Nobody in the car business expected to spend 2020 fighting a war.
But when the coronavirus spread from China to Europe and North America, it only served to energize an industry that had been brought to a standstill.
Companies that gave a new purpose to traditional lines of work
Ford's Project Apollo boosted supply of lifesaving equipment
In the throes of the COVID-19 crisis, Ford engineers fanned out across America to help boost production of masks, respirators, ventilators and face shields.
In 3 days, GM developed a plan to help save lives
How General Motors and a small ventilator manufacturer teamed up to address a shortage of critically needed ventilators.
Many hands unite to fight virus
Faurecia workers in Mexico prepared gowns and masks destined for shipment to hospitals, including the temporary field hospital set up by the Army Corps of Engineers at New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
VIDEO: Bringing light to 'darkness': How automakers fast-tracked PPE output
Ford couldn't sit idly by. Honda needed to find a 'better way.' And Volkswagen realized COVID-19 had no limits. Those are a few reasons why the automakers and their employees turned on a dime to produce millions of pieces of personal protective equipment and are preparing for the second wave of the virus.
FCA workers tap the ‘beating heart’ of ventilators
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, FCA mobilized globally, cranking out electrovalves for critically needed ventilators in Italy and millions of face masks in North America.
Schaeffler's N.A. workers pitch in
Employees across Schaeffler's North American operations have acted against COVID-19 in several innovative ways.
U.S. managers helped Honda quickly shift production
Using its expansive footprint of manufacturing plants and research centers across North America, Honda quickly sprung into action to temporarily repurpose those facilities in the fight against the coronavirus.
Pet project: Store promo items used for masks
One Charlotte, N.C., Subaru dealership turned an unused inventory of promotional dog bandanas into much-needed face masks for its community.
He wanted to keep his people employed
Joe Agresti, CEO of Dream Motor Group in Spring, Texas, took to selling personal protective equipment to help keep the 480 employees at his six-location dealership group paid.
PODCAST: A Call to Action Ep. 1 | The Mobilizers
Behind the scenes as GM transforms itself into a producer of ventilators.
Quick switch to medical gowns
Across the textile and garment industries, companies like Shawmut Corp. have transitioned to personal protective equipment.
'Telluriders' meet the need for protective gear
Laid-off Kia workers in Georgia volunteered to provide face shields for the front-line workers.
Off the track, Bryan Herta Autosport race team converts to production crew
With car racing sidelined by the pandemic, team members used its shop to assemble face shields from kits.
Denso mask has workers on front lines covered
Led by Denso's vice president of manufacturing, an initial team at the Japanese supplier's Maryville, Tenn., plant quickly got together during the weekend of March 20 to pivot from manufacturing auto parts to personal protective equipment.
JLR finds green solution to protect health workers
The British automaker found itself not just making products to protect workers, but giving others the means to follow suit.
PHOTO GALLERY: A world of help
Global automakers, suppliers and even a racing team mobilized to produce critically needed supplies to help health care workers wage the battle against COVID-19.
Help On Wheels
How cars, trucks and personal mobility devices have been deployed
Donated vehicles keep Conn. students learning
Schaller Auto Group in Connecticut used furloughed employees and its vehicles to deploy mobile Internet hot spots to help students complete online school this spring.
Toyota gives Mich. county a hand to meet mobility needs
Toyota Motor North America's Research and Development arm stepped into the breach to help out its neighbors in Michigan's Washtenaw County.
Japanese Odyssey idea helps in Detroit
To transport Detroit residents for COVID-19 testing without exposing health workers, Honda's U.S. engineers modified 10 minivans with protective equipment to support the crisis effort.
VIDEO: Dealerships keep wheels turning for cities, residents amid crisis
U.S. dealers and their teams stood up when times got tough during the pandemic. New York City first responders turned to Sunrise Chevrolet for 'essential' service while some Ohio residents were greeted with curbside concerts from the beds of Ricart Automotive Group pickups.
Fan buys a 911, Porsche delivers $1 million
Porsche Cars North America hatched a plan to auction a 911 sports car to raise funds for COVID-19 relief efforts. But not just any 911.
