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(NPR)   While General Motors asks for more taxpayer loans, there's one perk GM refuses to give up: a company car and company-paid gas for about 8,000 white-collar employees   (npr.org) divider line 168
    More: Asinine  
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8048 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Mar 2009 at 6:30 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-03-25 06:02:24 PM
I want a Challenger so F*ck GM.
 
2009-03-25 06:17:23 PM
Nothing unreasonable for a -> profitable
BUT:

GM insists its employees appreciate the impact of high fuel prices, but one current GM staffer interviewed for this story said the perk does blind some people. He recalled that when gas spiked last summer, a colleague complained.

It wasn't because of the cost. It was because he had to swipe his credit card twice to fill up the tank of his big SUV.


and

GM has talked about ending the program, but a spokesman said employees have built their lives around it. It allows many to live far from their offices and commute at little expense.

You guys have heard me say this many times before: our auto industry is truly run by certifiable idiots willfully out of touch, and who have no clue how run a successful company. They call themselves free marketeers, but when the free market ends them, they scream to the government begging for a hand out.

That smell isn't coming from your shoe, it's american capitalism. Smells like GM had it's usual taco bell followed by 5 pounds of boiled crawfish for lunch.
 
2009-03-25 06:22:58 PM
It'd probably be a good PR move to nix the program for a while. At least a few years.

It'd be nice if we were this critical of everyone on the govt tit though.
 
2009-03-25 06:23:04 PM
gimmeafarkinname: I want a Challenger so F*ck GM.

I want a Camaro Z28 so F*ck ... well, f*ck ;)
 
2009-03-25 06:24:16 PM
I have literally no idea what happened to my post. Preview was fine. I was trying to say that it's nothing unreasonable for profitable companies to give this as an executive perk. it's what successful companies do...
 
2009-03-25 06:33:13 PM
Speaking of perks, I hear those d-bags at Starbucks get free coffee.
 
2009-03-25 06:34:23 PM
2 things:

1) Are we talking about regular company cars, or the test fleet? Seems to me it's a good idea to keep the test fleet around, because it's basically having your employees beta-test the new models.

2) The program might be an efficient form of compensation. If employees value this perk for more than it actually costs GM, then GM is saving money in raises by having the company car program.
 
2009-03-25 06:35:13 PM
Driving a GM car is a perk?
 
2009-03-25 06:35:19 PM
HotLonelyTeenageGirl:
You guys have heard me say this many times before: our auto industry is truly run by certifiable idiots willfully out of touch, and who have no clue how run a successful company. They call themselves free marketeers, but when the free market ends them, they scream to the government begging for a hand out.


THIS.
 
2009-03-25 06:35:46 PM
It's called beta testing, and many companies do it. The free gas is questionable, but it probably keeps the testers in the cars. Maybe cut that part if it's a problem. As far as not getting good data out of a beta test, there are ways to fix that too. Besides, it's not like they don't have a few million test samples lined up on tarmacs and parking lots doing nothing at the moment.
 
2009-03-25 06:36:06 PM
Mercedes USA leases their competitors' cars and gives them to their employees to drive. It's a smart way to do research. They overhauled the C-class because of the response the A4 got.
 
2009-03-25 06:36:58 PM
The company says it's an important tool to improve vehicle quality.

How important is a tool that has demonstrably failed -- and failed badly -- for 30+ years?
 
2009-03-25 06:38:12 PM
Gee... maybe it's because the car is factored into their salary and it's cheaper to do that than actually paying cash.
 
2009-03-25 06:38:14 PM
WTF is the big deal? They *make* f'ing cars! And the government pays for gas on their contracts. (indirectly, they reimburse by the mile)

Reporter: Get thyself a life
 
2009-03-25 06:38:41 PM
DrForrester: The company says it's an important tool to improve vehicle quality.

How important is a tool that has demonstrably failed -- and failed badly -- for 30+ years?


you don't actually know that it's failed: without the test fleet, maybe the last 30 years of cars would have been worse.
 
2009-03-25 06:39:04 PM
heck, just cut the the fuel umbilical cord and call it good.
 
2009-03-25 06:39:09 PM
You get to drive a new car every three months. You never have to pay for it. Gasoline is always free."

The program is not quite as good today; managers now get a new car every six months.


See what unions are doing to the auto industry. The poor management now has to drive the same car for six months due to the extravagent union pay.
 
2009-03-25 06:39:17 PM
Figures. I'll enjoy the drive home in my Mazda.

Their business style reflects the cars they make. Crap.
 
2009-03-25 06:40:07 PM
Evil Twin Skippy: WTF is the big deal? They *make* f'ing cars! And the government pays for gas on their contracts. (indirectly, they reimburse by the mile)

Reporter: Get thyself a life


I'm calling you out, you drive a company car, don't you?
 
