From Nov. 21, 2014 to Jan. 2, 2015, every time customers took a test drive at a Mazda dealership, they were helping their community. If they bought a Mazda vehicle, they were helping local and national charities.
The second year of Drive for Good by the Mazda North American Operations was a huge success, topping last year’s donations by 79.4 percent.
The way the program works is for every new Mazda vehicle purchased during this time period, Mazda donated $150 to one of four national, or 44 local charities, with the choice of the charity being left up to the customer. Customers who bought a vehicle during the program period still have until today to make their donation decision.
In addition to the monetary donation, Mazda also pledged an hour of charitable service for every test drive of a new Mazda vehicle taken during the Mazda Drive for Good event.
This year MNAO donated $4,937,850 and 66,000 charitable service hours.
“I love it when the big corporation gives back a little bit to a very worthy cause via somebody coming in (and) buying a car,” said Larry LeFever, owner of Northtowne Mazda at 5900 North Oak Trafficway, Kansas City.
“People like to know that they are not just rewarding themselves with a brand new car, but part of that purchase goes to some other good. I think it makes everybody feel good – the customer, the dealer that is selling the car and the factory that is building the car.”
The local charity for Northtowne Mazda was University of Kansas Medical Center. The four national charities are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, American Red Cross, American Heart Association and Mazda Foundation.
“We could not have asked for better results from this year’s Mazda Drive for Good event,” Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, said in a press release. “The growth seen in monetary donations and volunteer service hours are a welcomed increase. It allows Mazda’s employees, dealers and business partners to lend a helping hand and participate in constructive and engaging ways, helping their community throughout the year.”
Tom Hinken, sales manager at Northtowne Mazda, said the program worked well. The customers liked it because they knew they were doing some good while buying a car.
“It is an added bonus that they are able to make a difference by donating that money, knowing they can make that donation in their name for the charity they choose,” Hinken said.
As for Mazda vehicles, one to be on the lookout for this summer, said Hinken, is the 2016 Mazda CX-3.
“It will come in all-wheel drive,” Hinken said. “It is a smaller vehicle that is an SUV.”
The CX-3 made its debut last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The new CX-3 will come with a SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine.
The early price projection of the CX-3 is in the low $20,000.
If you have a story you would like to see in Making a Difference, email David Boyce at Drive@ksctar.com