With the situation still deteriorating in Japan, Daimler has announced that it is donating 50 new trucks to help out with disaster relief. The generous donation is being made to the Nippon Foundation and includes eight Mercedes-Benz Zetros trucks, four Unimogs, four G-Class SUVs and thirty Mitsubishi Fuso Canter trucks.
The latter are built by Daimler in Japan, and as such, will be easier to deliver, but the remaining 20 Mercedes trucks had to be airlifted from Germany to Japan by means of two Antonov 124 cargo planes – the largest serially-manufactured planes in the world (second only to its big brother, the Antonov 225, of which only one was ever built in order to transport the Russian space shuttle).
The donation amounts to approximately €4 million ($5.8M), and follows the €2 million ($2.9M) cash donation which Daimler sent shortly after the disaster struck. An additional initiative of the company's employees has already raised another half-million euros, which will be distributed via the Red Cross.
Daimler donates 50 vehicles to Japan
- Daimler provides trucks and off-road vehicles valued at about €4 million for rescue operations and reconstruction in Japan
- Vehicles to be handed over to the Nippon Foundation, a Japanese aid organization
- All-terrain passenger vehicles and trucks from Mercedes-Benz as well as Fuso trucks are ideal for clean-up operations in the devastated areas
- Fundraising effort of Daimler employees raises more than half a million Euro for Japan so far
Andreas Renschler, member of the Daimler AG Board of Management responsible for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses, said, "When we saw the images from Japan we immediately realized that we have to support the local population, our almost 13,000 employees in Japan, and the Japanese government as quickly as possible with heavy-duty equipment and other types of material assistance. We're happy that with these support measures we can help the people of Japan. The global presence of Daimler is an advantage for us here, because we can access the locally produced Fuso trucks at short notice, besides sending Mercedes-Benz trucks and G-Class vehicles to Japan."
Albert Kirchmann, CEO and President of Fuso and representative of the Daimler Group in Japan, commented, "As a globally operating company, we also feel at home in Japan, and we want to participate in the rescue and assistance measures following the devastating earthquake and the catastrophic tsunami. I'm proud that we will be able to hand over 50 urgently needed Mercedes-Benz and Fuso vehicles to the Japanese Nippon Foundation in such a short period of time. In this way we are helping to speed up the restoration of the infrastructure."
Takao Suzuki, Chairman of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), added: "Daimler and MFTBC have always maintained strong ties over the years and their German-Japanese collaboration has proven its worth. As we face one of our country's most difficult crises, we are glad that we have a partner like Daimler at our side, who can quickly and unbureaucratically provide us with know-how, financial support, and vehicles."
And Nicholas Speeks, Head of Mercedes-Benz Japan Co., Ltd (MBJ), said:
"Mercedes-Benz has a strong and lasting relationship with Japan and MBJ is a responsible member of this society. With deep respect and appreciation to the Japanese people who have supported us over the years, we are determined to overcome the difficulties together by doing whatever we can do to assist in the recovery effort." Further more Mercedes-Benz Japan and Mercedes-Benz Finance will contribute a part of their sales revenue to Japanese Red Cross.
Daimler believes that this situation calls for its expertise in transport mobility. That's why it's supporting the rescue operations by donating 50 Daimler vehicles from Fuso and Mercedes-Benz. The vehicles include eight Mercedes-Benz Zetros trucks, four Mercedes-Benz Unimogs, and eight Mercedes-Benz G-Class off-road vehicles. Thirty Fuso Canter trucks from Japan are also included. The vehicles will be serviced in Japan by the respective Mercedes-Benz and Fuso service workshops. The Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be freight forwarded tomorrow (April 13, 2011) at the Stuttgart Airport in two cargo aircraft type Antonov-124. All 50 vehicles will begin operating in this area in two weeks at the latest.
Thanks to their large payloads, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso vehicles are ideal for the distribution of aid materials and the support of clean-up operations. And because of their very high agility and good off-road performance the vehicles will be able to travel reliably to all locations.
The management, the General Works Council and the executives' committee of Daimler are together organizing a fundraising campaign in response to the willingness of employees to donate money for their Japanese colleagues and the Japanese people in general. So far more than 10,000 Daimler employees in Germany have participated and donated more than half a million Euro. The collected money goes to the German Red Cross, which will forward the donations to the Japanese Red Cross.