TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota companies today announced
a $5,000,000 contribution directed to disaster relief for victims of Hurricane
Katrina, which struck a devastating blow to the US Gulf Coast on August 29.
"We're hopeful that aid may quickly reach those who fell victim to the
torrential wind and rain," said Toyota Motor Sales USA President and COO Jim
Press. "It's gratifying to be of some assistance during this difficult time."
Toyota companies have long supported the American Red Cross through
associate-giving programs and disaster-related contributions.
$2 million of the $3 million directed to the American Red Cross was
pledged by Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan, California-based Toyota Motor
Sales USA and Toyota Financial Services; New York-based Toyota Motor North
America; and Kentucky-based Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, which
includes 11 manufacturing plants in North America, with three more under
Texas-based Friedkin Companies, the owner of Gulf States Toyota, a
privately owned Toyota distributorship, contributed another $2 million to
establish the Friedkin Disaster Relief Fund. This fund will aid Toyota and
dealership employees and their families in the Gulf Sates region with both
immediate and long-term needs resulting from Hurricane Katrina.
Southeast Toyota Distributors, a privately owned Toyota distributorship,
its parent company JM Family Enterprises, and its associates pledged another
$1,000,000 to the American Red Cross.
In addition to Toyota's contribution, Toyota Financial Services and Lexus
Financial Services will assist finance and lease customers affected by
Hurricane Katrina by offering a 90-day extension on payments, suspending
credit bureau reporting on accounts impacted by the storm and temporarily
suspending collection efforts on these accounts. Customers wishing to request
assistance or discuss their accounts should call 1-800-874-8822.
Similarly, Lexus Pursuits Visa(R) Card customers will also receive an
extension on payments and may call 1-866-877-4966 to seek a credit line
increase or further assistance.
To stimulate further giving, employee contributions to the American Red
Cross will be fully matched by Toyota Motor Sales USA, Toyota Financial
Services, Toyota Motor North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America
and Toyota Technical Center. Additionally, employee contributions to the
Salvation Army will be fully matched by Toyota Technical Center, while
employee contributions to the Friedkin Disaster Relief Fund will be fully
matched by Toyota Motor Sales and Toyota Financial Services.
Toyota established operations in the US in 1957 and currently operates
eight US manufacturing plants, with two more under construction. There are
over 1400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships located in 50 US states.
Selling over 2 million vehicles in the US in 2004, Toyota has a direct US
investment of over $13 billion and direct US employment of over 30,000.
Together with its dealers and suppliers, Toyota is responsible for creating
more than 200,000 US jobs.
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SOURCE Toyota Companies