2009-03-25 06:40:28 PM
Now, I can understand the value of having a "test group" for new vehicles. But paying for their gas? That's retarded with a capital R when you're clearly hemorrhaging money and begging the American public for a bailout.

Cut the fat, GM. Look at what we're doing to AIG, and realize that we will do the same to you. Cut the fat and run a lean ship.
 
2009-03-25 06:40:57 PM
Well, it's not entirely free:
FTFA:
"And the benefit is not entirely free. For instance, managers pay a $250 administrative fee each month to participate."

On a vehicle that costs $200/mo to lease?

How about those 'employee price' discounts they're throwing out to get us to buy...

/wouldn't drive a GM even if it was free
 
2009-03-25 06:42:02 PM
CentralValleyCali: Figures. I'll enjoy the drive home in my Mazda.

Their business style reflects the cars they make. Crap.


If you want to drive a car made by the owners of the Detroit Lions, that's your call. (Actually, I guess if it's a brand new mazda, it's not a ford anymore)
 
2009-03-25 06:42:03 PM
Isn't like there is a shortage of GM vehicles. Give every GM employee a free car every 3 years in exchange for a 3k/yr pay cut, save some cash.
 
2009-03-25 06:42:13 PM
And those bastards give out free health insurance to their employees, too. In this economy... They should be lined up and shot.

:(
 
2009-03-25 06:42:32 PM
Guess who gave all that bonus money to AIG???? Guess who gave all that money to the bankers and other failures?

If you said Bushiat and Oblamanoid and their crew you are right. GM is small potatoes....damn 'murika is dumb.

Time to for America to go on strike.
They won't though. They be pussies.
 
M-G
2009-03-25 06:43:35 PM
I don't know all the details of this perk, but I'm finding it hard to be outraged. The employee is kicking in $250 a month. GM is providing the employee a car for a period of several months. While on the books a given department may have to pay another full sticker price, it's all inside the company, so the only cost for GM is the actual manufacturing cost. Presumably after the demo period, it will hit the market as a certified pre-owned or 'program' car, which will bring money in.
 
2009-03-25 06:48:11 PM
I really don't have a problem with a car company providing cars to its employees as part of their compensation package. Paying for their gasoline, on the other hand, tends to isolate these employees from the economic consequences of their company's bad business decisions. If everybody at GM's corporate offices had to pay $4 a gallon for gas while driving their big GM gas guzzlers, then they might take a more -- enlightened -- view of pushing their company to do something about their fleet's fuel economy.
 
2009-03-25 06:49:03 PM
10.0.0.1: And those bastards give out free health insurance to their employees, too. In this economy... They should be lined up and shot.

:(


What's wrong with free healthcare for workers? The only problem I see is that it's killing GM, because healthcare is so damn expensive. In his autobiography written in the mid-80s, Lee Iacocca noted that Chrysler spent more money by far on healthcare for employees than on raw materials for cars like steel and rubber.

And that, kids, is why socialized medicine would be good for America. It would be good for GM, and what's good for GM is always good for America.
 
2009-03-25 06:51:45 PM
megadethworld.com
 
2009-03-25 06:52:14 PM
HMS_Blinkin: What's wrong with free healthcare for workers?

Exactly the same thing that is wrong with any other form of compensation for employment.
 
2009-03-25 06:53:55 PM
Do what we do in Australia. Introduce Fringe benefits Tax. Make employers providing company cars pay tax at the top marginal rate for the value of the supplied perk.

Have a system of discounting so as not to penalize people like sales reps who genuinely travel as part of their job.

One thing to alter from what we do though. Don't make the discounting system distance based. We get people driving around the block at FBT time to get their km over the threshold.
 
2009-03-25 06:54:29 PM
Hence the Name...: Well, it's not entirely free:
FTFA:
"And the benefit is not entirely free. For instance, managers pay a $250 administrative fee each month to participate."

On a vehicle that costs $200/mo to lease?

How about those 'employee price' discounts they're throwing out to get us to buy...

/wouldn't drive a GM even if it was free


I drive a GM... it was free.

/worth what I paid.
 
2009-03-25 06:55:36 PM
palexc: It's a smart way to do research

And that's why GM would never do such a thing
 
2009-03-25 06:56:35 PM
rppp01a: Driving a GM car is a perk?

One would hope the repairs are free. Or at least while you're waiting for a tranny rebuild after 5000 miles, you can drive something else in the meantime for free.

/@$&$^#&@ Saturn and their parts that can only be purchased from the dealer.
 
