September 22, 1999
CINCINNATI, OHIO - General Motors Chairman and CEO Jack Smith today presented the first of four Chevrolet S-10 electric pickup trucks to The Nature Conservancy, the global organization dedicated to preserving natural habitats for wildlife. The electric vehicles are the results of a pilot program where GM Cardmembers were invited to donate a portion of their Earnings to The Nature Conservancy.
That is in addition to GM's annual pledge of $1 million to The Nature Conservancy in cash donations and vehicles. Smith, in Cincinnati to attend The Nature Conservancy's annual meeting, is a member of its board of trustees.
In June, 500,000 GM Cardholders received letters informing them of a special test program offering an opportunity to donate a portion of their Earnings to The Nature Conservancy. A cash amount of $50,000 will be donated and the rest will be in vehicles, including the electric Chevrolet S-10s and 10 Chevrolet trucks. The zero-polluting S-10 pickup, on sale since 1996, is powered by a 114-hp electric motor; the truck goes from 0-50 mph in 13.5 seconds and has a range of 40-60 miles. The electric S-10s, with special Nature Conservancy and GM Card graphic treatments, will be used in Orlando at the Disney Wilderness Preserve and at Conservancy preserves in Sacramento, Atlanta and Phoenix. GM will partner with local utilities at all locations to provide for recharging equipment for the electric-powered trucks. The other trucks contributed will be Silverado full-size pickups for work use on nature preserves, and Tahoes and Suburbans for passenger-shuttling.
"This was the first time our Cardmembers could contribute their Earnings to a charitable cause, rather than using them to buy or lease new GM cars and trucks," said Charly Vickery, general manager of General Motors Credit Card Operations, of the test program. "The program was definitely a success."
General Motors' ties to The Nature Conservancy go back to 1994, when it began a five-year program pledging $1 million annually. That agreement was renewed in February 1999 for another five years of $1 million in yearly support, not including any donations from programs like The GM Card arrangement. About $550,000 of the annual support comes in the form of cash donations, and the other $450,000 is in vehicles.
This year the vehicular donation is 15 Chevrolet Silverados for TNC preserves, eight in the United States and seven for Conservancy facilities in the rest of the world. GM officials have received reports and thanks from Conservancy outposts as far away as the Yunnan Province in China, and the Micronesian island of Palau, where the Chevy 4WD truck allows Conservancy field office staffers access to remote sites and communities on the island.
General Motors is the exclusive automotive partner of The Nature Conservancy, an organization of 1 million members worldwide. Considered "Nature's real estate agent," The Nature Conservancy preserves habitats and species by buying the lands and waters they need to survive. It operates the largest private system of nature sanctuaries in the world-more than 1,500 preserves in the United States alone. It protects 70 million acres of wilderness around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Va., with local chapters in all 50 states, The Nature Conservancy's President and CEO is John Sawhill. The organization traces its roots to the Ecological Society of America, founded in 1915, and was incorporated as The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization, in 1951.
CONTACT: Sharon Sarris
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