Coronavirus & COVID-19 Automotive News: Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Bullard & Toyota

In coronavirus COVID-19 automotive news are Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Bullard and Toyota.

Ford Totals Over $1.1 Million for COVID-19 Relief

Ford Motor Company Fund announced Ford employees, and others contributed $1,133,447 million to COVID-19 related relief efforts around the world, surpassing its goal.

The COVID-19 Donation Match Program was established in April to provide Ford employees, their families and friends a way to help fight the growing pandemic that kept them at home and unable to volunteer in traditional ways.

“Giving back is one of Ford’s key values and that is most exemplified in our employees,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “We received so many requests from employees asking how they could help in the early days of the pandemic. The donation match program provided a meaningful way for employees to join the fight against COVID-19 – even at a time they could not physically be there to pitch in and help make a difference.”

Through the match program, 47 nonprofits and community groups in 20 countries and 14 U.S. states received funds donated by Ford employees and others that were then matched by $500,000 from the Ford Fund and personal contributions from Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

The donation match supported community projects in markets with significant coronavirus-related needs and a substantial number of Ford employees. Nearly one-third — 29% — of the funds went to hunger relief efforts. The next highest share, 24%, was earmarked for projects that met a blend of basic human needs – food, shelter and clothing. Educational efforts received 19% of the funds. Remaining donations supported health-related projects, along with efforts to keep arts programs alive virtually and preserve jobs at institutions that provide historical and cultural education.

“This pandemic has impacted every aspect of our daily life and put many nonprofit organizations at risk of being unable to serve their communities,” said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Thanks to the generosity of our employees and others, we were able to support a wide range of projects around the world and continue the critically important work these nonprofits are doing.”

The program was administered by GlobalGiving, Ford’s longtime disaster relief and global grant-making partner.

Below is a sample of how nonprofits around the world used donations to make an impact in their own communities.

In Brazil, Obras Sociais Irmã Dulce fed nearly 1,200 families for a month and delivered nearly 20,000 lunches to homeless citizens.

In Ontario, Canada, the David McAntony Gibson Foundation distributed 35,000 hygiene kits; 150,000 kg (330,700 lbs) of dried food; as well as 26,000 “thank you” gifts to frontline workers who are caring for the most vulnerable in their communities.

In England, St. Mungo’s supported the transition of more than 2,700 homeless individuals off the streets or out of emergency shelters into individual hotel rooms. Their trained outreach teams also provided a full assessment of each individual, and delivered food and other essential supplies based on specific needs.

In Tamilnadu, India, the Indian Association for the Blind provided financial support to more than 250 families with visually challenged members to help pay for groceries, medications and rent.

In Italy, Mission Bambini helped more than 600 low-income families transition their young children to online learning during strict quarantine orders. The donations helped provide electronic devices, technological training and emotional support.

In Mexico City, Fondo Unido Mexico collaborated with multiple nonprofits on more than 33 community projects that delivered food, personal hygiene kits, medical supplies and emergency kits to people in need. Additional projects addressed education-related needs, mental health and emergency relief assistance.  

In Craiova, Romania, Asociatia Club Rotary Craiova Probitas partnered with Ion Tiriac Foundation to purchase virus testing equipment and increase daily tests by 10-fold at the community hospital.

In Madrid, Spain, Apadrina La Ciencia provided financial support to laboratories making COVID-19 tests specifically for the elderly in nursing homes, resulting in the administration of more than 1,000 additional tests.

In South Africa, the Waqful Waqifin Foundation (Gift of the Givers) distributed food and cleaning supplies to low-income residents while testing people in triage tents erected at key hospitals. In total, more than 180 hospitals and clinics were served, and 120,000 food boxes were delivered to families across the country.

In Taiwan, Teach for Taiwan purchased electronic tablets for school children maintaining their classes online.

In Istanbul, Turkey, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty Foundation provided masks, ventilators and lifesaving medical supplies for its COVID-19 intensive care units. They also provided essential supplies to healthcare workers in one of the country’s oldest and largest teaching hospitals supporting 3,500 medical students.

In Vietnam, Centre of Live and Learn for Environment and Community provided meals and face masks to 80 classrooms of visually impaired students in Ha Noi. In Hoan Kiem, 120 families in were given food baskets, face masks and supermarket gift cards. In addition, four tons of rice were donated to Ho Chi Minh residents, and 150 students of Ho Chi Minh University of Technology were given 2,250 meals and SIM cards.

