Latest COVID-19 Coronavirus Automotive News: VW, Porsche, Nissan, Hyundai & Drive-Through Testing

In Coronavirus COVID-19 automotive news are VW, Porsche, Hyundai, FCA, Facedrive and Nissan.

Paid Leave to Help Those in Need by VW

Volkswagen AG is releasing employees with medical qualifications for up to 15 working days with full pay if they volunteer for work in the public health service. The target group includes medical practitioners and paramedics of various categories as well as nursing and surgery personnel working at the German facilities of Volkswagen AG. In addition to people working in these areas for Volkswagen, employees with appropriate qualifications who work as paramedics on a voluntary basis, for example, will also be released if the need arises.

Volkswagen HR Board Member Gunnar Kilian says: “Employees in hospitals, surgeries and the emergency services are performing an outstanding service to society as a whole in the fight against corona. They urgently need our full support and solidarity. This also includes personnel support. For this reason, the Board of Management has decided to release our employees with medical qualifications for supporting missions in the public health service in an unbureaucratic way without any loss of income for them.”

With this arrangement, Volkswagen is also responding to the wishes of employees to put their medical qualifications to use for the common good. From the point of view of Volkswagen, employees with medical training could serve in a variety of functions in accident and emergency departments and the emergency services or provide support with hotlines or the taking of samples.

Porsche Offers Assistance

Porsche is stepping up its corporate social responsibility in response to the coronavirus pandemic: after stopping production on 21 March for an initial period of two weeks, the sports car manufacturer is also redirecting resources to help those in need

“Porsche already supports a large number of charitable initiatives and we are significantly extending this commitment during the coronavirus crisis. There are people who urgently need help and we are concentrating on providing humanitarian aid,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. “We can overcome the pandemic only if we work together and show solidarity.”

The Executive Board of Porsche AG is working intensively on concrete measures that will enable the company to provide support. Six fields of action have been identified:

  • Deployment of specialist staff such as medically experienced personnel or IT experts, as well as support for Porsche employees carrying out voluntary work
  • Assistance with technical materials and supplies, such as procurement of personal protective equipment
  • Food donations to charitable organizations
  • Vehicles and logistics operations in the event of specific supply bottlenecks and transport needs
  • Use of the Porsche media presence to assist in the communication of appeals and important messaging etc.
  • Donations and grants for organizations from whom we have already learned that there is a need for support

Direct lines of communication with the authorities are in place so that Porsche AG can provide help where it is needed.

Taking care of each other and shouldering our share of the responsibilities – just like in a family: these are the core values of the Porsche culture and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are in greater demand than ever.

In addition to the initial two-week pause in production, there is also a ban on business travel at Porsche. Instead, mobile working has significantly increased and meetings now take place by video or telephone conference only.

Insurance Delivered for Deliveries

With states enacting restaurant seating restrictions and stay-at-home orders to help deter the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Farmers Insurance announced today it is temporarily modifying its Farmers®-branded personal automobile and motorcycle insurance policies to provide applicable coverage for claims arising from the use of these vehicles for delivery of food, groceries, pharmacy and medical supplies, where they are not otherwise covered. Customers will not receive an additional charge for this temporary additional coverage.

While coverage for delivery services is traditionally excluded from standard automobile insurance policies, this temporary modification to Farmers-branded policies will help extend a customer’s existing personal auto and motorcycle insurance coverages to a delivery driver when using their personal automobile or motorcycle for the delivery of food, groceries, pharmacy and medical supplies.

The current voluntary extension of coverage will be in effect through April 30, 2020, for Farmers-branded policies. As the date approaches, Farmers may choose to extend the effective date of this modification. The applicable insurers will work with the various departments of insurance to implement these coverage extensions and modify implementation as requested by different states.

More Hope on Wheels COVID-19 Tests

Hyundai Hope On Wheels® (HHOW) and Hyundai Motor America announce expanding COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Centers to 11 children’s hospitals throughout the U.S. and grants totaling $2.2 million. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a particular threat to children with cancer, many who have compromised immune systems. The COVID-19 drive-thru testing centers provide a safe and efficient way for children who present risk factors to receive the care they need.

Hospitals receiving Hyundai COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing grants are:

  1. The Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s, Orange, CA
  2. UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s, Cleveland, OH
  3. Children’s National Hospital, Washington, D.C.
  4. Dana Farber/ Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  5. Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, WA
  6. Columbia Medical Center, New York, NY
  7. St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Tampa, FL
  8. Children’s Hospital of Colorado, Aurora, CO
  9. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  10. Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX
  11. University of Alabama Children’s, Birmingham, AL

More Group Offers More

In response to Governor Stitt’s executive order to close all nonessential businesses through April 21st, Bob Moore Auto Group has taken steps to continue providing essential automotive and collision services to individuals and businesses throughout the Greater Oklahoma City Area.

