Community Outreach

Ford commits over $500k to community assistance, delays new car loan payments for 90 days

Ford is committing to helping its customers and the community with a new series of donations and accommodations.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Earlier this week, Hyundai and Genesis announced vehicle loan forgiveness opportunities for buyers. Now, Ford is stepping up to the plate to help not just their customers, but the community where the company has its headquarters.

"Ford is committed to lending a hand to the people who rely on us," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. "The peace of mind of our Ford and Lincoln customers is our top priority as we work through the developments of this outbreak."

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Though the move is usually in relation to a natural disaster, Ford Credit is urging customers in the U.S. affected by Covid-19 who have purchased or leased vehicles through Ford Credit to contact Ford Credit to discuss options if they are having payment difficulty. In some instances, Ford Credit may be able to change a payment due day or delay a payment.

Customers are encouraged to access their Account Manager profile either online at accountmanager.ford.com or through the FordPass app; visit http://www.fordcreditsupport.com/ or call a special hotline – 1-800-723-4016 – to discuss options.

Additionally,Ford Credit is offering a program giving customers who buy new vehicles the option to delay their first payment for 90 days.

Turning to their local community, Ford's charitable arm, the Ford Fund, has directed more than $500,000 to help nonprofit groups in southeast Michigan and will support the delivery of food to senior citizens and children who don't have access to school means while schools are not in session.

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The two Ford Resource and Engagement Centers in Detroit are serving as drive-up food pantry distribution centers. Ford Fund also is supporting Detroit-area nonprofits that provide shelter to families and other at-risk people. In addition, Ford Fund is exploring how employee volunteers can assist nonprofits that are short-staffed.

In other parts of the U.S., Ford Fund is redirecting funds to support food programs for children no longer in school. It also is launching an emergency aid program with the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) to help students with financial difficulties at historically black colleges and universities get home following the sudden closure of some of these institutions.

"We are immediately targeting resources to ensure that the most vulnerable people are being cared for during this unprecedented situation," said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. "We appreciate all that our nonprofit partners are doing and will continue to work with them to address critical needs in our communities as the situation evolves."

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The Michelin VISION tire is the tire of the future for the company

Photo courtesy of Michelin

Sustainability is in focus for most of the world's automakers. Making cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that pollute the Earth less than their predecessors is their focus alongside emerging safety and driver assistance technology. Others in the auto industry supply chain are also looking to become more sustainable, including Michelin.

The tire company has announced that by 2050, Michelin tires will be made entirely from renewable, recycled, bio sourced, and otherwise sustainable materials. Today, nearly 30 percent of the materials used in manufacturing Michelin Group tires is are sustainable.

A study released last year, Emissions Analytics, an independent global testing and data company that studies real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles, found that pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than what comes out of a vehicle's exhaust pipe. Unlike exhaust pollution, tire and brake pollution is mostly unregulated.

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In 2017, Michelin introduced the VISION tire, a concept that is airless, connected, rechargeable, and entirely sustainable. Since then, the company has invested in recycling efforts, buying up rubber pellet recyclers in the State of Georgia and in Spain.

The current lineup of Michelin tires consists of products that contain more than 200 ingredients each. The main part of the equation is natural rubber, which is harvested from rubber trees via a process that requires tapping a tree much in the same way that maple syrup comes from maple trees. Rubber trees traditionally need to be at least six years old before they are harvested.

Other materials in Michelin tires include synthetic rubber, metal, fibers, and components that are designed to strengthen the tire's structure like carbon black, silica, and plasticizers.

In a statement, a spokesperson fro Michelin said, "Michelin's maturity in materials technology stems from the strength of its R&D capabilities, which are supported by 6,000 people working in seven research and development centers around the world and mastering 350 areas of expertise. The commitment of these engineers, researchers, chemists and developers has led to the filing of 10,000 patents covering tyre design and manufacturing. They work hard every day to find the recipes that will improve tyre safety, durability, ride and other performance features, while helping to make them 100-percent sustainable by 2050."

Michelin has partnered with a number of companies to create materials of the future. Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles, the two companies that are spearheading the BioButterfly project, have been working with Michelin since 2019 on producing bio-sourced butadiene to replace petroleum-based butadiene. Using the biomass from wood, rice husks, leaves, corn stalk, and other plant waste, 4.2 million tons of wood chips could be incorporated into Michelin tires every year with the materials replacement.

A partnership between Michelin and Pyroware can produce recycled styrene from plastics found in packaging. Styrene is used to produce synthetic rubber. Eventually, tens of thousands of tonnes of polystyrene waste could be recycled back into its original products as well as into Michelin tires every year.

Additionally, Michelin will launch the construction of its first tire recycling plant in the world with Encivo, a Swedish company that has developed a patented technology to recover carbon black, pyrolysis oil, steel, gas and other new, high-quality reusable materials from end-of-life tires.

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Ford Motor Company's financial services arm is offering relief to its customers.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Credit Company, the financial services arm of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has activated a disaster relief program to allow customers affected by the recent serve winter weather in Texas. The program allows certain qualifying customers impacted by Winter Storm Uri to be able to delay monthly payments.

"We care about our customers and understand many of them are going through a very difficult time right now," said Shannon Mokhiber, vice president, North America Business Center Operations. "We want to help and are offering them some time to recover."

The offer, which extends the deadline for up to two monthly payments, is available only to Ford Credit customers in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -declared disaster area who are leasing or have purchased vehicles with financing from Ford Credit or Lincoln Automotive Financial Services. Over 60 Texas counties were part of FEMA's recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

Pedestrians walk on along a snow-covered street on February 15, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Customers may initiate a payment deferral immediately using the Ford Credit Account Manager digital tool or may call this toll-free number: 1-800-723-4016. Customers in other areas who need help are encouraged to contact the company. The financial services company will send postcards and/or emails with information on how to request help to customers in the affected areas.

Nearly all Texans were at least somewhat impacted by the early February storm, which left left dozens of residents dead, millions without power, and nearly 15 million with water issues. "All 254 counties will have been impacted in some way by the freeze," Lee Loftis, director of government affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, told The Texas Tribune. "That is just unheard of."

Houstonians are also able to receive additional relief for disaster-related issues. The Harris County Appraisal District announced that Houstonians whose home saw at least 15 percent damage and who live in a disaster-declared area are entitled to a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property, according to CultureMap reporting.

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