Fourteen nonprofits across the United States also received donations. Among them:

  • The Detroit-based United Way for Southeastern Michigan awarded 580 grants to local nonprofit agencies, childcare facilities and community centers.
  • The Pope Francis Center, a Detroit homeless shelter, used its donations to continue providing meals, showers and clothing to homeless people.
  • In Ann Arbor, Mich., The Ark folk music club created “The Ark Family Room Series” – livestream programming that features four to five performances a week, provides income for musicians and a way for international audiences to participate in the experience. The Ark is also pursuing virtual youth and educational programs and expanded social media outreach, keeping people connected to music and each other.
  • The Greater Cleveland (Ohio) Food Bank delivered more than 20 million pounds of food to 800 community organizations that distribute meals to families.
  • In Olympia, Wash., the Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington received a grant to remain open under state COVID-19 restriction guidelines and provide essential childcare services. In San Clemente, Calif., the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast Area delivered nearly 25,000 meals and home activity kits to low-income families during stay-at-home restrictions.
  • In Northern California, Volunteers for Interamerican Development Assistance (VIDA) provided hospitals in California with medical equipment such as hospitals beds, gurneys, IV supplies and surgical gowns. They also provided assistance in Latin American countries and sent 74 pallets of personal protection equipment and medical supplies to countries throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America, as well as 20 pallets to China. In addition, its U.S. arm outfitted 200 U.S. medical professionals traveling to the Philippines to address respiratory issues.

The COVID-19 Donation Match program is one example of how Ford Fund is providing critical assistance to local communities coping with pandemic-related issues. To date, Ford Fund has invested nearly $3 million to support nonprofits in their efforts to address hunger, shelter, mobility and other urgent needs throughout Southeast Michigan, across the United States and around the world.

Hyundai LA Heroes’ Fleet

Hyundai Motor Group is continuing its global fight against COVID-19 in the City of Los Angeles by providing eco-friendly transportation to frontline personnel through its mobility service venture, MoceanLab.

Under the ‘LA Heroes Fleet’ program, MoceanLab is working with local organizations to assist in their community outreach by providing low-emission hybrid vehicles from Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation. The fleets will undergo a thorough sanitation process to ensure the health and safety of the frontline personnel that use the vehicles, including frequent cleaning with anti-viral solutions and other safety measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We recognized the critical need for safe and hygienic transportation during the pandemic, and wanted to offer an innovative mobility solution, particularly for frontline workers,” said Kyounglim Yun, Executive Vice President and Head of Open Innovation Strategy Division of Hyundai Motor Group. “We are pleased that MoceanLab’s ‘LA Heroes Fleet’ is contributing to the city’s fight against COVID-19, and we will continue to work closely with the City of Los Angeles to find more opportunities to make a positive impact in the region.”

MoceanLab will work with the Keck School of Medicine of USC to care for the city’s unsheltered homeless population amid the pandemic. Hyundai and Kia’s hybrid vehicles will be provided for full-time use by the renowned Street Medicine Team as they travel to serve homeless residents where they reside, away from conventional treatment settings. The program is expected to enable the Street Medicine Team to better serve the city’s most vulnerable and hard-to-reach residents for a full spectrum of services, including COVID-19 tests.

MoceanLab also provided Hyundai and Kia’s eco-friendly vehicles to South LA Cafe & Market, a local business that has been working with the City of Los Angeles to serve in-need community members during the pandemic. The vehicles will be used to deliver food to seniors and other at-risk residents, enabling them to remain safe and indoors during the pandemic. The vehicles will also be used to deliver healthy grocery boxes to COVID-19 testing sites, non-profit organizations, and residents in need of fresh food options.

“This program with MoceanLab will expand the transformative power of USC’s Street Medicine Team and have a profound impact on residents in need who deserve this excellent, humane medical care,” said Aaron Gross, Chief Resilience Officer at City of Los Angeles. “Addressing the challenge of chronic homelessness is an urgent priority in communities throughout Los Angeles, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic slowdown place new burdens on families and individuals.”

Established in November 2019 by Hyundai Motor Group, MoceanLab is offering mobility services in Los Angeles with a commitment to create innovative mobility solutions that benefit residents and communities. Earlier this year, the company launched its first car sharing service, Mocean Carshare, in Downtown L.A., allowing drivers to quickly and easily rent a low-emission hybrid electric car and return it anywhere downtown. The company aims to transition the fleet to fully electric vehicles with a gradual expansion of Hyundai and Kia’s vehicles.

