'Car firms should donate £5 to good causes every time they make a sale'

Car manufacturers should be more charitable, says Mike Rutherford

Opinion - Marcus Rutherford Foundation

Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer’s decision to form, fund and front his own foundation serving much-needed apprentices and apprenticeships is unusual and inspired.

Also doing their bit are lesser-known UK motor industry organisations such as Women on the Move Against Cancer (WOMAC) and BEN, which is part-funded by the UK automotive industry; both merit praise.

But why aren’t more leading car companies stepping up to the plate and publicly vowing to, for example, give a tiny percentage of their multi-billion-dollar profits to good, worthy, life-saving causes that are determined to spend their funds on the people who matter most: those with real problems, and in genuine need of help and support?

Advertisement - Article continues below

To be fair, in Britain at least, some car firms quietly show their generous side via corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes and other programmes. Jeep, for example, couldn’t help me enough (with vehicles, personnel, shipping costs etc) when I recently sent thousands of old books to Zambia and Botswana before helping to build the libraries that now house them.

Hyundai (Stand Up to Cancer), JLR (various charities), Mitsubishi (Wiltshire Air Ambulance) and Peugeot (Marcus Rutherford Foundation/Young Adult Cancer Trust battle bus) deserve special mentions, too.

But where are the global motor manufacturers (or at least the wealthier ones) shouting from the rooftops of their World HQs that they’re now prepared to ‘give back’ a tiny but potentially life-saving percentage of their annual profits to charitable organisations committed to vehicle-related causes, such as accident reduction, driver training, cleaner air, support for accident victims, unbiased (often they’re not) research programmes and the like? 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Why don’t ALL car companies – particularly those implicated in emissions scandals – sign up to donating five quid, five dollars or five euros to good causes every time they sell a car? Symbolically and actually giving back each time a buyer signs on the bottom line would be small change most companies simply wouldn’t miss. But imagine what a difference the subsequent fund of countless millions could and should make to the lives of innocent victims adversely affected by pollution and related road transport issues.

For smaller, less wealthy companies, even donating £1 per sale would be a step in the right direction. Any car firm out there ready to start the ball rolling?

Mike Rutherford has asked that his fee for writing this column be sent direct to the Marcus Rutherford Foundation/Young Adult Cancer Trust which will, in turn, pass on every penny to a young cancer patient in need.

Read Mike's previous column about 30 years of Auto Express...




'The advice around what we should do before, during and after we drive our cars is less than clear'

Only essential driving during the Coronavirus lockdown is allowed, but what we need to do before, during and after our journey isn't as clear, says Mi…
5 Apr 2020

‘It’s Car Care Week, so head outside and show your motor a little love’

If you can’t drive your car, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks you should wash it instead. When you're done, send us a pic and we’ll print the best
1 Apr 2020

'The temporary shutdown of car factories could benefit manufacturers and customers'

With car factories around the world closing temporarily, it may give manufacturers the chance to clear out the current backlog of unsold new cars, say…
28 Mar 2020

‘JLR’s very British approach: keep calm and carry on’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler praises Jaguar Land Rover on both its ability to handle a crisis
26 Mar 2020

Most Popular


New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020
Hyundai i20

New 2021 Hyundai i20 N to rival Ford Fiesta ST with 200bhp

New Hyundai i20 N to join i30 N in brand’s hot hatch line-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
2 Apr 2020
Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020