsibility arm Honda Foundation, is making a donation of P5 million to victims of the super typhoon through the ABS-CBN Foundation. Its parent company, Japan-based Honda Motor Company, is also providing P5 million to the same organization to assist in relief and recovery efforts.
* Hyundai: Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. donated P25 million, personally turned over by HARI chairman emeritus Richard Lee, HARI chairman Edward Go, HARI president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, Hyundai Motor Company Asia-Pacific head Hoo-Keun Kim, and HMC general manager Victor Mhun to President Benigno Aquino III (top photo).
In addition, the company said, its 41 dealerships nationwide are setting up \"Sagip Boxes\" for the donations of Hyundai customers and the general public.
* Isuzu: Isuzu Philippines Corporation hasn\'t made an official announcement regarding its efforts for Yolanda survivors, but the company recently donated a total of P1.5 million to the foundations of the ABS-CBN and GMA television networks for the victims of the previous natural disasters that hit the country. IPC gave P1 million (P500,000 for Bohol and P500,000 for Cebu) to Sagip Kapamilya and P500,000 to Kapuso Foundation.
\"Tragedies are as much a time of sadness as they are of hope,\" said IPC president Nobuo Izumina. \"And to help the victims who have suffered much in the recent natural calamities, it is up to the more fortunate to render unconditional assistance in whatever way possible. In this regard, we at Isuzu express our sympathies and humbly submit our contribution to the various efforts that seek to give hope to those who need it most.\"
* Jaguar/Land Rover: Last Sunday, Marc Soong, the executive director of both Jaguar Philippines and Land Rover Philippines, announced on his Instagram account that his two British brands were donating P100,000 for every unit sold throughout the month of November. But then some people took it negatively and harshly criticized the move, accusing Soong of taking advantage of a tragedy to sell his cars. As a result, Soong canceled the plan but will still donate the aforementioned amount per unit sold on November 10.
\"I have gotten so much negative feedback that it feels terrible how people can have so much hate in them and look at me so low for what I thought was a positive effort,\" Soong lamented. \"Many said that it was a marketing ploy taking advantage of the disaster. Well, it wasn\'t and we are just retracting everything. We shall remain silent on what we will be doing for the typhoon victims. If anyone was offended, I had nothing but good intentions. I apologize to anyone who may have seen it differently.\"
* Kia: The Hyundai Motor Group--made up of Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation--has donated $600,000 to the Philippine Red Cross.
* Lexus: The local Bonifacio Global City-based dealership has postponed the 2013 Lexus Invitational, its major customer golf tournament. Lexus Manila\'s associates have also approached the management to cancel the annual Christmas party. \"We are currently finding and studying ways to reach out to our brothers and sisters, especially the affected relatives of employees who hail from the devastated region in the Visayas,\" said Lexus Manila marketing manager Carlo Chungunco.
* Mazda: Distributor Berjaya Auto Philippines wants to keep its efforts low-profile, but in the spirit of transparency, we are sharing this with you. The company has made the Mazda BT-50 available for use to journalists who will supply food and water to the devastated areas. The distributor has also been extending aid to its dealers\' employees affected by the typhoon, on top of the P1 million it donated to Gawad Kalinga.
* Mercedes-Benz: Parent company Daimler AG has announced that it donated 500,000 euros for the Philippines\' \"suffering population.\" The money was turned over to the German Red Cross, and will be used to \"bring vital relief supplies--such as tents, kitchen sets, hygiene kits and plastic sheets--for over 15,000 people in the Philippines. In addition, Daimler asks its employees to make donations.\"
* Mitsubishi: The Japanese carmaker\'s local distributor, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, handed Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon P1 million. \"With thousands of lives lost and immense damages to properties that this natural catastrophe has left the country, MMPC joins the whole nation in prayer for the quick recovery of the Philippines, most especially the areas vastly affected by the typhoon,\" the company said in a statement. MMPC also hopes that the amount donated will \"provide immediate assistance to the victims.\"
* Nissan: The head office in Japan has pledged 20 million yen \"to support recovery efforts in areas hit by the devastating typhoon in the Philippines. Nissan will immediately donate 10 million yen to the NGO Japan Platform, which is carrying out urgent rescue efforts in the Philippines. Nissan will also provide vehicles to support the near-term recovery needs of affected areas.\"
* Peugeot: \"The Columbian Group (BMW, Kia and Peugeot) will make a lump-sum donation to the victims of typhoon Yolanda through an initiative started by Palawan governor Jose Alvarez,\" said Eurobrands Distributor Inc. (Peugeot) marketing and communications director Dong Magsajo. The group\'s employees have also been asked to donate whatever amount they are willing to shell out, Magsajo added.
* Subaru: Motor Image Pilipinas marketing manager Saul Babas revealed that his company is \"in close coordination with our regional office in Singapore and with Fuji Heavy Industries in Japan regarding the help that we will extend to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.\" He also shared that MIP intends to cancel its Christmas party for employees next month, and just give the fund to the calamity survivors.
* Toyota: Toyota Motor Corporation, along with subsidiaries Toyota Motor Philippines and Toyota Financial Services Philippines, has contributed P10 million to be used for the ongoing relief efforts for the Yolanda victims.
\"It is with deepest regret that the recent typhoon has taken so many lives and caused great destruction in many communities in the country,\" said TMP president Michinobu Sugata. \"It is our hope that Toyota\'s assistance will help many Filipinos to start anew.\"
* Volkswagen: Because the Philippine distributor, Automobile Central Enterprise, is part of the Ayala Group, \"all efforts are centralized through Ayala Foundation,\" said ACE sales and marketing head Arnel Doria. Also, the company is set to conduct packing operations next week for all employees.
* Volvo: Volvo Philippines sent out information and safety tips on typhoon preparedness to its clients, using SMS and e-mail blasts and through its Facebook page. The company has also opened its dealers\' doors as drop-off points for donations in kind. Cash donations, meanwhile, were directed to Philippine Red Cross and the Archdiocese of Manila.
The roads may be rough now, but with our spirits in full throttle, we\'re bound to recover from this tragedy. Let\'s hope we all get inspiration from these acts of kindness from our friends in the automotive industry. It may not be December just yet, but the season of giving has already started.