Auto briefs: Harvey relief, child seats, design space

A variety of efforts to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, a pledge to donate child seats to those in need, and a major expansion of a vehicle design studio were among the items promoted by automakers recently.

  • Several automakers have announced that they have contributed to relief efforts in Texas following the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey. Ford is pledging $3.5 million to disaster relief organizations, while Toyota is providing $3 million. Other donations include $200,000 from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, $150,000 each from Nissan and Volkswagen, and $100,000 each from Honda, Mazda, and Subaru. Automakers are also offering incentives such as payment relief for customers affected by the hurricane, discounts for first responders aiding in the relief efforts, and matches to employee donations.
  • In recognition of National Child Passenger Safety Week, Toyota is joining with the parenting website The Bump to provide car seats for those in need. Toyota has already partnered with the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center on a car seat safety program called "Buckle Up for Life." This program will donate a car seat for every baby registry created on its mobile app or on The Bump.
  • General Motors says it is in the final stage of a $1 billion upgrade of its Global Technical Center in Warren, Mich. The automaker recently announced that it will break ground next year on a 360,000-square-foot expansion of its GM Design studios, which will be built around the existing Design Dome Auditorium. GM began the Global Technical Center upgrades in May 2015.

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