SPECIAL PROMOTION: What’s hot this fall in the auto industry
Find the car of your dreams
Car dealers are attuned to the needs of consumers. As a result, dealers are happy to answer questions, offer test drives, and demonstrate special features. They work hard to make the experience of buying a car more comfortable and less time-consuming than ever.
Mike Tolleson has been working with Zimbrick for 33 years and is very excited about the Audi brand. “The previous generation Q5 really put Audi on the map in the U.S.,” he says. “Now, with the new Q5, Audi has improved on perfection. They’ve made it lighter, stronger, equipped with more horsepower. This model is actually made from aircraft-grade aluminum, which is stronger than steel, more rigid, and lighter, which in turn makes for easier handling and quicker acceleration. Basically, it’s faster, smarter, and has an innovative new design.”
Tolleson believes that the Audi Q5 and its brand are increasingly popular with customers because Audis are extremely dependable, safe and fun to drive. “The car’s internal systems will help keep you out of accidents, and its safety features will protect you in case of a crash,” he says. The Audi Q5 also comes standard with Apple Carplay–a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while driving. You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music while your eyes stay focused on the road.
Tolleson touts the Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system, which not only ensures better handling in bad weather but makes driving in any season more fun. “The car actually senses which wheel has the most grip on the road and transfers the power to that tire,” he explains. In addition to the Q5, Audi is currently offering a very popular high-performance model–the QS5, with more sport-oriented features and handling.
Sales Consultant John Marks has been with Zimbrick for nearly three decades. “To say it’s a great company is an understatement,” he says. “The owners care for their employees and really make coming to work a pleasure.”
Right now, Marks is excited about the 2018 Honda Odyssey. “It’s more powerful and has better fuel economy than previous models, but it’s also got a fresh design,” he says.
In terms of technology, the Odyssey comes with a long list of family-friendly features, including a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system. Marks explains. “Parents can keep tabs on their children in the back seats with Cabinwatch, and even interrupt the movie to talk to kids in their headphones with Cabintalk.”
The Odyssey also uses Honda’s unique Magic Slide seats, which adjust laterally, backward and forward in five different positions and are reconfigurable for better comfort. “There’s easy access for third-row seats, which makes getting little ones into car seats a breeze,” Marks says. “And when those seats are not needed, the third row folds into the floor for more cargo space.”
Marks believes another major selling point for the Odyssey is its “Honda Sensing” safety features, designed to alert drivers to dangerous situations, which include: lane-keeping assist system, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, and road departure mitigation system. All come standard on the vehicle, along with back-up cameras and roadside assistance.
Finally, the Odyssey provides plenty of room for families on the go. “You can’t put six people in an SUV comfortably,” Marks says. “But the Odyssey minivan accomplishes that with leg room in all three rows, and cargo room to spare.”
Zimbrick Infiniti Sales and Leasing Consultant Tim Brickner believes that his brand appeals to driving enthusiasts who enjoy luxury, cutting-edge technology and distinctive design, as well as great performance.
“The 2018 Q50 is offered in Pure, Luxe and Sport lines, with a range of engines that will thrill drivers,” he says, “from a pair of 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 engines, including the segment-leading 400-hp variant in the Q50 Red Sport models. And you can blend power and efficiency in the Q50 Hybrid Luxe, delivering an impressive 360-combined horsepower from its 50kw electric motor coupled with the 3.5L V6. The Q50’s driver-centric cockpit is as comfortable as it is beautiful, with weight-distributing seats, and controls that are thoughtfully placed and intuitive to use.”
In addition, the new ProAssist Package equips the Q50 with advanced safety technology to help drivers see and respond to dangerous situations. A Predictive Forward Collision Warning enables the Q50 to monitor the vehicle in front of it–and the one in front of that one. The Around View Monitor, with front and rear parking sensors and moving object detection, offers a virtual 360-degree view from above, to make parking easier. And the Infiniti Back-Up Collision Intervention System can apply brakes to help avoid a crash. A Blind Spot Warning is also included in the driver assistance features.”Best of all, the
ProAssist package for the 2018 Q50 Luxe is available at a significantly lower price than an earlier model,” says Brickner. “That’s what we’d expect, not only from Infiniti’s ‘Safety Shield’ approach to occupant care, but from our continued focus on delivering great value along with a superior driver experience.”
