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Car-makers offer more bushfire help

Give generously: Red Cross's bushfire appeal has benefitted from auto industry generosity.

Cash and vehicles continue to roll in as Victoria counts the cost of the fires

16 Feb 2009

THE car industry has increased its support for the bushfire relief effort, with new donations offered by Mitsubishi, GM Holden and Hyundai/Kia group from Korea.

By the middle of last week, local manufacturers and importers had donated more than $1 million in cash and offered more than 100 vehicles on extended loans.

Now Hyundai/Kia group has donated $300,000 in cash while Mitsubishi and its dealers have also dug deep, adding $100,000 to the pool for distribution to survivors of the bushfires.

Audi, which has a strong relationship with the Melbourne City Council, has also made a “significant” contribution through the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, including the donation of an A4 model, which is being auctioned by the foundation.

Meanwhile, GM Holden has augmented its original cash donation of $US100,000 ($A153,000) with the loan of 100 new vehicles.

The fleet, mainly comprising Commodores, Commodore utes and Colorados will be distributed by the Victorian State Government as it sees fit.

The loans will range from three months to a year. The increased assistance is a welcome relief to the mounting cost of the tragedy.

The death toll stands at more than 180 and more than 1800 houses have been destroyed, although authorities have yet to conclude their examination of all the devastated communities.

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