VW's service loaners are enlisted in COVID fight
When COVID-19 dramatically curtailed activity at Volkswagen dealerships across much of the nation, it also curtailed the use of thousands of service loaner Atlas crossovers. Dealers nationwide repurposed those vehicles to help out in their local communities.
Audi's unused fleet vehicles a Silvercar lining for charities
Audi employees found a use for idle Silvercar fleet vehicles during the pandemic, helping a Texas nonprofit make food deliveries and feed more than 500 people daily.
Texas Toyota dealership offers to get the goods
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Jay Richards didn't want his 80-year-old mother out shopping for groceries. And that led the Kinsel Toyota general manager to start a free service for seniors in Beaumont, Texas.
Dealership takes oil change service to hospital workers
As medical workers at two Illinois hospitals served on the front lines during the onset of the pandemic this spring, Taylor Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram decided to serve them.
PODCAST: A Call to Action Ep. 2 | Help on Wheels
Learn how the city of Detroit helps get essential workers to the job when cars aren’t an option.
Hyundai giveaway recognizes health care heroes
When Hyundai Motor America and the National Salute to America's Heroes had to cancel their 2020 Air and Sea Show in Miami Beach, Fla., because of coronavirus concerns, they didn't let it stop them from giving back.
Loaners help medical workers stay on the job
As Canadians began to socially distance and businesses shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Tony Del Gobbo, dealer principal at Newmarket Hyundai in Ontario, had an idea.
Kia Canada fleet for media used to assist food banks
New Kia Sportages, Souls and Tellurides were pressed into service in Toronto and Vancouver to help fight hunger during the coronavirus crisis.
PHOTO GALLERY: Driving change
From tiny autonomous robots in the United Kingdom to a city bus in Germany and vans in metro Detroit, vehicles are playing a major role in the coronavirus fight.
Giving Back, Paying Forward
A new meaning for volunteer efforts and charitable giving
Hires, haircuts and hydration
Vera Cadillac-Buick-GMC temporarily hired 10 restaurant and hospitality industry workers at its dealership amid the coronavirus pandemic.
FCA employees make impact through charity and technology
FCA workers Marvin Skipper and Chris Sorgatz strive to make a difference during the health crisis.
Sales join essential list, with push
Groups from NADA to Cars.com made the case that vehicles may have to be replaced, not just serviced, to keep critical services moving.
VIDEO: Taking action, giving back: 3 stories from the pandemic
Maine dealers transform their Toyota lot into a graduation stage. A Hyundai store adds a drive-through food pantry. And a Honda employee recycles a bus shelter to fight hunger. How creativity and quick action amid the pandemic are making a big impact on communities.
Hyundai directs money toward testing centers
The South Korean automaker has donated $4.4 million and 65,000 COVID-19 tests so far.
For Toyota dealers, projects range from food to graduation
Toyota Motor Corp., and Toyota dealers rallied together to fight COVID-19 across the country.
Mitsubishi switches from parts delivery to groceries in Mexico
With help from DHL, the Japanese automaker leveraged its distribution system to handle 1,000 food packages.
PODCAST: A Call to Action Ep. 3 | Giving Back, Paying Forward
Learn how the Do Good Auto Coalition is using data science to be sure donations are reaching the people who need them most.
From service lane to food aid
Feeding those is need is a mission of Premier Automotive Group. It turned service lanes at an old dealership into a distribution site for the Food Pantry of New Orleans, and in California, a drive-through food bank has cars lining up by the hundreds.
Dealer helps feed residents and creatures great, small
The Jones Junction dealership group provides meals for the community and store credits to feed shelter animals.
Dealers association in New York goes distance to get gear to virus's epicenter
As the virus raged and personal protective equipment seemed scarce in New York City, the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association managed to collect 650,000 face masks and 20,000 face shields for local community groups.
Toyota USA Foundation refocused to fight hunger need
The charitable arm of Toyota Motor North America had championed STEM education in the U.S., but recognized that the more basic need of food assistance had quickly become a priority after COVID-19 struck.
Help from within for auto recyclers, F&I managers
Two industry groups, the Automotive Recyclers Association and a coalition of finance-and-insurance product companies, established COVID-19 relief fundraising efforts to offer support to their communities considered essential during the pandemic.
