NEW YORK, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. employees pay close attention to what their company head drives, with only 10 percent of nearly 3,000 people not knowing, a survey found Tuesday.
BMW was the most popular make driven by C-level executives -- executives with "chief" in their title -- yet it accounted for only 13 percent of the total, the survey TheLadders.com conducted for USA Today found.
After BMW was Ford at 7 percent and Lexus at 5 percent, the survey found.
A separate USA Today survey of 90 chief executive officers found 13 percent drove a BMW, 12 percent a Mercedes and 10 percent a Toyota.
"Of all the products in the world, cars are the most reliable representation of an individual's personality," Golden Gate University psychology Chairwoman Kit Yarrow told the newspaper.
Some CEOs drive hybrids to be "green," TheLadders survey found. Others favor older cars to show they can make the most from available resources. Still others want expensive and fast cars because they can afford them and won't settle for less.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. founder Sam Walton drove a pickup truck. Billionaire Warren Buffett drove a silver 2001 Lincoln Town Car with Nebraska plates THRIFTY until he auctioned it for charity on eBay last year.
Wales says his cell phone defines him more than his car.