Post # 1
I bought my car before we got married and it’s paid off. It’s not the most luxurious car, but I like it and it does the trick. DH is a bit of a car snob and he wants to buy me a new car. Now that we have a baby, we use my car a lot more often, and he says it is uncomfortable to drive/ride in. We are very fortunate that he does very well and can afford to buy me just about anything. He has been doing most of the research and everything he’s suggesting are luxury SUVs, most of which I’d love to drive.
Here’s the problem. I work in a service related industry and my biggest client is a non-luxury automotive manufacturer. I bought my car before I started working here, and it’s a competitor model, but I’ve been able to get away with driving it because I owned it before I got the job. So far I haven’t gotten much grief about it.
I am at their headquarters weekly for meetings. Technically, you are not even allowed to park in their closest structure if you are driving a competitor, you have to park in an offsite lot and take a shuttle. All of my coworkers drive that manufacturer’s vehicles. It’s pretty much just understood that, because they basically pay your salary, you should, in turn, drive their car.
If I were to get a new car, and it’s not made by my client, I know I will get a lot of grief, both from my coworkers (including management) and my clients. It is viewed as a slap in the face to them. However, there is no model of their vehicle that I would ever consider driving. So I’d basically be stuck driving my current car until 1) it dies (and even then I would probably be expected to buy one of their vehicles), or 2) I get a different job, which I’m not really planning on doing.
Has anyone else ever found themselves in a similar position (worked for a company but prefered a competitor product). What did you do?
What would you do if you were in my situation?
Post # 2
I work for a labor union, and our headquarters has a rule that only American-made cars may park in the parking structure.
I’d park on the moon and walk in before I’d buy an American car.
When I bought my Subaru Forester, I got a few elbows about it, to which I responded with something like “when American car manufacturers stop churning out shit, then perhaps I’ll consider buying one.” I know your situation is different, since you’d actually be insulting your employer if you said that, but still … I would never buy a car I hate just to please someone else whose product is garbage. No way.
Post # 3
iarebridezilla: That’s pretty close to my situation! The funniest part about it is that the first floor of my client’s parking structure is handycap parking and I’d say 95% of the cars that park there are competitor vehicles.
So basically, the conclusion I draw is that the only reason their employees buy their cars is to park closer to the office, because if they could park in that structure driving a competitor’s car, they would.
Post # 4
iarebridezilla: That is so funny, I drive a Forester and my FI says the exact same thing about American cars. Granted, he also works for Subaru, but we will seriously never buy American again.
OP, I agree. Even though you work for this manufacturer, you will not only be using your car for work-related purposes. I worked for a makeup company, and while we were only allowed to wear that specific brand while at work, they could not dictate what we wore outside of work. They also gifted us hundreds of dollars in product every month to ensure we had no excuse not to use and wear their brand. If your employer wants to force you to drive a certain brand of car, they’d better buy it for you.
Post # 5
Post # 6
Would the car manufacturer in question give you some kind of discount or incentive to purchase one of their cars, enough so that it would be worth it to you to drive one?
Post # 7
ExcitedScaredBee: Get the car you want. Tell them your husband surprised you with it 😉
Post # 8
ExcitedScaredBee: My uncle was an engineer for Ford for many years and drove a Ford for many years. He eventually switched to a GM car and had to park in an auxiliary lot. Apparently he received a lot of pressure but he was employed by Ford whereas you are just a service provider to a “Ford.”
What does your manager think? Are they driving that particular make because of preferential pricing made available to them and you or is this more than “perceived” pressure?
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I agree, get the car you want.
I worked somewhere that had better parking for hybrid cars, nice incentive but it didn’t bother me to have to park a little further away. I already had my car, it was what I wanted.
iarebridezilla: This came up for me once and it was how I found out my car was an American made car, lol. I drive a Mazda…figured it was Japanese right? Well my particular model was made in America which I guess is evident in my VIN number starting with a “1” versus a “J” which would have indicated it was made in Japan. Never would have known this otherwise.
Post # 10
I think if they require you to drive a certain vehicle, it should be either damn well close to free, or provided for you as a company car.
I was just talking to an aquantance who is a consultant and she knows people who either own or rent multiple cars because of each vendor they work with. There is no way most people can afford to do that unless helped substantially by the company. They can not “require” you or “guilt” you into owning something. Also. Hello tax write-off?
Post # 11
iarebridezilla: my work has nothing to do with it, but my family is from a very small, closed minded town where you are only “allowed” to drive ford or Chevy. When DH and I visit in our toyota you wouldn’t believe the comments we get in parking lots, the gestures while driving, etc. People are seriously crazy. Why do you care what I drive?!
My first two cars were american made and there’s no way I would buy another. I’m much more interested in a car that holds it’s value and lasts. How many early 90’s fords do you see still kicking? Not many. But, those old corollas, honda hatchbacks and volvos? Tons of em. That’s what I want.
Post # 12
I would never drive an American-made vehicle, buy the car you want and tell them your husband suprised you with it or park in the other lot.
I wouldn’t let my job dictate my outside of work purchases. If an employer wants me driving a certain type of car, they can pay for it.
Post # 13
bitsybee: My company doesn’t do company cars, even for the top executives 🙁
Jijitattoo: I would get a supplier discount on a vehcile, but honestly, there is nothing in their line-up that I would consider driving. My current car is nicer than what they produce, and DH is looking to get me a huge upgrade. So it’s really not worth considering at this point.
LilRhodyGem: It’s hard to tell if my Directors actually like their cars or if they just go along with it because “that’s what you do.” It’s just not discussed that our client’s cars aren’t the best quality or design. We always speak positively of the client in the workplace, and I don’t think a discussion about how I would never drive one of their cars would go over well. There are very few places that people work where the purchase decision is so obvious.
Also, I don’t work in the most high-paying industry, so my client’s cars are probably in line with what a lot of my coworkers can afford. I am so lucky that DH has worked so hard to build his company, make high end contacts, and become successful and it has allowed me to pursue my passion without having to worry about my lack of salary. But it does sometimes lead to some awkwardness.
Post # 14
It sounds like you already know what you want to do!
Post # 15
I’m so curious which manufacturer your’e refering to! LOL I can think of an SUV by pretty much each manufacturer that I’d drive… except one or two!
But I agree with the Bee who said to say your husband surprised you with it!