You may not know this, but some automakers have special parking lots in the middle of nowhere for employees who “go rogue”—who dare to drive cars from competing manufacturers. Here’s why I think it’s bullshit. I experienced this firsthand working at Fiat Chrysler. There, it’s an official policy: competitive vehicles are not allowed to park in certain lots and if they do, they either receive a ticket or wind up with a parking boot. In the latter case, employees have to tell their supervisors, and the supervisor will have to call security; it’s a bit of a mess, and can be rather embarrassing for an employee. And it can make finding a spot pretty hard if you’re caught unaware. The Parking Spot Search From Hell Until last year, I was working at Fiat Chrysler designing powertrain cooling systems for the next generation Jeep Wrangler. My brother had just moved in with me for the summer to start with the same automaker as a product planning intern, so I had to show him the ropes. On his first day, he followed me to the technical center so I could show him where to park, but just when we got to my go-to spot in the north parking garage, I realized we had a problem: he was driving a Toyota. “Oh boy, never mind,” I told him. “We’ve got to find a competitive lot.” The sky darkened. Rain poured. Doom and gloom littered the atmosphere. For the next 20 minutes we scoured… [Read full story]
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