A New Year: Greatest Resolution of All

The New Year is quickly upon us.  It seems like just yesterday we were experiencing the horrifying BP Gulf oil disaster. 2010 has had its up’s and down’s, as any year does and there is certainly a lesson to be learned in all this.

General Motors (GM) is taking a step in the right direction by attempting to salvage a disaster. It is with this mind set that we must all work together to make changes for the 2011 year. Earth is precious and a gift to all life that resides here. As a human species with dominion over life here, we have a duty and responsibility to preserve that gift.  The BP oil disaster has severely disrupted marine life, oceanic and coastal habitats. The full extent of the damage still cannot be determined. It will take years to fully understand it.  However, GM is attempting to contribute a piece of good and a dash of hope to a tragic situation.

GM stated on December 20th that it would be collecting 100 miles worth of oil boons once used to contain the BP oil spill, and will be recycling the plastic from them to make the 2011 Chevy Volt electric cars. Approximately 100,000 pounds of plastic in addition to recycled tires will be used to make shrouds that cover the radiator fans in the Volt’s engine compartment.

Creative recycling is one of GM’s strategies to reduce its environmental impact. “If sent to a landfill, these materials would have taken hundreds of years to begin to break down and we didn’t want to see the spill further impact the environment,” said John Bradburn, manager of GM’s waste-reduction efforts.

It is this kind of effort and determination which will carry us in the 21st century. Sustainability, harmony, and balance with all life will not only make us happier, but improve quality of life for all.

2011 has a promising future if we work together. Make your New Year’s resolution one that involves making changes to help the environment.

Mirror on the Wall…Who’s the Safest of Them All?

The Chevrolet Cruze was just announced the IIHS Top Safety Pick of 2011.  It received the highest rating of Good for front, side, rear and rollover crash protection tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “The new Cruze was clearly engineered from the ground up to meet the highest standards in safety performance,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund. “The Top Safety Pick award means that buyers of the Cruze will know they’re getting state-of-the-art protection in the most common kinds of crashes.”

That’s good news considering an estimated 10.6 million accidents were reported this year ( U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Buying a car that is safe to drive should be a top priority for everyone, but especially those who have children.

The Cruze features:  Stabilitrak (electronic stability control), Anti-Lock Brakes, Panic Brake Assist, Enhanced Smart Pedal/Brake Override. The Cruze also comes standard with ten airbags. That’s more than any other vehicle in its class.  These include; dual-stage frontal airbags, seat mounted air bags, side impact air bags, head curtain side airbags (front/rear) and knee airbags (a first of its kind). It’s almost like the Cruze turns into a giant marshmallow upon impact from a crash. Not to mention, the Cruze is equipped with the power of OnStar, which includes safety, security and communications management.

There’s a lot to be said for technology when it can enhance your quality of life, and also help protect it at the same time. The new Cruze is a vehicle that exhibits superior engineering and craftsmanship.

For more information on the safety features of the Cruze, watch this short video as Ken Bonello, Chevrolet’s safety engineer, shows what the Cruze can do.

Click Here to Watch Video!



A Sonic Boom For Chevrolet

Did you hear the sonic boom on December 9th? It was the sound of Chevrolet making an official announcement for their plans to change the name of the Aveo to the “Chevrolet Sonic”.  Out with the old and in with the new, the old saying goes. Chevrolet wanted to pick a new name to represent a new era. Vice President of US Marketing, Chris Perry stated that, “The new car is roomy, stylish and fun to drive, and Sonic is a youthful, energetic name that helps convey what this vehicle is about.”

The Sonic will only be produced for Canada, U.S. and Mexico. Production will begin sometime early 2011 at the Orion production plant in Michigan. The plant received $545 million investment in upgrades and retooling. It will also restore more than 1,000 jobs to an economically hard hit Detroit. If you’re really attached to the name Aveo…don’t worry. The Aveo is still around. It will continue to be sold in 50 other countries, just not here in North America.

This renaming of the Aveo  and new production of a stylish Sonic could be a big thing for Chevrolet as the new Sonic will represent the direction of Chevrolet’s small car segment. Production of small fuel-efficient cars  are going to be in big demand as the larger, clunkier cars get phased out.  Sub-compacts, sub-subcompacts, minicars, and even mini-mini cars are coming our way. The new Sonic represents this change.



Chevy Camaro Z28: Back to the Future!

Over a year ago, the completed blue prints for the new Chevy Camaro were put on hold indefinitely. The Camaro Z-28, although ready to be brought to life, had to remain on the two- dimensional paper it was drawn on  because the economy lacked the ability to sustain its re-birth.

As a glimpse of economic recovery showed itself this summer, GM Executives gave the go ahead in June, to start building the 2012 Z-28.

The new Camaro is going to rock the socks off your feet!! The reincarnation of the Z-28 is something of a superior beast . The exterior design of the new Z-28 is going to be much more aggressive looking with 20″ wheels,  larger air intakes, front splitter and rear spoiler designed to scream “I’M BADDDD!”.

Under the hood will rest a 6.2 Liter Super Charged LSA V8 with 556 horses and 551 pounds of torque per foot.  With a take off speed of 0-60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 193 mph, this car will be sure to please.