Kia Accelerates Good

Kia Motors continues to “Accelerate The Good” through the donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and medical facilities nationwide. This week, the Kia “Telluriders” delivered face shields to the Kheir Clinic in Los Angeles. The deliveries are part of Kia’s Accelerate The Good initiatives, which includes ongoing face shield donations to medical facilities not only throughout Southern California, but also to facilities throughout Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. The face shields are assembled at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point and the brand will donate more than 500,000 face shields nationwide to help in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, Kia donated $1 million to non-profit partners that assist America’s homeless youth population.

Bullard and  Toyota PPE

Producing high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE) is a point of pride and passion to the team at Bullard – a fifth-generation safety equipment manufacturer located in Kentucky. Now, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic – it’s downright personal. From team leader and cancer survivor Danny Barnett whose daughter has lung issues, to 33-year employee Brenda Hall whose daughter is a nurse caring for patients with coronavirus – every team member knows their work is impacting the world in a very serious way.

“With every single unit we make, I imagine my doctors, nurses and others on the frontline needing them to do their job,” Barnett said. “We know we are doing our part to save lives and protect families, communities and people around the world in this battle against COVID.”

With demand of its healthcare-related products skyrocketing, Bullard teamed up with Toyota to increase production in warp speed. Shortages of faceshields, respirators and hoods – all critical to caring for patients with COVID-19 – led to increases in demand for Bullard’s products reaching as much as 30-times normal orders. Doing nothing to meet the high demand was not an option.

“We are very grateful for the partnership with Toyota and proud of what we have accomplished together,” said Wells Bullard, CEO of Bullard, who is the great-great granddaughter of the founder, Edward Dickinson Bullard. “We are driven every single day to advance human safety and it was incredible to see that Toyota shares that same mission.”

Toyota reached out, offering help to Bullard in whatever way it could – free of charge. That offer turned into Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) working with Bullard team members to apply the Toyota Production System (TPS) in those areas of greatest need.

“Considering the urgent need to supply medical gear to caregivers on the frontlines of the fight against COVID, we were very eager to share our know-how to help increase output as fast as possible,” said Jamie Bonini, vice president, TSSC.

“TSSC has been sharing TPS outside Toyota since 1992. This is a natural extension and speaks right to our mission of making a positive impact on society.”

For all three products (faceshields, respirators and hoods), work was broken down from one person making units in batches, to multiple people each having a small part of creating the product. Units are now made one-by-one, in a continuous flow. In other words, completed products come off the line every couple minutes, versus not having a completed product until the middle of a shift. This means Bullard is getting the necessary products to healthcare workers quicker and in higher quantities.

Faceshields

There was a huge increase in demand for faceshields and the previous batch method just wasn’t producing enough to meet the growing demands. To increase production, Bullard added employees to the area and created two new continuous flow lines, quadrupling production in just a few days. This new method led to a 700-percent increase in production between March and April.

Respirators

Creating the continuous flow line in respirators led to quick results. Toyota engineers from the Production Engineering Headquarters just down the road in Georgetown, Ky., stepped in to help with the bottleneck – a calibration machine. The machine cuts the time in half needed for calibration and automates the process so employees can work on another step while the respirator calibrates. The result was more respirators being made in April than in all of 2019.

Bullard doubled production capacity for respirators and significantly reduced the time from when a customer placed the order to when that order was shipped. Initial improvements cut that time in half; the addition of the automated calibration machine made deliveries 85-percent faster.

Hoods

Bullard mobilized workers to create a new sewing line for its hoods – which are used in conjunction with a respirator. While it’s difficult to find experienced sewers to build a hood from start to finish, breaking the process down into multiple steps meant these new employees could learn and master the process faster. These new sewers doubled production capacity for hoods, and they didn’t need to have any sewing experience.

“It’s our responsibility to respond to and support all the brave men and women on the frontlines of this pandemic,” Bullard said. “I’m proud of our team, not just for changing the way we do things to protect more workers, but for doing it while also putting in strict COVID-19 prevention protocols, including social distancing and mandatory face masks, to ensure their own health and safety.”

For Barnett, the partnership has been a blessing. “We know there’s a PPE shortage and we want healthcare workers to know we hear you and we’re working as fast as we can to get you more supplies.”

 

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