PHOTO GALLERY: Helping hands
The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for food, cash, medical supplies, personal protective equipment and much more. Auto companies, employees, suppliers and dealers went to work to make them available.
The Power Of One
Individuals who have made a lasting difference in the lives of others
Freudenberg engineers add comfort to protective gear
Workers at the sealing company's plants in Ohio and Georgia devised efficient ways to make wearing masks easier on the ears.
Pilot takes off on mission to deliver PPE
Indiana's Mursix teamed up with a Detroit-area flight instructor to get vital PPE to hospitals quickly.
Reduced schedule turns into a time to 'pay it forward'
Service adviser Eddie Cabrera helped raise funds and served meals to thousands of residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic in his suburban Los Angeles community.
VIDEO: Decisive dealers aid front-line workers during pandemic
Disinfectant services for emergency vehicles, free oil changes for health care workers and lunches for nurses and doctors. How U.S. dealerships moved quickly to help those on the front lines of the coronavirus fight.
With plant idled, couple's headbands provide comfort
One Subaru of Indiana Automotive employee, along with his wife, decided to make and distribute headbands for face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New ways for charitable dealer to give back
Upstate New York dealer Bob Siracusano donated masks and money to the fight against COVID-19 in his community.
Chemicals maker pivots to sanitizer
As the severity of the pandemic became apparent in March, Amanda Richie got a desperate message from friends who were physicians at the University of Michigan. Medical supplies were running low.
PODCAST: A Call to Action Ep. 4 | The Power of One
Kristina Karschnia, a 25-year Ford veteran, led a team of workers that hand-made 19 million face shields for first responders.
Parts go from a basement to front lines
Mike Mansfield, a worker at Denso in Guelph, Ontario, produced parts for hundreds of face shields from home.
Service adviser becomes a lifeline
Thomas Cocuzzo, service adviser at Lexus of Watertown, picked up groceries and prescriptions for one of his customers who was diagnosed with cancer.
Fla. dealership group leader expands community mission
When Schumacher Automotive Group in Florida had to furlough employees in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, the group made sure those employees would be taken care of. Since then, the dealership group has taken the entire local community under its wing.
Ex-auto executive answers UK call to service
Former JLR and BMW exec Dick Elsy marshaled a coalition of private companies to expand ventilator production in the U.K. to help with soaring COVID-19 cases.
Adient engineers answer call for more comfortable PPE
Additive manufacturing engineers 3D-print clips that help hospital workers work more comfortably.
Lessons learned from the great recession help Dimenson Control Systems through the pandemic
Software company CEO offers full-time jobs to contract workers to help them weather the crisis.
PHOTO GALLERY: Acts of giving
A stitch here, a tip there. People from throughout the automotive industry, in the U.S. and globally, are finding big and small ways to help make life better during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Our Archives
As coronavirus spreads, dealers stay open for business
Dealers, facing a massive headwind in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, are finding ways to serve their customers. -- March 16, 2020
Kia may produce face masks at Yancheng factory to fight coronavirus
Kia Motors Corp. is considering making face masks at its Chinese factory to help battle the spread of the coronavirus, a spokesman said. -- March 26, 2020
Canadian suppliers team up to help produce ventilators
Magna, Linamar and Martinrea have agreed to assist in the production of much-needed ventilators during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. They'll work with a trio of medical suppliers. -- March 27, 2020
Aid goes from dealerships to front-line workers
Island Auto Group is among a number of dealerships across the country providing essential workers vehicles during the pandemic. It's one of many ways dealers are stepping up to help their communities. -- April 26, 2020
Five coronavirus mobility innovations attract Michigan grants
The companies that qualified for the grants are developing a variety of products to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, such as portable vinyl partitions that separate vehicle occupants. -- May 27, 2020
Group's loan program helps employees in pandemic
A New Hampshire dealership group has enhanced its employee loan program to help workers with unexpected expenses. -- June 29, 2020
Sheehy Auto donations grow during pandemic
Even though the Virginia dealership group's sales dropped off with the pandemic, Sheehy Toyota's Fredicksburg store has spent about $30,000 on food, school equipment and summer camp for children. -- July 05, 2020