The Washington Post

For Volkswagen employees and their families, a deal on auto leases and free car insurance

Company: Volkswagen Group of America.

Location:
Herndon.

Employees: 500 locally; 500,000 worldwide.

Upon arriving at Volkswagen’s U.S. headquarters, corporate communications manager Jeannine Ginivan said a visitor would instantly notice a trend among employees.

“If you came to our facility and saw the parking lot, you would definitely see there are very, very few other brands,” she said.

And part of reason that so many staffers are inclined to drive Volkswagens is because they get a good deal on them.

Employees can lease a new Volkswagen or Audi vehicle every six to 12 months for a cost equal to 1.5 percent of the retail price. The company not only pays for registration and maintenance expenses, it also covers the cost of car insurance.

Lease payments are deducted directly from employees’ paychecks so they don’t have to worry about keeping track of bills.

Corey Proffitt, a product communications specialist, is currently driving a 2013 Golf TDI, one of several compact cars he has leased through the program.

“I live in D.C., I happen to park on the street, and a smaller car helps for those purposes,” Proffitt said.

A car enthusiast who relishes getting behind the wheel of a new ride, “It’s really a splurge to be able to get a new car frequently,” he said.

The program extends to an employee’s spouse, children, parents and spouse’s parents. Each worker and his or her family can have four cars under this policy at any given time.

Proffitt says his mother, brother and mother-in-law are currently taking advantage of the perk, and especially appreciate not having to pay for insurance.

In addition to saving them money, Proffitt said, “It gives them an opportunity to kind of see and experience what I do.”

Ginivan said this practice benefits the company in that it makes workers more familiar with the product that they’re selling.

“You really start to develop a passion for the brand and the cars themselves,” Ginivan said.

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.
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