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Volkswagen offers vehicles for relief efforts in U.S. coronavirus-hit regions

German automaker Volkswagen stated on Monday its U.S. dealers would give cars for free delivery of essential supplies to people who need them during the coronavirus outbreak.

The automaker stated it had asked the dealers to use their loaner fleet – cars typically provided to customers to drive while their vehicles are in a shop for repairs – to pickup and deliver supplies in coronavirus-affected areas.

The loaner cars can be called upon for providing food to a local food bank, transporting masks and gowns, and dropping off essential items to those who are not able to leave their home, the company stated.

Volkswagen stated its dealers would not charge the group or person going for such a request.

“Only dealership workers will be allowed to drive the vehicles. Volkswagen corporate will offer dealers a daily stipend per vehicle to cover fuel and lease costs,” the automaker stated.

Volkswagen’s network of over 600 U.S. dealers maintains a loaner fleet of almost 7,000 vehicles, although some dealerships could be shut down or working with decreased personnel because of the state and local guidelines.

With auto showrooms shut during the coronavirus pandemic, competitors such as Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, earlier this month, moved to reboot demand with seven-year, no-interest loans and programs permitting consumers to purchase vehicles online.

About 614,180 people in the US have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 26,061 people in the country.

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