As the holiday season comes to a close, chances are that your local auto dealership has been very active in giving back to your community and helping out those in need. According to a recent report, more than 70 percent of U.S. dealerships boosted their charitable giving in 2014; up from 65 percent last year. Many dealers already expect to increase their contributions in 2015.
Dealerships have long been involved in charitable giving; especially at the local level. In fact, close to 90% of dealers’ charitable contributions serve their own community. In the spirit of a neighborhood business that both serves and employs locals, many dealerships also organize staff volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
So just how much are dealerships giving? According to NADA and Ally’s Dealer Survey for 2014, nearly 50 percent of dealers gave more than $25,000 to nonprofit organizations and donated or provided vehicles worth $4.5 million for charitable causes.
The generosity of dealerships spreads across many causes, ranging from winter coat drives benefiting the Salvation Army, employment assistance for war veterans, to canned good donations for local food pantries. Even animals reap the benefit of local dealership charitable events. As a part of Subaru’s “Share the Love” Event, $250 is donated on behalf of each new vehicle owner. Owners can select from a number of charities, including local chapters of at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Meals on Wheels, and the Make-A-Wish® foundation.
As dealerships have grown and diversified, they have found more than monetary donations to share. By sharing their knowledge of project management and technological skills, many have made a lasting impact. In the last five years, Toyota USA has successfully applied the principles perfected in the TPS (Toyota Production System) to manufacturing improvements within charitable organizations. The Toyota System Support Center (TSSC) has been established to educate both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in Toyota’s own manufacturing and logistic concepts.
TPS concepts have most recently been utilized to improve the efficiency of event-based training for American Red Cross volunteers. TPS models of just-in-time delivery have led to efficiencies at the Greater Boston Food Bank.
In communities all over the U.S., dealerships are fixtures in their neighborhoods, selling cars to generations of loyal customers. What better way to thank customers than to provide for the community in amazing ways.
Image 1: TSSC Manager Wade Vincent (left) visits the Greater Boston Food Bank and discusses project progress with the warehouse’s director of operations (credit: toyotadriverseat.com)
Image 2: Subaru of Winchester, VA presented the local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) a donation of over $6,000 this year alone. (credit: subaruofwinchester.com)