At Zimbrick Eastside Hyundai, Sales Manager Chris Vande Zande says it’s a very big year for his brand. “Almost the full product line is being refreshed and redesigned, with new models being introduced throughout 2018,” he says. “I think these upgrades will really appeal to a broad range of customers.”
–The Sonata mid-size sedan sports a redesigned exterior, refreshed interior, and more aggressive styling overall.
–The Elantra GT is a nice sport compact, featuring the gas mileage of a front-wheel drive car with the space of the SUV. It also offers smart cruise control and lane departure warnings.
–The Hyandai Ioniq capitalizes on fuel efficiency, with the best overall gas mileage of any hybrid: 58 mpg, city and highway combined. Customers actually have the choice of a hybrid, an all-electric model, or a plug-in hybrid, coming this fall. With dual zone climate control and the convenience of a four door-hatchback, Vande Zande says, “That’s the one that’s getting people to come in to take a test drive right now.”
–Coming at the end of 2018, Hyundai will also introduce an all new compact SUV called the Kona. It has great styling, gas mileage and a price tag starting around $20,000.
Vande Zande says one aspect that he stresses with potential buyers is the reliability of the Hyundai brand and the quality of the product. “It’s easy to show the customer the value of a Hyundai,” he says. “With a five year, 60,000-mile, bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, you know the company is going to stand behind their products. We have great customer loyalty with these cars. I have no doubt our customers are going to love the new Hyundais as much as they’ve enjoyed all the previous models.”
Sales Consultant and Used Car Manager Blake Kurkowski is in his third year with Zimbrick Mercedes-Benz, and he couldn’t be happier. “Ever since I was a kid, Mercedes-Benz was the luxury brand that’s turned my head,” he says. “The quality speaks for itself when you see that emblem. There are other brands out there, but we’ve been the luxury car market from Day One.”
The 2017 E 300 Mercedes-Benz four-passenger mid-size sedan launched last year with an all new exterior and interior. “It’s completely different from other E class vehicles,” says Kurkowski. “It has a smooth quiet ride, spacious interior, and a new nine-speed transmission, which makes a huge difference on the highway. You can’t feel it shifting–there’s such a smooth transition though the gears. That also equates to less engine noise and better fuel economy.”
Standard safety gear includes forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, a drowsiness alert, and Pre-Safe, which prepares the vehicle for a crash. It also offers both lane-keep and blind-spot monitoring, as well as “active” versions, which can brake individual wheels to quickly stop you from hitting another vehicle or veering off the road. It even boasts standard car-to-X technology, so the car can actually communicate with other vehicles and warn you of hazards, traffic jams or accidents.
A great blend of safety and comfort, Kurkowski’s advice for E 300 Mercedes Benz owners is to “sit back and enjoy the drive. It’s almost like you never left the comfort of your living room.”
David Mueller has been selling cars with Zimbrick for more than a dozen years. He says the 2018 BMW 5 Series Sedan is “really the car with all the latest and greatest, intuitive, technology. With an all-new body style, all-wheel drive, and a full suite of advanced safety features, this mid-size sedan provides a fantastic driving experience. And if you’re a slave to your iPhone, with this model you can voice-activate Siri so you can text without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel.”
The BMW 5 Series Sedan is also available as a hybrid. “It’s a small increase in price, but the hybrid saves a lot on gasoline in the long run,” he says. “And the electric torque gives you the same amazing power. Typically you can drive it from work to home on one charge.”
Looking ahead to 2018, BMW will introduce the X7, a larger SUV, complete with a true third row of seats.
Speaking generally of the BMW brand, Mueller says, “You have to drive them–these cars are exceptional. They give you the feeling of complete control and responsiveness. The perfect balance of luxury, fun and sportiness, it’s an exciting driving experience. And when you compare the price of the BMW with its competition, the value proposition is undeniable.”
Robert Fawver is the Sprinter Sales Manager/Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vans Brand Manager for Zimbrick European. With his career at the dealership lasting for more than a decade, Fawver says Zimbrick is a perfect fit because it combines working with people one-on-one and building long-term relationships. “I love it when customers come back to buy additional vehicles from me,” he says. “It tells me that I’m doing a good job of representing a great product and providing them with great service.”
