Volkswagen, Kia Offer Help During Pandemic

Volkswagen, Kia, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi, Carvana and TrueCar are among the automotive brands rolling out initiatives in reaction to COVID-19.

Volkswagen of America is launching a program to make 7,000 vehicles available for community help via its 600 dealers nationwide.

A “dealer response team” can be called upon for tasks such as delivering food to a local food bank, transporting masks and gowns to an area of critical need, or dropping off necessary items to someone unable to leave their home -- all at no cost to the group or person making the request. 

Only dealership employees will be permitted to drive the vehicles. VW corporate will offer dealers a daily stipend per vehicle to cover fuel and lease costs. All transport requests are subject to dealership approval and availability.



VW lead agency Johannes Leonardo helped formulate the idea and created the decals on the cars. 

Kia Motor America is another automaker stepping up to aid those in need during the pandemic. 

As part of the automaker’s recently launched “Accelerate The Good Program,” the brand will make a total donation of $1 million to multiple nonprofit partners that assist homeless youth nationwide.

This is the brand’s second seven-figure donation in 2020 to nonprofits dedicated to ending youth homelessness. The first came when it launched the “Yards Against Homelessness” initiative during the Super Bowl.

Created by Kia’s AOR David & Goliath, "Fighting Chance" emphasizes the current plight of homeless youth. It opens with a voiceover posing the  question: “How do you shelter in place when your home is the sidewalk?” 

The film shows the story of a young homeless boy as he takes us on a journey along the tough streets he lives on. Finally, as it announces the $1 million donation, the film makes a final plea to viewers: “...we’re all in this together. And everyone deserves a fighting chance.”

D&G and Kia made the decision not to include any vehicles in this message and instead focus on the very real struggle of an already challenged group facing worse challenges.

Other elements of the campaign include a 15-second cutdown and 6-second social media content, as well as online banners and social posts.

Some initiatives are geared toward helping consumers crack a smile in an otherwise somber time.

Audi, Jaguar and Land Rover are offering photos that can be used as videoconferencing backgrounds for virtual meeting services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. New images will be released periodically on Audi Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

Meanwhile, Carvana is launching a spot highlighting a promotion themed “We’re All in This Together.” The spot, created in-house, highlights some of the key features of buying a used car through Carvana, including safety and financial reassurance. The used car company is allowing new customers 90 days to make the first payment. 

"We understand that not everyone is in the market for a car right now, but we also know that many customers still need a safe, reliable way to get to essential jobs and places like the grocery store," Ryan Keeton, Carvana co-founder and chief brand officer, tells Marketing Daily. “We wanted consumers to know that we provide a shopping experience they can conduct entirely from home, safely, along with our new Touchless Delivery, keeping both our customers and employees safe.”

In support of the workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, TrueCar participated in #LightItBlue along with more than 150 venues around the country.  The TrueCar sign on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles was lit up in blue one day last week in solidarity with our nation's first responders. 

TrueCar also is offering a Buy From Home program, which enables consumers to handle all aspects of their vehicle purchase without going into the dealership. 

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