Carmakers are rushing to extend helping hands to residents and car owners suffering from the deluge caused by continuous heavy rainfall in Central China’s Henan province.
Donations from companies including Nio, Geely and Mercedes-Benz have totaled over 150 million yuan ($23.21 million), with the list of companies still growing.
Local companies including SAIC Maxus and Sino-foreign joint ventures including FAW-Volkswagen and Dongfeng Peugeot are not donating money but are offering rescue services to those in need.
Chinese startups Nio, Xpeng and Li Auto were the quickest to respond. The three made their announcements on Wednesday afternoon, with a combined donation of 40 million yuan.
“The heavy rainfall and its damage caused in Zhengzhou and other parts of Henan concern every one of us. We would like to send our sympathies to them,” said Nio CEO William Li.
Other Chinese companies soon followed. In the late afternoon of Wednesday, BYD, Geely and Great Wall Motors made public their donations of money and disaster relief goods including drones.
The three leading private carmakers’ combined donation totaled 70 million yuan. BYD is opening all its dealerships in Zhengzhou, capital city of Henan province, to local residents for urgency needs.
Also on Wednesday, Mercedes-Benz announced a donation of 10 million yuan to Henan. The German premium car brand said it has also coordinated vehicles in neighboring provinces and cities to offer rescue services for its dealers and car owners in Henan.
State-owned Chery Automobile announced on Thursday morning that it will donate 35 million yuan to the rainfall-affected cities in Henan province.
Local Chinese companies including Changan, SAIC Maxus as well as joint ventures including FAW-Volkswagen and Dongfeng Peugeot are offering rescue services to local residents and car owners.
But Dongfeng Peugeot’s hotline staff said it was not aware of the move and had no rescue vehicles or food when it was contacted by locals on late Wednesday.
The Sino-French joint venture soon apologized on its Sina Weibo account for not being fully prepared. It said a contingent team and four dealerships in Zhengzhou are already in place, saving 106 vehicles stranded in water by the early morning of Thursday.