Right now, Fawver is talking to his longtime customers about the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Luxury Van by Explorer. “It’s really the first midsize van of its kind,” he says. “It has more space, more size, more towing capacity (up to 5,000 pounds) and comfortable seating for seven. It also offers great amenities, including Kenwood navigation; a backup camera; and cross-wind lane keeping, and blind spot assistance.
The package offers many other amenities, such as a package that includes “a power sunroof and a vista cruiser sport roof, which raises the interior height of the vehicle by eight inches, allowing ambient light in” he says. “You can even add a DVD entertainment system with a 22-inch TV and 10-speaker stereo system.”
Fawver characterizes the Metris Luxury Van by Explorer as an ideal vehicle for people who are driving a higher-end conventional minivan, families looking to upgrade, and retired couples who enjoy traveling in comfort and style. “It provides an extremely smooth, quiet ride, good fuel economy, room for the kids or grandkids and, at the end of the day, it’s a Mercedes-Benz. That means everything about it is going to be exceptional,” Fawver says. “You’ve got to see it to believe it.”Brian Robbins
joined the Zimbrick family of dealerships in 1996, and has been Porsche Certified and Brand Ambassador since 1997. This fall he is looking forward to offering Porsche customers the 2018 Macan, a premium compact crossover available in five models; the standard, S, GTS, Turbo, and Turbo Performance Plus. In its third year, the four-door, five-seat sport utility vehicle features heated seats, a Bose Audio system, and three-zone climate control.
“It’s a fun sports car with lots of extra room, so if you take off for the weekend you have cargo space for your luggage, golf clubs, whatever you want to bring with you,” he says. “With all-wheel drive you get more performance, and the interior is fabulous. The seats are fantastically comfortable. And with two clutches and two driveshafts, you can’t actually feel the vehicle shift–the ride is that smooth.”
Drivers agree. “I just delivered my first Performance Plus Macan a few weeks ago and I have to say it’s a very capable car,” says Robbins. “It can tow up to 4,500 pounds, but the overall feel is sporty. And because it’s a Porsche, it’s emotionally engaging, it’s intense, it’s a very personal driving experience.”
“One of the really special things about Porsche is that the cars are still hand-built,” Robbins notes. “This allows for hundreds of options for customization.” In fact, he says the most enjoyable part of his job is working with a client to build a car or truck exactly to his or her specifications. “Most car manufacturers allow you to click a few boxes and that’s it,” he says. “Porsche offers more than 300 options–they want each car to be built to fit the client’s unique vision. You can even request your Porsche to be painted to sample and leather to sample, any color you desire for the interior and exterior. The demand for the Macan continues to be very strong. And with great reviews across the board, we anticipate whole new group of buyers being attracted to the product.”
Zimbrick Buick Sales Consultant Phil Liautaud bought eight cars from the Zimbrick company before he ever considered working there. “I was already thoroughly impressed with the service and products. Then I spoke to one of the sales associates about how much he liked working for Zimbrick,” he recalls. “The next week there was an ad for a sales person for the Buick store, and I jumped at it. I can now attest to the fact that the company cares as much about their employees as they do their customers.”
Right now, Liautaud is looking forward to the new Buick Regal, coming out in late 2017. “They’ve basically replaced the trunk with a sport-back hatch that gives you lots of storage room along with the same great driving dynamics,” he says. “The car has exceptional fuel economy, and you can easily fit bikes in the back that you can’t put in a sedan with a trunk.”
In addition, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX is coming out in the fourth quarter of 2017, a raised-up, crossover-style wagon with all-wheel drive and more cargo storage than a small SUV.
“The Buick Enclave, which has been our best seller since it came out, is also being redone this year,” says Liautaud. “It has a completely new platform, and is 600 pounds lighter than previous models, but more interior space. It’s also been updated with latest safety equipment, including automatic braking, cruise control, and a round-view camera.” Standard features include LED tail lights, keyless entry and pushbutton start, tri-zone climate control, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. You can even the turn the car into a 4G LTE WIFI hot spot.
A sub-brand of the Enclave is the 2018 Avenir, outfitted with real wood trim, leather interior, a unique grille, 20-inch wheels, and many other luxury features, but at a more affordable price than its competitors. “It will have an upscale feel while accommodating up to eight passengers, and it will still be very fun to drive,” Liautaud says.
