DaimlerChrysler Donates 100 Dodge Trucks and Needed Supplies, Continuing Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts
- Commitment to relief effort tops $4.4 million
- St. Louis and Detroit employee volunteers will drive Dodge Ram, Dakota and Durango convoy from St. Louis to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
- 100 Dodge trucks will be donated to State and Local Government agencies engaged in relief efforts along the Gulf Coast
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 12 -- "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is more than just a phrase to the Chrysler Group and its philanthropic arm, the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund. Although the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina could aptly be described as more than "tough," Chrysler Group will answer the call with a donation of 100 of its most powerful and capable vehicles -- the Dodge Ram, Durango and Dakota -- to help those in need.
"DaimlerChrysler has a tradition of making a difference in communities that have been damaged due to tragedy," said Frank Fountain, Chrysler Group Senior Vice President -- External Affairs and Public Policy, and President of the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund. "We are now identifying ways to utilize our Dodge trucks to go beyond the grounds of disaster areas and help rebuild neighborhoods and communities. Through this effort, we want to help ensure that the needs of the less fortunate are not forgotten." The 100 Dodge trucks will form a traveling convoy and depart Tuesday, Sept. 13 from St. Louis. The vehicle procession will consist of 10 Dodge Dakotas, 10 Dodge Durangos and 80 Dodge Rams. The Dodge trucks will be donated to governmental agencies along the Gulf Coast. Mississippi will receive 50 of the trucks, Louisiana 40, and 10 will be disbursed to Alabama. The 20 vehicles leading the caravan will be filled with needed aid items, including non-perishable food, water and tools, and delivered to local relief agencies.
"The support from DaimlerChrysler employees, retirees and dealers has been overwhelming," said Fountain. "Our Dodge truck donation allows DaimlerChrysler to continue to make a lasting difference to the Gulf Coast communities and to lend a hand as a good neighbor and good citizen."
United Auto Workers from Warren (Mich.) Truck Assembly Plant and other Chrysler Group employees will start the procession on Sunday, Sept. 11 driving 10 new Dodge Dakotas from the Detroit-area plant to St. Louis.
The vehicle donation is part of the $4.4 million in assistance provided by DaimlerChrysler to the American Red Cross and Gulf Coast communities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Additional Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts
In addition, the Company has geared up to assist in relief efforts in a number of ways, including:
-- DaimlerChrysler Aviation Services flew six DC-8 cargo airplanes to the Gulf Coast (Shreveport, La., and Bay St. Louis, Miss.) in support of Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts. The cargo included: hospital beds, water, food, medical supplies, generators and clothing. -- Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) worked with the Red Cross to convert part of the Mercedes-Benz Training Institute (Tuscaloosa County, Ala.) into a temporary emergency shelter. Since opening, more than 400 people have used its services, which include food, showers, washers, dryers, telephones and computer services. Through on-site Red Cross assistance, individuals are receiving vouchers for gas, food, housing assistance, medical support and help enrolling children in local schools. -- DaimlerChrysler Services will launch a special finance-rate assistance program for victims affected by Hurricane Katrina, including a 120-day payment deferral for current lessees. This is in addition to the current customer relief efforts previously announced.
DaimlerChrysler Services also has created dedicated customer service representatives specifically for Hurricane Katrina victims -- Chrysler Financial (800) 556-8172; Mercedes-Benz Credit at (800) 654-6222.
The DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund is the primary source of charitable grants made by DaimlerChrysler Corporation. Now in its 53rd year, the Fund annually supports hundreds of charitable organizations throughout the United States and, increasingly, around the world.