Mr. Mark Moore, President and CEO of the Bob Moore Auto Group states, “We’re focusing on keeping our service departments fully operational so that we can continue to serve the public. We’ve implemented additional health and safety protocols in order to keep our employees and customers as safe as possible.”

Throughout the duration of this emergency Bob Moore will offer priority service to all customers employed in critical industries such as health care, law enforcement, fire and safety, first responders, etc.

Bob Moore encourages all customers to visit in-store by appointment only and continue shopping using online resources.

LA Towing Keeps on Towing

Los Angeles Towing Service has announced their decision to remain operational during the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The management has taken this decision to help the Los Angeles county residents in these challenging times. The company is working 24/7 in order to respond quickly and efficiently for any kind of roadside assistance.

FCA Feeds & Protects

FCA is expanding its program of measures to support coronavirus relief efforts, focused on two principal areas: charities providing food services to children and support for a range of technical, logistical and manufacturing programs, such as face mask production.

“There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty,” said FCA CEO Mike Manley.

Food programs for children in our communities
FCA will work in partnership with non-profit organizations and foundations that are providing food to children until schools return to session. Starting immediately, FCA will help provide more than 1 million meals to school-age children in the communities around our principal manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The program will then be extended nationwide in the U.S. and to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.

Mobilizing company resources
Following the first actions taken to start face mask production, the company is now investing technical, logistical and manufacturing resources at medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). With the donation of face masks produced by the company starting in the coming weeks, the company will invest to extend that production capacity to other plants and ultimately donate masks to first responders and health care workers across the world. Drawing on experience from the company’s engineering and logistics team in Italy who are assisting a local ventilator manufacturer, FCA is engaged with other companies producing ventilators and other much needed medical equipment and PPE.////

Facedrive Expands

Facedrive, the first Canadian peer-to-peer, eco-friendly and socially responsible ride-sharing network, is pleased to announced global expansion plans, launching with new target cities in Canada and extending into the United States and Europe beginning in Q3 and Q4 of 2020.

Facedrive is working closely with cities, municipalities and universities across Canada to identify transportation gaps and offer solutions to bridge those gaps at a critical time for all amid the coronavirus pandemic. Facedrive will be looking to make similar efforts in the United States and Europe as it looks to expand in those regions.

“In line with Facedrive’s ‘people-and-planet first’ principles, which focus on both eco-friendly rides and a socially responsible business model that considers the welfare of communities, riders and drivers as equal stakeholders, we are furthering our expansion plans as a direct response to critical needs given the impact of COVID-19 and given the essential services ride-sharing can provide at this time,” said Facedrive CEO Sayan Navaratnam.

In this difficult time, Facedrive is in discussions with universities, municipalities and cities to bridge transportation gaps in a safe and convenient way to provide necessary transportation in a time of crisis, and its global expansion plans will have the post-COVID-19 environment in mind.

Facedrive’s recent acquisition of HiRide Share Ltd (“HiRide”), a socially responsible ride-sharing and car-pooling app which shares Facedrive’s principles, is of strategic significance in targeting the high-demand university and education markets with its completed AI engines, fully functional app and update releases in the pipeline. It increases our global expansion power several times, adding HiRide’s 20,000+ network of longer-distance commuter customers to Facedrive’s first- and last-mile ride-sharing platform.

The expansion of both companies into new cities and globally will be in tandem, and the HiRide acquisition will help Facedrive deliver end-to-end service to its users, with Facedrive acting as the first and last mile for longer-distance commuters using the HiRide car-pooling app.

“A safe transportation solution is critical at this time, and Facedrive is currently working with many cities amid the coronavirus pandemic to bridge critical transportation gaps as we press into additional cities and countries,” said Facedrive Chief of Operations Suman Pushparajah.

“Life after COVID-19 will be different, and eco-friendly and socially responsible ride-sharing, along with other major lifestyle changes, will emerge as solidified trends. Facedrive intends to be there, globally, to demonstrate how ride-sharing can put the people and planet first around the world in an economically feasible manner,” Pushparajah added.

Nissan Adjusts

Nissan announces that it will temporarily adjust production at three of its manufacturing facilities in Japan, due to decreased demand in the automobile market. This measure adds to efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and prioritizes the well-being of employees, their families, suppliers and society in general.

  • Oppama plant: Vehicle production will be suspended on April 3, 13, 24 and May 1
  • Tochigi plant: Vehicle production will be suspended from April 6 to 22 and May 1
  • Nissan Motor Kyushu:
  • Night-shift vehicle production will be suspended from April 2 to 30
  • Vehicle production will be suspended on May 1