Clint Lenz has spent seven years managing Zimbrick Buick-GMC Eastside, but the car business has been a lifetime pursuit for him. “I grew up in it,” he says. “My dad was a service manager, so when I was a kid I was always sweeping floors in the dealership or detailing cars.” Eventually he realized that servicing cars was not his calling. He was more interested in sales.
Today Lenz’s team sells Buick and GMC vehicles that combine modern styling with classic luxury. “Our clients are looking for a refined vehicle that says something about them,” he says. Currently, he’s excited about the GMC Terrain, which is new for 2018. Along with a striking new look, it features meticulous craftsmanship and smart engineering that gives drivers confidence and control on the road.
Special features include the choice of three turbo-charged engines (gas or diesel), standard 9-speed transmission, active noise cancelation, and available surround vision. The new GMC Terrain improves on previous models by offering: HID head lamps and LED tail lamps; a traction select system; electronic precision shift; a more spacious console; ventilated front seats; heated front and second row seats; and a hands-free lift gate. Lenz says consumers will want to take the Terrain for a test drive because it offers great comfort, cargo flexibility, and an intuitive infotainment system, along with enhanced safety technology.
Scott Ericson, New Car Sales Manager/New Car Manager at Zimbrick Nissan is very excited to talk about the Nissan Rogue. “We’re excited that it’s the best-selling SUV in America,” he says. Refreshed for 2017, Ericson says the company “took a good product and made it even better.” He believes it appeals to many different segments of the buying public because the car does lots of things very well. “It’s a four-door, five-passenger SUV that has great cargo capacity, good fuel economy (up to 33 mpg highway), and refined styling, all in one package,” Ericson says. “It’s fun to drive, and it’s also a top safety pick, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.” The Nissan Rogue earned that distinction with features such as a blind spot warning, a lane departure warning, forward emergency braking, and a rear cross-traffic alert.
Ericson also has a brand new Nissan vehicle on the lot–the Rogue Sport has just been introduced. “Incredibly stylish, it’s just a bit smaller,” he says. “I think it will appeal to younger people, and Nissan believes it will draw buyers out of small sedans and into their first SUV.” Asked what he likes most about the brand he represents, Ericson says, “I’ve always appreciated Nissan’s innovation, which is certainly on display with this new model.”
Dan Swift is the General Manager of Bergstrom Cadillac of Madison, a car dealer network with 26 locations throughout Wisconsin representing 36 brands of automobiles–more than any other privately held dealer group in the country.
“We opened in 1982 with one dealership,” says Swift. “Now we sell more than 24,000 cars annually and the Madison location is the No. 1 dealer in the state for both new and certified pre-owned Cadillacs. We employ 1,600 team members within the company, all working toward the same goal: ‘to be the recognized leader in guest service through our commitment to treat everyone like family.'”
Swift says buyers enjoy Bergstrom’s family style and amenities “You’ll be greeted as a member of our family when you come in,” he says. “You can have our complimentary shuttle deliver you to a destination or, while your vehicle is being serviced, relax in our guest lounge, complete with a flat screen TV, leather chairs, and refreshments.”
Bergstrom added a valet option, which can be requested online. “We’ll pick up the vehicle at your home and then drop it off at your door, fully washed when it’s finished being serviced,” he says. “Whether you come to us or we come to you, your car will receive outstanding service from ASE-certified technicians using the latest in state-of-the-art tools and equipment.”
Another big goal, Swift says, is efficiency. “Our team is focused on minimizing the amount of time guests spend at the dealership. Purchasing a vehicle or visiting our service or body shop should be quick and easy,” he says. “We also want to make the time spent here as enjoyable as possible. That’s why, when you walk in to our showroom, you’ll probably either smell fresh-popped popcorn or warm baked cookies–extra touches that help everyone to feel at home here.”
In terms of sales, Swift said the Cadillac XT5 Crossover, introduced last year, is still extremely popular with consumers seeking an upscale luxury crossover. “So many of our guests are seeking SUV-type vehicles, yet want to remain in a midsized vehicle,” he says. “Crossovers give you the best of both worlds.”
If a sedan is your preference, the totally refreshed 2018 Cadillac XTS is also in high demand. It features a new chassis, updated front and rear fascias, upgraded comfort seating, and Cadillac’s next-generation infotainment system.
