Rodgers Chevrolet Offers to Donate Car to Detroiter With Killer Commute | Edmunds

Rodgers Chevrolet Offers to Donate Car to Detroiter With Killer Commute


WOODHAVEN, Michigan — After reading about Detroiter James Robertson's 21-mile walk to work in Sunday's Detroit Free Press, Rodgers Chevrolet General Manager Joe Posby and Sales Manager Darwin Filey uttered the same words, "We can help."

By that afternoon, the dealership offered him a free 2014 Chevrolet Sonic or a 2014 Cruze.

"It would be his choice," Angela Osborne, customer service specialist at Rodgers, told Edmunds.

Osborne announced the offer on Facebook, writing ?we admire your spirit, determination and sheer perseverance through a seemingly impossible situation.?

Robertson's plight — and grit — created a media sensation, garnering national attention from USA Today and other outlets.

Other dealerships and companies are lining up with offers as well, including the Suburban Collection in Troy, Michigan.

Robertson had been driving a 1988 Honda Accord up until 10 years ago and he never had it repaired, he told the Free Press.

Not only were repair costs pricey for his now $10.55-an-hour factory job, but so is car insurance. Detroit has the highest rates in the nation. Driving a 2014 Honda Accord translates to an average premium of $5,109 per year, according to a recent study by CarInsurance.com

Others have offered their own personal vehicles and even bikes.

Robertson told the Free Press he has his eye on a Ford Taurus.

"They look comfortable, nothing fancy," he told the newspaper.  "They're simple on the outside, strong on the inside — like me."

He should be able to afford any car and insurance of his choice now. Evan Leedy, 19, a computer student at Wayne State University in Detroit, started a GoFundMe Web page after hearing about Robertson's commute. As of early Wednesday morning, $272,231 had been raised by 10,263 crowd-funders.

While Osborne of Rodgers hopes he accepts the Chevy offer, she said the dealership is comfortable with whatever decision he makes.

"We are happy it got to this point, with so many people wanting to help," said Osborne. "Mr. Robertson works hard and his loyalty should be rewarded," she said.

Edmunds says: When local residents are in need, dealerships like Rodgers Chevrolet are often the first ones to step in and offer help.

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