Motoring industry fights COVID-19 (part 1)

 

Throughout lockdown, members of the motoring industry did their part to relieve the pressure on consumers. These interventions and measures have been updated to meet the new risk adjustment strategy instituted by the government in April. These companies have the following procedures in place:

 

Ford Motors South Africa

Ford has awarded a South African student team from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) a grant as one of 14 Enactus teams globally. It was awarded through their COVID-19 College Challenge for their innovative community projects.

 

Student teams from a 37-country global network, submitted proposals on how they would address a specific COVID-19 related need in their community. The students from UKZN was selected as one of the winners for its innovative project, SmartGro.

 

This is a web-based smart-mobility technology solution that facilitates deliveries of essential goods such as food and medication to households within a 15km radius of the Durban central business district. Through SmartGro (www.smartgro.co.za), people can submit their list of essential items through the web-based app, which will also integrate WhatsApp and a call function. The SmartGro team then arranges delivery.

 

KIA

KIA Motors South Africa, a subsidiary of Motus Corporation, this week donated three KIA K2700 light commercial vehicles and three KIA Picanto STARTs to SANZAF to assist the organisation in delivering food and other welfare support services to vulnerable communities during the Covid-19 Lockdown. All three K2700 ‘bakkies’ will be equipped with lockable canopies sponsored by Beekman Canopies, another Motus subsidiary.

 

“When the need is overwhelming and urgent, the best way to approach the problem is through a well-coordinated plan and a network of committed people,” comments Gary Scott, CEO, KIA Motors South Africa. “It is through coordination, commitment and passion that SANZAF has achieved this, month after month, for the past 45 years. We are honoured to donate vehicles that will make this task easier.”

 

MasterDrive

As more businesses return to work, the next few weeks will be critical in ensuring infection rates do not soar and cause South Africa to return to level five lockdown.

 

In support of businesses returning to work, MasterDrive has developed a Covid-19 Training Course as a way for their clients to quickly provide essential drivers with this training at no cost. “We have developed the course to inform drivers on the prevention of COVID-19 during this critical time at no cost. It can be completed in less than an hour, tests what participants have learnt and a certificate of completion will be provided once your drivers have finished,” says managing director, Eugene Herbert.

 

Toyota

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is spending more than R10 million to assist the local taxi industry in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. The assistance comes in the form of more than 65 000 litres of sanitisers, 2 000 face masks as well as COVID-19-related marketing initiatives.

 

According to TSAM’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Leon Theron: “Toyota had already committed to these taxi support initiatives when the government introduced national lockdown regulations in March. We are pleased to have been able to flight, distribute and publish some of the marketing and educational material in the beginning of the lockdown when most South Africans were still coming to grips with what the Coronavirus is.”

 

With regards to sanitisers, TSAM confirms that a total of 2 000 x 25 litres, 3 000 x 5 litres, 20 000 x 100ml, as well as 2 000 hand-wash dispensers have been distributed to regional taxi structures across the country’s nine provinces.

 

Wesbank

FNB and WesBank have approved payment breaks on more than 500 000 credit agreements for nearly 150 000 individual and business customers since 1 April 2020. The relief includes payment breaks and/or credit insurance assistance in excess of R4.3 billion to help customers whose finances have been affected by COVID-19.

 

FNB Chief Executive, Jacques Celliers says: “Our approach is to offer qualifying customers a payment break by paying installments on their behalf for a period of three months. As a result, we have structured our assistance at prime interest rates to alleviate the financial burden and give customers the flexibility to repay the facility over flexible terms. Similarly, we continue to scale our support for businesses to help them manage the immediate impact of the lockdown. We will also support businesses beyond the lockdown through the COVID-19 Loan Scheme that was recently announced by the Government.”

 

Customers are encouraged to use digital channels to access most services, including assistance with COVID-19 relief. FNB customers can also use the Bank’s in-app messaging to request assistance with their day-to-day banking enquiries and WesBank customers can enquire via www.wesbank.co.za.

 

Volkswagen

To assist local and provincial government in providing much-needed care to Covid-19 patients in Nelson Mandela Bay, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has made its Port Elizabeth plant available as a temporary medical facility.

The plant in Neave (Korsten, Port Elizabeth), which is currently not in use, will be converted and used as an overflow medical facility. Once fully operational, the facility could accommodate up to 4 000 beds for patients diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus. This would also include high-acuity patients who require oxygenation.

 

There will be a number of contributors to the project both internationally and nationally. VWSA will contribute R28 million to the project. Additionally, VWSA will provide project management for the conversion of the facility and management of the procurement of the critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

 

Audi

All new Audi vehicles will be sold with the Audi Freeway Plan (AFP) which includes service and maintenance cover for the first five years and/or 100 000 kilometres (whichever occurs first). With an AFP extension, Audi vehicles are then covered for an extended period of up 10 years and/or 300 000 kilometres. As a further allowance to our customers during these uncertain times, Audi has increased their efforts of support within the AFP and AFP extension contracts.

 

The Audi Freeway Plan and Freeway Plan extension will continue its offering of peace-of-mind motoring by extending any contracts expiring between the period: 27 March – 30 June 2020 (both days inclusive), by including a complimentary and additional three months to the plan.

 

For any queries, please contact the Audi Customer Interaction Centre on 0860 434 838 or email: support@audiforum.co.za.

 

Next week we will cover more initiatives started by the motoring industry. If you would like us to feature your intervention, please contact us on editor@masterdrive.co.za

 

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