This fall, the CT6 will be available with Cadillac’s first truly hands-free technology for highway driving. When equipped with Super Cruise, the CT6 enters into the semi-autonomous driving world. Looking ahead, dealers are eagerly awaiting the Cadillac XT6, which will hit the market in mid-2019. This model fills a specific niche between the XT5 and the Escalade.
Vice President of Marketing Brendan Baxter explains that Kayser Ford Lincoln, which has been serving the community since 1925, sells the full line of Ford, Lincoln and Isuzu Commercial Vehicles from its Madison location. The other four Wisconsin Kayser locations sell Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram models. Baxter says that the most rewarding part of his job is “being around a passionate team, many of whom have been here for two decades. Everyone here cares about our guests and that is paramount to our success.”
Looking ahead to the fall, Baxter is most excited about the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator. “It’s visually stunning, while being a great family option with best-in-class leg room for the second and third rows, and best-in-class cargo room,” he says. “The complete redesign of the Lincoln Navigator, both exterior and interior, is remarkable and refined–all soft-touch interior surfaces, top quality wood and leather materials.”
Special features include heated and cooled, 30-way adjustable “perfect position seating,” power-fold flat second- and third-row seating, laminated windows, and a noise-cancelling system to keep the ride very quiet. The car is also WIFI-enabled, and its Revel Audio System works with 10-inch TV screens in the rear and with Apple CarPlay.
“It really stands out from the crowd of aging full-sized SUVs,” Baxter says. “This is the first full remake for the Navigator in a decade and it’s a radical departure from the current design. The new Navigator sports 22-inch wheels, a piano-key shifter that is reminiscent of old fashioned car radios, and premium materials throughout. It’s exciting to see Lincoln coming out with statement vehicles that once again define American luxury.”
Mike Baldwin is the General Sales Manager for Fields Jaguar Land Rover Volvo in Madison, but selling luxury cars is a career he began only recently. For 25 years the British expat worked all over the United States as a professional soccer coach. “I was passionate about soccer,” he says. “I wanted to find something I was equally passionate about. This job came along, and I thought it would be a good fit.”
Right now, the car on Baldwin’s mind is the new Jaguar F-Pace, a vehicle so impressive that it won both the 2017 World Car of the Year and the World Car Design of the Year Awards at the International New York Auto Show.
“We knew that buyers were looking forward to Jaguar’s first SUV,” says Baldwin, “but we underestimated just how positive the response would be. This car drives like a small sedan–it’s an exhilarating experience. It’s easy to handle and feels like you’re driving a luxury car, but there’s also room for passengers and storage. Great for families, it fits four adults comfortably with nearly as much trunk space as a Range Rover Sport. It’s wildly popular. We can’t keep them on the lot.”
In addition, Jaguar is debuting a new I-Pace in 2019, which will be the brand’s first all-electric car. Finally, the 2018 E-Pace will be arriving later this year as the company’s first compact SUV. Sporty and urban, it will also come with a slightly smaller price tag than the F-Pace.
In the fourth quarter, Baldwin is looking forward to driving the 2018 Range Rover Velar–a mid-size SUV using a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine. Environmentally friendly, the Velar promises better gas mileage and great emissions, in addition to its understated luxury, clean lines, and new double-touch screen technology on the center console.
According the Baldwin, Volvo has recently made two very bold statements about the future of its utomobiles: by 2019 all of their cars will have electric capability, and by 2020 the vehicles will have so many safety features that consumers will be much less likely to be seriously injured during a crash while driving one of their cars.
Currently, Volvo’s XC90 is the best selling luxury, seven-seat SUV. This summer the new XC60 arrived, and Baldwin calls it the vehicle everyone has been waiting for. “All the technology that people loved in XC90 has simply been transferred to a smaller, five-seat mid-size SUV,” he says. Finally, the brand will be releasing its XC40, a new compact SUV in spring, 2018.
The other big news is that the Fields Madison dealership is moving to a much larger facility next year, on the site of the former Badger Bowl on Badger Road in Madison. With more room, the new dealership will also be equipped with a cafe, a built-in car wash, and two bowling lanes, as an homage to the former tenant, a Madison institution. “Our products are getting bigger, better, and more well-known,” says Baldwin. “We need more space to keep up with demand.” —
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