Coronavirus (COVID-19): Car industry rallies to key workers and NHS staff

  • The car industry assists the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Car companies offering free breakdown cover for key workers
  • Jaguar Land Rover donates 312 vehicles to emergency response organisations

Land Rover Defender in the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreading through the UK, individuals, companies and other organisations are offering to assist key workers and NHS staff.

Among those are car manufacturers, dealer groups and service providers, who are supplying resources or expertise to help fight the battle against the spread of the virus. A good example of that is Halfords offering free car health checks to NHS staff during the pandemic.

Car companies offering free breakdown cover to key workers

Key workers who find themselves driving at the moment shouldn't need to worry about their cars. They've already had it confirmed that MoTs have been extended for six months, but in a generous move, Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and DS Automobiles have extended its breakdown cover to stop all NHS staff who own one of these vehicles from worrying about their car leaving them stranded during the crisis. Nissan is offering a similarly-generous package, but is extending this cover to all key workers who own one of its cars, regardless of age, mileage and existing cover.

What these companies are offering is simple. If you're an NHS worker and own a Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen or DS, no matter how old or where it's been serviced, the company's comprehensive Roadside Assistance programme will be available to you should your car break down. Extend that for all key workers, and that's what you get from Nissan.

>> Read more: Vauxhall extends breakdown cover to all NHS staff
>> Read more: Nissan offers breakdown cover for key workers

Car companies donating vehicles

Jaguar and Land Rover now has 312 vehicles deployed globally to support emergency response organisations. Some 90 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles are supporting the Red Cross Societies and other frontline services in Australia, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, Belgium, Russia, Germany and The Netherlands. In addition, 164 vehicles have been supplied to the British Red Cross (above), including an additional 105 which will help provide practical support such as medicine and food deliveries, patient transport to those needing to get to and from hospital.

In addition, 14 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles being used by West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust to test staff isolating with Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

Meanwhile MG is providing up to 100 fully-electric MG ZS EVs to NHS agencies across the UK. The cars will be supplied via MG’s nationwide dealer network for up to six months, at no cost, to support the national effort to overcome COVID-19. The first six cars have already been supplied to Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Trust by MG dealer Chorley Group.

MG ZS EV (2020) profile view

Volkswagen releases employees to assist with medical effort

Volkswagen is releasing employees with medical qualifications for up to 15 working days with full pay if they volunteer for work in the German public health service. The target group includes medical practitioners and paramedics of various categories as well as nursing and surgery personnel working for Volkswagen in Germany. In addition to people working in these areas for Volkswagen, suitably qualified employees will also be released if the need arises.

Volkswagen HR Board Member Gunnar Kilian said: 'The Board of Management has decided to release our employees with medical qualifications for supporting missions in the public health service in an unbureaucratic way without any loss of income for them.'

Nissan joins forces with Team Rubicon

Meanwhile, dealer group West Way has loaned two Nissan Navara pick-ups to Team Rubicon UK, a disaster response charity that has been asked by the government to coordinate the support being provided by former members of the armed forces during the COVID-19 crisis. It deploys highly-skilled veteran volunteers who use a military approach to help restore order during a crisis or natural disaster.

Westway Nissan hands over two Navaras to Team Rubicon UK