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Old 03-24-2007, 07:43 PM   #1
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My Focus will be a daily driver no more

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.)


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Old 03-24-2007, 08:05 PM   #2
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good. how many all around miles did you rack up on the fofo doing that?
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Old 03-24-2007, 08:57 PM   #3
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... 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!
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Old 03-24-2007, 10:30 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:29 AM   #5
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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)
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:40 PM   #6
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dont them malibus come with a 4.3 v-6?
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:45 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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totally....you got a good thing going for ya man.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:51 PM   #10
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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.
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