What does corporate chief executive officers drive? USA Today wanted to know. So it asked some subordinates about their boss’s cars. So, too, did Ladders.com, a website that follows corporate advancement.
Here’s the opening statistic. People KNOW what the boss drives. At least at the higher echelon of pay scales. Of 3,000 subordinates making $100,000 or more who were polled by Ladders.com, only a mere 10% did not know what make of car was driven by his or her boss. 90% knew.
So, what did the boss drive?
BMW, Ford, and Lexus – in that order.
But, all together, those brands only accounted for 25% of the total: 13% BMW, 7% Ford, and 5% Lexus. (Apparently, Alan Mulally has shifted from column C to column B these days.)
A rather less scientific survey of 90 actual CEOs polled by USA Today came up with 13% BMW , 12% Mercedes-Benz, and 10% Toyota . They drive new cars, as well. 43% of CEO’s polled by USA Today drove 2006 or newer cars. (Does that suggest that they lease, rather than buy?)
But the range of vehicles driven by CEOs was vast. According to USA Today, one drives a “1966 Lincoln Town Car .” (That one’s a real rarity – Lincoln didn’t make a “Town Car” in 1966. In 1966, there were exactly two models, both called the “Lincoln Continental .” One was a convertible and the other a pillarless four-door hardtop.) In fact, 11% of CEOs drive vehicles manufactured during the 1990’s.
But CEO’s are as socially conscious, or foolish, as the rest of us. 13% drive hybrids, and one specifically admitted to driving a Prius so that he didn’t get classified by his employees as a “pompous jerk” driving a Hummer.
Ah, but the surveys of both USA Today and Ladders.com have missed the most important points.
What do CEOs of companies making a profit drive?
Just because you’re a chief executive officer of a corporation doesn’t mean you’re succeeding at your job. Just ask Rick Wagoner.
So, what do the corporate winners drive?
We don’t know, because USA Today didn’t try to correlate the ride to the balance sheet, and neither did Ladders.com.
But if making money counts, then the ride of choice is a Cadillac.
Warren Buffet drives a DTS.
Rick Wagoner sold it to him.