Pressemitteilung – Vienna, June 28, 2018

Austrians Love Their Company Vehicles

  • Vehicles for executive board members cost 60,000 euros
  • Private use already a matter of course in the majority of companies
  • Alternative offers are scarcely used

Vienna, June 28, 2018

For Austrians, the company vehicle is still the number-one fringe benefit, with every employee eager to get their hands on one—and one that is as good as it gets. On the other side, there are the fleet managers who want to ensure that there are clear rules for everyone to follow.

Between February and April 2018, the HR and management consultancy Kienbaum Vienna carried out an Austria-wide survey into company vehicles in cooperation with the personnel forum of the Austrian further education institute ÖPWZ. The survey questioned around 120 Austrian companies, with a particular focus on the states of Vienna, Lower Austria, and Upper Austria. The study offers companies systematic access to company vehicle policy.

Company vehicles are status symbols, as much on the inside as on the outside

“The company vehicle is still a popular status symbol. For companies, it’s also a tool for acquiring and retaining high performers,” explains Alfred Berger, Head of Compensation and Performance Management at Kienbaum Vienna, adding, “We looked at the makes, models, and equipment that organizations should be offering their top talents to ensure the staff retention that they want. It’s also a good way for companies to invest in their corporate branding strategies.”
The right to claim a company vehicle increases with hierarchy: fully 99% of executive directors and 88% of the upper management level are entitled to claim a company vehicle. A further 44% of middle managers also have access to a company vehicle. Only the sales force is an exception and has a task-related higher proportion, with company cars at 84%.
The procurement budget for company vehicles is also dependent on hierarchy. Executive directors typically have an average budget of 60,000 euros for a company vehicle, while the sales force is allocated 30,000 euros. Companies also set stipulations on brand, equipment, and color, with both work-related aspects and the external image of the vehicle taken into account.

Users of company vehicles are generally very happy

Participants in the survey indicated that, in general, they were happy with their current company vehicle policy, with two thirds describing themselves as very satisfied—from the perspective of both decision makers and users. Just 4% of those surveyed described themselves as being somewhat or very dissatisfied. When asked about their preferences, 6% of users said they would like a greater selection of models and the opportunity to acquire the vehicle at the end of the contract, while 5% would like a comprehensive service from a single source. For decision makers, with 6% in each case, a reduction in exemption clauses and more transparency in company vehicle policy would make things more straightforward.

With 68% allowing their employees unlimited private use of their company vehicles, Austrian companies are certainly reflecting the zeitgeist: “Being able to choose the equipment in the vehicle, in some cases with an additional personal contribution, and the option to use the vehicle in any given situation were especially important to employees. We noted that there needs to be more flexibility in the use of a company vehicle for it to be an attractive offer to top talent,” reports Alfred Berger on his discussions with customers.

Environmental friendliness is still moving slowly

As in the previous year, the decision to opt for a company vehicle taking environmental aspects or alternative drive systems into account was low, at just 14% or 4% respectively. “A quarter of companies have not even introduced CO2 guidelines, so employees have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to choosing a vehicle. In that case, the choice is often for cars that are less ‘green’,” says Alfred Berger. “In addition to the traditional company vehicle that may only be driven by one person, companies have a number of approaches and they tend to be more environmentally friendly.” The majority of companies said that they had pool cars available, and selection of vehicles based on CO2 emissions is already the second most frequently applied measure. In third place, at more than one third, were subsidies for public transportation. Together with purchasing vehicles with alternative drive systems, these were the most frequently proposed measures—although there are plenty of arguments against these alternatives, including low range, low density of charging points, and high purchase price.

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