The cost on the new Z-28 will not stray too far from the current Camaro prices. An estimated $8,000 more on the sticker tag, will get you that V8 super beast. Not a bad deal really. GM said they wanted to make the Camaro Z-28  still affordable for the average person, unlike the Corvette whose target audience is slightly more affluent.

The new IROC-Z28 is going to be in big demand when it comes off the assembly line, as Camaro owners everywhere anticipate its arrival. Hopefully, some time next year, you can be the proud owner of one!

Dealership Relationship: the Intangibles of Buying a Car

Did you know that buying a car is the  second biggest purchase decision, next to only a house, that most people will make in their lifetime? It is at the top of the list,  because, yes it is an expensive decision, but also because people want vehicles  that fit their unique individual  lifestyles, needs and budget.  Vehicles are really expressions of the people who drive them. They are chosen for characteristics (features) that people exhibit in real life.  A person generally spends a lot of time in his or her vehicle and therefore wants to enjoy it. In addition, people tend to keep their cars at least one or two years and quite possibly even longer.  It makes sense that this ranks at the top of  important buying decisions. But the purchase decision isn’t only just about the “car”. It’s about the environment and community of the dealership who sells you that car. Customers want to feel valued and appreciated.  That’s what they truly seek.  Otherwise, there would be no need for any dealerships. It would simply be GM, Honda, Ford or whoever-selling their product to the consumer.

So why is this relationship so important? Well, the interesting thing about dealerships is that some, like Jack Maxton Chevrolet, have been around forever. These are the dealerships your grandparents and parents bought their vehicles from. These are the dealerships you, your children, and grand-children will likely continue to buy from. They are deep rooted in the community and provide vital economy to the areas around them. These dealerships are different than the new ones that pop up here and there. They are different because they know the value of relationships.

What is this relationship about? It’s about treating a person (i.e. customer) like family. When someone buys a car, they want a dealership who is supportive, honest, communicates effectively and emits a positive attitude. Jack Maxton Chevrolet is focused heavily on customer satisfaction and our commitment is to building lasting relationships with all of our customers. We know that the “sale” isn’t the end, in fact it’s really just the beginning. We want to be the place you think of when looking for a car, or needing service work. We want to help our customers make informed buying decisions that truly benefit them.

Selling a product is not an exact science, especially when it comes to big purchases like a house or car. Certainly, the bigger the price tag, the more emotional a person becomes attached to not only the product, but the process. There are a lot of ways to make an unhappy customer, but there are just as many to make a happy one.  We provide television, free wi-fi internet, free coffee, snack & soda machine, kids play area, rental cars and even shuttle service, depending on where someone needs transported to. We have many fantastic sales and finance people who have worked here many years and who think of Jack Maxton as their second home. When you come to Jack Maxton for whatever reason, rest assured our commitment is to you.

With that being said…there is always opportunity for growth. We are always looking for ways to improve and make our customer’s experience even better. Just last week, we took a call from a customer who recommended we watch Motor Week (on PBS) for ideas to improve our waiting area.  (He really wanted to see a popcorn machine put in our waiting area).

All of these are minor examples of the intangibles behind the car buying experience.

Mini Wheels Could Solve Big Problems

Yesterday, GM (General Motors) shared its vision of the future… it’s called EN-V. With the increasing of population and traffic congestion in mega cities like Bejing,  New Delhi, London, New York and many others that will pop up over the next couple decades, it’s critical that a solution be developed to make travel accessible for the millions of people who live in these locations.

Chris Borroni-Bird, GM Director of Advanced Technology Concept Vehicles, states that “Building more and wider roads is expensive and doesn’t really solve all of the problems, meaning that smarter solutions are needed,” he says. “Public transportation is important, but with so many people going from point to point in different directions, some personal transport is needed as well.”

After the completion of the Chevrolet Sequel Fuel Cell in 2007  (an electrochemical fuel cell that combines hydrogen fuel with oxygen to produce electricity and whose only by-product is water vapor), he began working on the EN-V program.

Chris believes that since so many people usually only travel with one or two occupants in a vehicle, that vehicle size could be and should be reduced dramatically. Think smaller than a mini cooper or Honda Fit… think two wheels and two seats.

The EN-V concept features just that. It has two wheels that support two upright seats. The electronic propulsion system used for short range commuter travel would practically eliminate large cities carbon footprints. In addition, the advance technologies proposed for this vehicle include; vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications powered by OnStar which would alert drivers of traffic congestion “real time” and re-route them using GPS.

Although, one could manually drive their EN-V. It also features autonomous operation. Theoretically, a driver could potentially “summon” a vehicle to their location using a smart phone application. Once they get in the vehicle , they tell it where to go -and off it goes. The time a person would normally spend “driving” could instead be used to get on the internet, watch television, etc… all using the power of OnStar communications.  The advanced sensor technology to power autonomous driving detects vehicles, pedestrians and virtually eliminates the potential for an accident.

So what do you think? Is the EN-V a solution for the growing traffic problems in major metropolis cities?