: My Focus will be a daily driver no more
03-24-2007, 08:43 PM
Well, I got some very good news the other day; I work for a third-party contractor to FujiFilm as a field technician, and the company I work for (thus far) has just compensated us for mileage at the current IRS-dictated rate of $.48 and a half cents per mile. So I've been putting about 30,000 miles per year on my car for the past two and a half years. Last week, Fuji announced that they were firing all of their in-house field techs and product specialists (and the management team in charge of them) and moving them over to the same company I work for. It really sucks for them, my dad has been working for them for five years and they're cutting his pay by 10%, but the big loss is his benefits package...he had a killer health/dental/vision plan through Fuji in addition to retirement and long/short term disability that were all paid for.
What this all boils down to for me is with the inclusion of the former Fuji field techs, everyone who works for my company will now receive a company car. I'll have $100/month deducted from my paycheck (something to do with taxes, from what I understand) and I'll get a brand-new Chevy Malibu and I'll be covered under a corporate insurance policy (so I'll be able to reduce my ridiculously-high coverage on the Focus) in addition to having all maintenance, oil changes and repairs covered 100%. I'll get about $.14 per mile to cover fuel expenses...I'm absolutely estatic about this recent development, now I'll be able to do a bunch of stuff to my Focus that I've been wanting to do but either haven't had the time to do or couldn't because it would make my car unreliable (like a turbo kit.)
03-24-2007, 09:05 PM
good. how many all around miles did you rack up on the fofo doing that?
03-24-2007, 09:57 PM
... everyone who works for my company will now receive a company car. I'll have $100/month deducted from my paycheck (something to do with taxes, from what I understand) and I'll get a brand-new Chevy Malibu and I'll be covered under a corporate insurance policy (so I'll be able to reduce my ridiculously-high coverage on the Focus) in addition to having all maintenance, oil changes and repairs covered 100%. I'll get about $.14 per mile to cover fuel expenses...
That is a sweeeeet deal! [thumb]
03-24-2007, 11:30 PM
good. how many all around miles did you rack up on the fofo doing that?
When I started my job it had somewhere between 28,000 and 30,000 (can't recall exactly.) Not all of the miles I've put on it have been work-related, but a large number of them were.
03-26-2007, 09:29 AM
Enjoy the Malibu. My wife has an 04 with the four cylinder. Keep an eye out with the seat fabric - the "titanium custom cloth" that seems to be on every single Malibu made since 2004 (according to the brochures there is a black interior option - but I've never actually seen it) has a nasty habit of staining horrifically when it comes in contact with water. Don't bother trying to clean it.
Also, the handling of the 04-07 Malibu's is pretty decent, though there is very little in the way of steering feel - they use an electric power steering setup that fails often - we're on our third rack, column, and steering motor. Performance is so-so with the four cylinder, pretty decent with the six. For highway cruising, however - the Malibu is as great of a traveling companion as you could ask for. The emergency kit in the back for the event of a spare tire is a joke. - you'll need a Ph D to figure out how to operate the jack and get the wheels off. The good news is that the Malibu uses the same size lug nuts as the focus - so the lug nut wrench that came with the focus is a pretty handy tool to have. (it's saved my bacon a few times with my wife's car)
03-26-2007, 02:40 PM
dont them malibus come with a 4.3 v-6?
03-26-2007, 02:45 PM
I'm not terribly concerned about maintenance or possible roadside problems...100% of repairs will be covered by the fleet company PH&H, and I should get 24/7/365 roadside assistance. Really I couldn't care less what it is as long as it gets decent gas mileage, better to put 30,000+ miles on a company car rather than my own.
03-26-2007, 02:46 PM
totally....you got a good thing going for ya man.
03-26-2007, 02:50 PM
Nah, the Malibu is available with the 2.4 litre DOHC ecotec or the 3.5 litre pushrod 3500 V6. There is also the Malibu SS which has the 3.9 litre pushrod V6 that is normally found in an Impala or Monte Carlo (06+). The ecotec is in the majority of the fleet models, with a few v6's peppered here and there. The V6 is standard on the Malibu Maxx, which despite it's really horribly lame name is actually a pretty cool car - the versatility of the hatchback is pretty great. The SS is a fairly limited production car, but comes with every bell and whistle imagineable.
The coolest thing about the Malibu is the factory remote start system. Yeah, it could be argued that it's lame to say that it's cool - but it's a handy convenience feature that my wife can't live without. The remote start is standard on all LT models and above. In the case of my wife's car - it shows up on bizarrely configured cars as well. My wife's is one of the weird ones with an incomplete option package.
I didn't think GM used the 4.3 litre in anything other than a pickup or SUV.
03-26-2007, 02:51 PM
With the 4 cylinder, you can expect around 30 mpg if you're doing purely highway driving, 20 in city driving. Strangely, the V6 models get slightly better fuel economy (25 city, 35 highway). One of our friends has an identical Malibu with the V6.
That said, it's a pretty sweet deal.
03-26-2007, 02:57 PM
wow dude, you got a really good deal goin on. now, cna you take that car home, or do you just drive the fofo to work and back?
03-26-2007, 09:27 PM
If the Malibu gets anywhere between 25 and 30 MPG I'm solid unless gas prices shoot through the roof (which they probably will over the summer;) at $.14/mile I'll be getting reimbursed at a rate of about $3.50-4.20 per gallon used (assuming it gets 25-30 actual MPG.) Last summer they did a temporary reimbursement rate hike to $.18/mile, so if prices get really bad I'll at least be breaking even.
As far as taking it home, there's no central office that we have to report to at the beginning of the day...Fuji only has a handful of offices across the country, the closest of which to me is in Hanover Park, IL (where I am this week actually, for a training class) just west of Chicago. Field service techs get their calls the night before and just head out to the customer from home. Basically I'll get the car and I could use it as my only vehicle if I so choose, I wouldn't be reimbursed for fuel and I think there's some kind of form I'd need to fill out documenting how many miles I put on it for personal use, but from what I've heard that's pretty much just run on the honor system and I'd only get in trouble if I were to drive the car to California and back and not report it. They're not going to give a damn if I drive it to the grocery store or when I go out to dinner, etc.
So now I have some grand plans for the Focus...I want to overhaul my front suspension, it needs it badly, I think I'm going to get some new front control arms from BAT and urethane bushings, plus strut top bearings, a stiffer front and rear swaybar, maybe KYB-AGX shocks & struts (with my SVT springs, especially now that I won't be wearing them out once per year.) Eventually I'm planning on getting the SSF turbo kit, and with this development making my car less reliable won't be as much of a concern as it has been in the past...if something happens, I'll still have my company car to fall back on. The only downside is I'm hooked on my HID lights and I'll have to get used to driving with halogens again...oh well, it'll be worth it considering I'll get to turn my Focus into a project car [woot]
03-28-2007, 01:17 AM
I've been doing some research, and from what I've gathered so far the Malibu is pretty much the same as a Pontiac G6...it shares the same chassis and from the pictures I've seen the interior is a pretty close match. So now I know how it will handle and what driving it will be like, based on my experience with G6 rentals. I actually just got one today because the Subaru Forester I rented on Sunday developed a leak in its passenger/rear tire so Avis sent me a G6 on a flatbed which then recovered the Forester and returned it to Avis. I've been pretty impressed with the G6 on the occassions I've had it, so the Malibu should be a decent car to drive day in and day out. Unfortuantely, I'll probably end up with a base model LS without the integrated trip computer or any of the nicer features of the LTZ or SS models, but like I said its better to have a company car absorb 30,000 miles per year than have my Focus do the same.