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LOS ANGELES — Mazda’s $5 million program to offer free oil changes and enhanced vehicle cleaning for health care workers started with dealers helping first responders battle the coronavirus on their own, said Jeffrey Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations.
“What’s special about this program is that it was inspired by a few Mazda dealers implementing similar successful programs for health care workers locally,” Guyton said in an email exchange with Automotive News.
The free-service offer, which covers nearly all makes and models of vehicles and not just Mazdas, also has the virtue of supporting dealers at a time when many are struggling to maintain their business operations and keep as many employees as possible on the payroll.
“While the main focus of the Essential Car Care program is to honor the dedication of our health care heroes in the fight against COVID-19, I am very pleased it also keeps service staff employed and using their skills for a great cause,” Guyton said. “So far the enthusiasm around this program has been very encouraging, not just for health care workers but for the whole Mazda family.”
Mazda said the offer runs from April 16 to May 4. Guyton said the company is working with dealers on other ways to help once the program and its funding run out. He didn’t offer any specifics on possible follow-up programs.
Essential Car Care includes a standard oil change plus interior and exterior cleaning using EPA-approved cleaners, the automaker said. Eligible recipients include hospital workers, mental health providers, medical testing technicians, public health agency workers, telehealth providers and employees of blood banks.