I believe the area chooses the car budget, mission presidents can decide specifics. In my mission, the mp decided to switch out a 14 seater commercial van. And rent a Mitsubishi lancer when needed. The elders in the offices loved that decision. Let me tell you.
City Creek Cars? Deseret Auto? Graff Automobile? They're a religious automobiles firm? They get paid dealership fees and incentives? So let's say the dealership keeps the incentives and charges full price to the church. Church get10percent, dealership becomes a stake president. Sweet!
Tons of mishies in the midwest in Subaru. My inlaws got a good deal on a subaru too by going through the church because FIL used to do an 'at home mission' for the local mission office as the 'fleet manager' (bike and car) for the missionaries.
In 1961 when stateside missionaries were taken off bicycles and put in cars, they were all identical 2-door seafoam green Nash Rambler Americans which the church acquired in a massive fleet purchase of more than a thousand. George Romney, Mitt's father, then CEO of the company sold Mormon leaders on buying his cars. Romney, of course, made millions on bonuses and company stock.
My mind is not completely clear on this, but as I recall, we were required to pay a small amount in rent each month to have one of the cars. Gas, oil and routine upkeep was our expense. Repairs were covered under warranty since the cars were brand new. I think the church obtained a blanket insurance policy since they owned the cars. We were required to have local drivers licenses. Back then all money for our mission came directly to us from our supporters which, in most cases, was our parents. The church never handled any of our funds.
Back in the 80's, when I worked for a VW dealership here in SLC, we sold a number of VW Rabbits to Hertz Rental, IIRC and because I did licensing and paperwork, I got involved in taking the cars out to the airport. We'd take 3-4 at a time and one guy would follow and bring the drivers back. I think over a period of 6 months, we sold maybe 40 Rabbits. They didn't make much money on them.
Towards the end of that process, we got word that the "church" wanted to buy some for mission presidents in the US. There may have been 4-5, not too many, but only the dealership manager, one of those of TBM's who was so racist and dishonest (but he was an active HP in his ward) got to deliver those right to COB. Us peons never got to set foot anywhere near that place :)
I saw a sale of some tires to the missionaries that came across my computer the other day. My company doesn't sell any bad tires but we definitely have different levels of quality. Yep, you guessed it. The church put them in the lowest quality available. That's what I want for someone I really care about. Three things I DO NOT SKIMP ON. 1. Safety for my family. 2. Good Steaks. 3. Good Beer.
I bought a Chevy from a mission in Pennsylvania, late 80's. At that time they were being sold to the church in fleets. Then sold off once the cars reached a certain mileage. I basically bought mine at wholesale, and it had to be a cash sale. Wasn't allowed to finance it. That was a prerequisite to buying one of their used fleet automobiles.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2016 11:21PM by Amyjo.
I can remember when it was Rambler Americans! Last time I saw a herd of missionaries was about 10 years ago when there was a parking lot full of Chevy Cavaliers at a Chinese fast food joint in Lethbridge owned by a couple Mormon guys.
I get shivers every time I think of the Ford Escorts from my mission. The amount of intentional abuse on their poor transmissions! I pitied the souls who may have purchased these cars as a "good deal" because Mormons are so good and trustworthy.
The Chevy Cavalier I had bought from the mission in PA I learned only after buying it, had been in a sideswipe accident while a mishie was driving it.
That was in the days before car faxes and such. A mishie without much driving experience in city traffic most likely. May have been showing off, driving too fast for road conditions, inattention, God only knows.
They are likely treated more poorly than car rentals. Kids starting out on their missions are very young and in the highest cost insurance pool by virtue of their ages alone, for having the highest number of accidents by age and yes, gender.
For the Edmonton mission, it seems like the closer you are to the city, they drive Subaru Impreza's. But out in the rural areas they have brand new Chevy Colorado trucks. Both still get stuck in the snow. You need a SUV or F350 up here.