The National Automobile Dealers Association and several automakers are reaching out with assistance to dealers and victims affected by Monday's tornado in Oklahoma.
Auto dealers affected by the tornado near Oklahoma City can go to the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation for help.
"NADA is working with state and metro dealer associations in the affected states to notify dealers and their employees that financial assistance is available," David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs, said in an e-mail.
Dealership employees can apply directly to the foundation's Emergency Relief Fund for assistance, or dealers can apply for their employees.
NADA has provided more than $5.4 million to about 8,500 dealership employees in need since the fund was started in 1992, including $3.5 million to about 5,600 dealership employees after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Ford, VW and GM
Ford Motor Co. and its dealers are donating $400,000 and other assets to help with relief efforts. The company said today it will match donations from dealers, the public and employees up to $250,000 and donate a Ford Transit Connect van to the American Red Cross.
Oklahoma Ford dealers plan to donate $150,000 to the United Way.
In addition, Ford said it will provide $500 in new vehicle purchase assistance to drivers in the tornado's path that had vehicles damaged.
The Volkswagen of America Foundation said today it will make a donation of $250,000 to the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity to assist with the disaster relief efforts following the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
The money will go to provide food, shelter, recovery and other assistance to those affected by the tornadoes.
“It is our hope that this donation will provide some relief to those affected and help them rebuild their communities and their lives," Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in a statement.
VW also will match employee donations make to any relief organization.
The General Motors Foundation is giving $50,000, and Chevrolet is donating a 2013 Silverado to help with relief efforts for those affected by the tornado in Oklahoma, according to a GM statement.
The funds and pickup truck are going to Forgotten Harvest, an organization that collects food and donates it to emergency food providers, and its "Help 4 Oklahoma" campaign.
"Chevrolet continues its support of local organizations and disaster relief efforts with the donation of a Chevrolet Silverado to Forgotten Harvest," Mark Reuss, GM North America president and vice chairman of the GM Foundation, said in the statement. "GM and the GM Foundation will support 'Help 4 Oklahoma' with the full breadth of our operations."
Forgotten Harvest is collecting nonperishable foods and hygiene and medical supplies to donate to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
The Chrysler Foundation said today it plans to donate $100,000 to the First Response Team of America and its efforts to provide relief for those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma, according to a press release.
First Response Team of America is a nonprofit organization that assists with disaster relief, including helping with cleanups and the local first aid responders.
Ram truck brand has assisted the First Response Team of America in the past, including giving three heavy-duty trucks to the organization.
Meanwhile, Mazda Motor Corp.’s North American operations and The Mazda Foundation together have proposed a donation of $50,000 total to the American Red Cross to support efforts in Oklahoma, according to a Mazda press release.
"The tornado that touched down in Moore has had an unprecedented impact on those located far outside the actual impact area, including our own employees, dealers and customers," Jim O'Sullivan, Mazda’s North American CEO, said in the release.
Drivers in high impact zones with an insurance claim of damage to the their vehicle can receive $500 from Mazda towards buying a new Mazda car. Additionally, qualified customers who buy a new Mazda from participating dealers can postpone their first payment for 90 days after the contract date.
Mazda owners in Cleveland, McClain, Lincoln, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties in Oklahoma, which are areas affected by the tornadoes, can have their late and insufficient funds fees waived, giving customers until June 4 to pay.
The Mazda Foundation has given about $8 million to projects across the U.S. since it started in 1992.
GM dealerships in Oklahoma were not directly affected by the tornado, but there was some minor vehicle damage, a GM spokeswoman said.
Ford dealerships were not harmed by the tornado, a Ford spokeswoman said.
Some employees of Bob Moore Auto Group, based in Oklahoma City, have suffered as a result of the twister, said Curtis Hayes, the group's CFO.
About six employees have lost their homes; eight had their homes significantly damaged, and at least 20 others have no power at home.
At least 2,000 vehicles at Bob Moore Auto Group's dealerships in the area have been damaged because of hailstorms that have been hitting the area since April.
Three dealerships and one collision center are within a few miles of the tornado's path, Hayes said. One dealership is closed because it does not have water.
Hayes said: "Our hearts go out to the families that have lost their homes and loved ones."