• Assistance in replacing storm-damaged vehicles
  • New-car offers and payment concessions for those in disaster areas
  • Contributions to the American Red Cross and relief efforts

More than a dozen automakers have stepped up to help those in the Northeast impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The earliest announcements of assistance were aimed squarely at the relief effort--vehicles and cash donations from automakers to organizations like the American Red Cross. But now several manufacturers have introduced special post-Hurricane Sandy car deals for those who need to replace storm-damaged vehicles. Automakers are also offering special financing assistance for existing customers in affected areas.

The storm that landed in New Jersey late last month destroyed thousands of buildings and, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, about a quarter of a million vehicles. Nissan and Infiniti were the first to offer reduced pricing for owners of vehicles lost to the storm. Both also offered payment extensions to customers in areas affected by the storm. Other automakers quickly followed suit.

Like Nissan, Volvo offered its special employee pricing but did so to every customer in the affected areas, not just to those whose vehicles were ruined. Other automakers are offering cash discounts. Mazda, Chrysler, General Motors and Ford are all offering discounts of $500. Hyundai is offering a $750 discount. Most deals are available to those in disaster areas, and most last through the end of the year, but details vary by manufacturer.

Several more automakers are extending help to their lease and finance customers in disaster areas. Mazda, BMW, Honda, Toyota and Ford are all extending more favorable terms. Again, details vary. But most of these programs include assistance like waived late fees and deferred payments.

Automakers' direct contributions to organizations like the American Red Cross continue to grow. Ford donated $50,000 to the relief group, and Mazda and Chrysler pitched in $100,000 each. Chrysler also provided 20 vehicles to the Red Cross. GM contributed $250,000 to the Red Cross and also provided 50 vehicles to assist in the cleanup. Volkswagen, Hyundai and Kia each contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross, and two heavy-hitters--Toyota and BMW--posted donations of $1 million each.

One small automaker offered the most unique Hurricane Sandy car deal, and it raised a handsome sum for the American Red Cross in the process: Ferrari auctioned the first of its F12 sports cars in the U.S. for Sandy relief. It sold for more than $1.1 million, and Ferrari rounded up another $400,000 in donations to go with it.

Of course, the more mainstream automakers are better poised to help out those in need as a result of the storm. Inquire about any Sandy-related offers if you need to replace your car or if you have trouble making payments in the wake of the storm.

What it means to you: For those in Hurricane Sandy disaster areas, help is available from several major automakers. Some are willing to waive late payments, while others are offering special deals on new vehicles. Many are also contributing to the Red Cross.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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