The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Using Fleet Vehicles to Reward Employees

September 2007, by David Fern

Many companies have reward programs for their executives and top sales performers. Exotic trips and bonuses are usually the norm for these highachievers. To retain top sales performers or executives, some companies are now recognizing top performance by rewarding these individuals with a special reward or perk — a complimentary “premium” fleet vehicle.

Craig Cheatle, corporate sales manager for Audi of America, has seen a rise in recent years in the number of companies that have ordered fleet vehicles as a reward for exceptional performance. “The Audi A4 has been a perfect fit for clients who are looking for something different and from an import,” said Cheatle.

Clearly State Policies
Corporate recognition and rewards policies vary widely. These policies must be administered and reviewed constantly. Whether using a tiered level of vehicles based on the individual’s position in the company or his or her physical location, the policy should be clearly stated. Determining the level of compensation the company provides top performers must be spelled out in detail. In addition, the blessing of all pertinent department heads should be secured. Not only is job performance considered for these rewards, but also the driving safety record of the individual. A “star” individual should not qualify for a reward if his or her driving record is poor; incurring moving violations and/or avoidable accidents. The costs (repairs, downtime, insurances, etc.) associated with these violations and/or accidents must be balanced against the “star’s” performance.

Trim & Vehicle Upgrades Offered
My former company rewarded eligible drivers with upgraded equipment, e.g., moving to a XLT package on a Ford Explorer from an XL package or giving the driver a leather package instead of cloth on their next replacement vehicle.

Margaret Persad, manager of fleet, North America for Tupperware Corporation, states, “We have certain sales levels our independent sales contractors must meet and maintain to be rewarded with a ‘complimentary’ vehicle. At each sales level, they have contractually stated that a certain model from their selector list is available. Tupperware pays for the insurance, licensing, and registration of the vehicle as long as that sales level is maintained.” Choices range from the Pontiac G6 to the Cadillac Escalade.

A pharmaceutical company in the Northeast rewards the top 2 percent of its sales representatives with an upgraded car from their selection list, which includes several import-badged models.

Whether an import car, a domestic SUV, or upgraded equipment, rewards and recognition programs are non-traditional perks working well for U.S. companies.

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