The Reason Jeff Bezos Drove A Honda Even After He Became A Billionaire

By on January 24, 2018 in ArticlesCelebrity Cars

Meet Jeff Bezos: Amazon founder, electrical engineer, richest man in the world, philanthropist, and modest car owner.

It was in 1994, at 30 years old, that Bezos quit his Wall Street job to launch Amazon.

"When we opened our doors, we had 10 employees," Bezos explains. "I was driving the packages to the post office myself in my 1987 Chevy Blazer and dreaming one day that we might have a forklift."

When Amazon went public three years later, Bezos' wealth propelled to more than $12 billion. However, his vehicle purchase was not all that characteristic of a billionaire. Bezos traded in his 1987 Chevy Blazer for a modest upgrade—a Honda Accord.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"What's with the Honda?" CBS's Bob Simon asked Bezos in a 1999 segment of 60 Minutes.

Bezos, who owned about $10 billion in Amazon stock at the time, responded, "This is a perfectly good car."

During the interview, it was also revealed that Amazon's then-headquarters shared a Seattle street address with pawn shop, a heroin-needle exchange, and a "porno parlor." And Bezos—along with the rest of the company—used a desk constructed of a re-purposed wooden door and two-by-four pieces of wood.

And this was all intentional. "It's a symbol of spending money on things that matter to customers and not spending money on things that don't," the now 54-year-old explained.

Five years later, in 2004, employees were still using door desks. And in 2013, Bezos was still cruising around in a Honda, although a slightly larger model.

Fast forward to today and Amazon has reported $43.7 billion in revenue during its 2017 third quarter alone—a 34 percent increase from the same quarter in 2016. Yet, frugal practices remain one of the company's core values. Amazon even gives the "Door Desk Award" to employees who come up with ideas that save money.

As Amazon puts it: "Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention."

Articles Written by Caitlin St John
Caitlin St John is a writer and editor who covers everything from fitness and celebs to lifestyle and design. A New Yorker through and through, Caitlin resides in Queens by way of eastern Long Island. Follow her on Instagram.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction
Discussion