2009-03-25 06:58:26 PM
SweetDickens: Guess who gave all that bonus money to AIG???? Guess who gave all that money to the bankers and other failures?

If you said Bushiat and Oblamanoid and their crew you are right. GM is small potatoes....damn 'murika is dumb.

Time to for America to go on strike.
They won't though. They be pussies.


Them's fightin' words.
 
2009-03-25 06:59:34 PM
Own a small business. Have 4 trucks: Toyota, Ford, Dodge, GMC. All except the Toyota plow snow. Out of all 4, the GMC was the only truck we purchased new. It has:
1)Doors that don't close because the hinges are bad
2)HVAC blower that won't come on unless you reach over to the passenger floor and smack it
3)Mystery coolant "leak" that doesn't leak, coolant just disappears
4)Radio quit, so now it has a Saturn stereo in it instead
5)Tailgate handle that has broken about 8 times, and is currently operated with vice-grips

It's got 78,000 miles on it. The Dodge has 129,000, the Ford 138,000, and the odometer on the Toyota broke at 103,000 four years ago. I'm not saying that the other trucks don't have issues, just that all their issues combined add up to those of the GMC.

Though, to it's credit, the IFS does make for a comfy ride

/drive a jeep
//wife drives a jeep
///wife's father and grandfather were GM lifers, neither drives a GM
 
2009-03-25 07:00:04 PM
so it begins: NPR wants to gin up additional discontent among it's listening sheep because some GM employees continue to benefit from a company perk.

this is the key line: Kleinbaum says when gas hit $4 a gallon last summer, GM employees who enjoyed company-paid gas missed the pain consumers felt in their wallets.

SO WHAT -- it's a perk of the job. you want free gasoline? work hard and get a job at GM!
 
2009-03-25 07:03:17 PM
At Ford they call it the "Z" plan. I just missed getting a free car by one pay grade before another company bought the Ford division I was working for back in 1991. Doh!
 
2009-03-25 07:03:55 PM
Having GM employees drive GM cars does make sense in a way because faults or annoyances in their product will hopefully get noticed and remedied (in theory, apparently not in practice) but paying for their gas is dumb as it makes them not care what kind of mileage their cars get.
 
2009-03-25 07:04:59 PM
DNRTFA, but if the headline said "blue-collar" workers, then I'd be less agitated.
 
2009-03-25 07:05:45 PM
Pretty sure there are hundreds of thousands of unsold GM cars just sitting on lots out there. This seems like a more efficient way to pay employees than tax money.
 
2009-03-25 07:06:48 PM
I don't care. I want a new Camero.
 
2009-03-25 07:07:05 PM
gimmeafarkinname: I want a Challengeramaro so F*ckbless GM.
 
2009-03-25 07:09:09 PM
plainlyclueless: so it begins: NPR wants to gin up additional discontent among it's listening sheep because some GM employees continue to benefit from a company perk.

this is the key line: Kleinbaum says when gas hit $4 a gallon last summer, GM employees who enjoyed company-paid gas missed the pain consumers felt in their wallets.

SO WHAT -- it's a perk of the job. you want free gasoline? work hard and get a job at GM!


I don't give 3/8ths of a good goddamn what GM does. Until I start paying for it. That's what.
 
2009-03-25 07:09:21 PM
VeryRarely: DNRTFA, but if the headline said "blue-collar" workers, then I'd be less agitated.

Why do you want class warfare?
 
2009-03-25 07:09:52 PM
It was a mistake to bail them out in the first place. It is a mistake to bail anyone out.
 
2009-03-25 07:10:03 PM
"GM refuses to give up: a company car and company-paid gas for about 8,000 white-collar employees T-Shirt"


Come on, they have to attract and keep the best and brightest executives. Where else are they going to find people so skilled at running a large corporation into the ground?
 
2009-03-25 07:10:42 PM
Honestly, I'd change the program around. Test-bedding is nice. But, for some real "why people hate GM... what can we do better" test, they need their management types to drive some Cobalts and Malibus off-lease with 75k miles on them. Then, bum rides when they break down.
 
2009-03-25 07:10:58 PM
"Mercedes USA leases their competitors' cars and gives them to their employees to drive. It's a smart way to do research. They overhauled the C-class because of the response the A4 got."

I like it. Here's my plan to get American cars better. Lease Lexuses and Audis and Beemers and give them to the spouses of the GM employees. Make the employees themselves eat their own cooking.

/or even better, vice versa.
 
2009-03-25 07:11:19 PM
my dad's last job was for GM, he was part of this program. for a small fee he would get a vette in the summer and an caddy in the winter.

/awesome perk
//he left because he couldn't get stock options, very lucky move
 
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