Ignoring the merits/problems of gift and estate taxes for a moment, your example is incorrect (in the US). Any individual can give to any other individual or individuals up to $10,000 per year per recipient free of all taxes. So, at worst, you would be subject to gift taxes on $2000, in your example. If you and someone else (like a spouse) jointly own the car, you are completely in the clear–each gives $6000 and there is no tax. You can do the same thing for your employee (assuming you own the car personally and not through the corporation–I don’t think corporations can do this). In addition, any excesses that are subject to gift tax can be deducted from your estate exemption (up to the limit of the exemption), so you don’t have to pay them at all (until you’re dead, at which point you presumably are beyond caring).
As has been pointed out, estate tax is probably intended to reduce the progressive concentration of wealth in families. What with family corporations and trusts, it’s not all that clear that it really hits anyone except those in the well-off-but-not-that-rich category, but the intent is clear. Whether this is a reasonable intent in the first place is certainly open to debate. The Gift Tax is merely a way to close the Estate Tax loophole of giving everything away before you die, which is why it can be deferred by reducing the Estate Tax exemption.
Don’t forget also that all capital assets (stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc.) get a stepped up cost basis at death, which is a huge benefit (no capital gains on those assets if sold on the date of death).