DETROIT (March 26, 2008) -- Autism Speaks and Chevrolet today announced a month-long promotion to help generate up to $1 million for the non-profit organization and create greater awareness of autism, a disorder that is now diagnosed in one in every 150 children.
During April – Autism Awareness Month – people who go to the Autism Speaks website (www.autismspeaks.org), can click on the “Help Chevy Help Autism” icon and take a free virtual test drive of the 2008 North American Car of the Year – the all-new Chevy Malibu. Chevrolet has committed to a minimum contribution of $500,000, but every virtual test drive taken gets Chevrolet closer to its goal of donating up to $1 million to Autism Speaks to support its mission of increasing awareness of autism and raising money to fund autism research. Those who participate in the virtual test drive will be offered a free 30-day online trial of XM Satellite Radio.
“Chevrolet is making a remarkable commitment to helping the millions of families across America affected by autism,” said Mark Roithmayr, Autism Speaks president. “The money raised during this campaign will fund important research focused on finding the answers our families desperately seek. In addition, by bringing our message of autism awareness to a new and expanded audience, Chevrolet and General Motors are contributing to a greater sense of understanding and compassion about this disorder.”
Autism, a complex neurobiological disorder that is more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined, impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike in boys than girls. A new case of autism is diagnosed every 20 minutes.
“The Chevrolet and General Motors families have a long history of giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Mark LaNeve, North America vice president of vehicle sales, service and marketing. “We are proud to join with Autism Speaks, the largest national organization dedicated to awareness, advocacy and finding effective treatments for autism. This is a great opportunity for us to provide consumers the opportunity to engage in the Chevy Malibu, and at the same time, help Chevy help autism.”
In addition to accessing the virtual test drive through autismspeaks.org, consumers may access the “Help Chevy Help Autism” icon to take a virtual test drive during April via the General Motors website (www.gm.com), the Chevrolet website (www.chevy.com), the XM Satellite Radio website (www.xmradio.com), the OnStar website (www.onstar.com) and nearly 4,000 Chevrolet dealer websites.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
ABOUT AUTISM SPEAKS
Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Vice Chairman, General Electric, and served as chief executive officer of NBC for more than twenty years. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Chevrolet is one of America's best-known and best-selling automotive brands. With the largest dealer network in the United States, Chevy is the leader in full-size trucks and the leader in sales of vehicles priced $35,000 and above. Chevrolet delivers more-than-expected value in every vehicle category, offering cars and trucks priced from $9,995 to $83,175. Chevy delivers expressive design, spirited performance and great value with standard features often found only on more expensive vehicles. For more information on Chevrolet please visit www.chevy.com.