VW Group To Save Millions Just by Banning Non-Porsche Execs From Leasing Porsche Cars

Automaker says pricey Porsches returned in poor condition, but millionaire managers threaten legal action over perceived "pay cut."
Porsche 911 Targa driven by executive
Porsche

One of the benefits of working for an automaker is having a company car. The incentive is a win-win for employer and employee because 1) the company gets its newest products on the road via corporate cheerleaders, and 2) the salaried masses save money with a deeply discounted or free lease vehicle—insurance and maintenance included.

But offering such perks, especially if you have an expansive product portfolio, can get expensive. Volkswagen Group found it can drastically cut costs by limiting who can lease what. As such, a new corporate policy says no Porsche for non-Porsche execs. Oh, nein!

According to the German newspaper Bild, more than 200 Wolfsburg-based managers received letters from HR regarding the updated lease rules. Keep in mind that these are high-level company personnel within the Top Management Circle (TMK) whose corporate benefits actually include two vehicles gratis. Although it doesn’t sound like their multi-car incentive will change, unless they shill for Porsche specifically or are a corporate board member, their driveway duo will now feature maybe a Tiguan and Passat instead of a Taycan and Panamera. Es tut mir so leid.

If they’re looking to play the play game, though, they can walk right up to that top-floor bathroom mirror. Apparently, these same VW managers returned their top-dollar Porsche leases in “dilapidated and depreciating” condition. 

Post-lease, these cars go to a dealer or auction for eventual sale to a consumer, but not before a final corporate inspection and service visit. A VW spokesperson said the updated Porsche car policy was “due to cost optimization” as part of a company-wide billion-dollar savings program announced last year. The Porsche car ban, specifically, would save millions of dollars annually. Millions? Wirklich?? Talk about abusing the system, then.

Still, the VW TMKs aren’t going down without a fight, as several dozen have already taken legal action, claiming the lost privilege is the equivalent of a salary cut. I’m sure Bentley and Bugatti leases are also out of the question, but what about an Audi? Is an RS variant—for free—such a bad thing? An unnamed board member dismissed the protest, telling Bild, “VW top managers who absolutely want to drive a Porsche can also afford one privately.”