The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hurt many people, and automakers haven’t been immune to the damage, either. But automakers, just like regular people, have been able to do some things to help others out. Ford is one of those automakers that has been doing some extra things for the community.
What Ford has done so far
According to Ford, the automaker did a few things early in the pandemic to help support both local communities in Michigan as well as consumers from around the country. The Ford Fund will be donating up to $500,000 to charities that operate in southeast Michigan with the intent of providing food deliveries to senior citizens and children who’ve been affected by the pandemic.
On top of that, Ford mentioned that two Ford centers in Detroit will be operating as food delivery centers for the time being. Ford’s charity efforts aren’t isolated to Michigan, either. As Ford said, the Ford Fund will also work with the UNCF to help students at historically black colleges and universities go home if they’re not financially able to.
Ford has also done some things to help out its customers, too. Ford customers who financed their cars through the Ford Credit program can defer their first payment for 90 days.
Furthermore, through the “Built to Lend a Hand” program, Ford said that it will pay for the first three months and that, if necessary, customers can defer their payments for three more months. This program allows new customers to hold off on paying for a total of six months, according to Ford.
Ford gives more help for essential workers
Cars.com said that Ford will now also be offering a new program for essential workers through Ford’s FordPass app. All qualifying essential workers, which Cars.com said will include first responders, health professionals, grocery store workers, and many more, will get access to Ford’s “The Works” service for free at all participating Ford dealerships.
“The Works” is a service that provides customers with an oil change, a tire rotation, as well as a vehicle checkup. Essential workers will have to show some proof that they are an essential worker, and Cars.com said that this proof might be something like a name tag, a pay stub, or a business card.
Essential workers, which do include people who work at manufacturing plants, will have until June 30th to claim this offer. Once they claim it though, they can use it whenever they want.
Cars.com also said that Ford will give every FordPass user free access to Postmates Unlimited for a month. This means that any essential worker who signs up for FordPass and goes through the verification process can get “The Works” for free as well as a free month of Postmates Unlimited.
Hard times at Ford
While some free maintenance might not seem like much, it’s a good gesture from Ford. Plus, free maintenance isn’t anything to scoff at, as the maintenance fees for some cars can be pretty high. Additionally, a month of Postmates Unlimited is useful for essential workers and non-essential workers who just want to stay home and to stay safe, so that’s a good gesture, too.
That said, the elephant in the room is why Ford isn’t just increasing the pay of its workers. In short, Ford, like many other companies, is struggling during this pandemic, and that makes increasing salaries hard to do from a financial standpoint.
Furthermore, the safety of Ford’s workers is also a big concern, and those concerns may mean that Ford will have to shut down some plants temporarily for safety reasons. Those plant closures will cause Ford to lose more money, and that makes it even harder for Ford to increase salaries.