Category: mike sullivan
Automotive News and Transport Evolved recently interviewed LAcarGuy owner Mike Sullivan about the Toyota Mirai and about how his Toyota dealership in Santa Monica California is one of just eight dealerships in the country releasing the product early on.
The Mirai is One Car Sullivan Isn’t Selling
Don’t get me wrong, the Toyota Mirai will be available for order at Toyota of Santa Monica, and it will be available there earlier than most other places in the world. While the car’s going to be in stock, Mike Sullivan explains that getting the cars to customers is more of a matchmaking process than it is a numbers game like most vehicles are. This is because he wants to make sure that each and every one of the early adopters truly loves the car.
If a buyer comes into the dealership and requests the vehicle the dealership will look them over and decide if the car is a good fit for their lifestyle. If it isn’t they will actually turn customers down and redirect them to a more suitable vehicle. This isn’t to be mean, or to be overly exclusive. It’s just to make sure that customers aren’t unhappy with their purchase.
This is what Sullivan had to say about the challenge of selling the Mirai.“With everything else on my lot, I’m selling something. It’s what I do,” “This car is the exact opposite. It’s the reverse of selling. We’re going to turn people down if this isn’t the car for you.”
Challenges with the Mirai
The Toyota Mirai isn’t a bargain car with a starting price of $58,325 and initially it won’t be the easiest to refuel with just a handful of hydrogen refueling stations around California. For these two reasons the vehicle simply isn’t going to be a good fit for everyone. If you don’t live close enough to refueling stations it will be a burden fueling up the car. If you’re looking for a bargain car this one’s likely too expensive.
Choosing the Original Mirai Dealerships
The first eight stores stocked with the Mirai were all chosen for a list of specific reasons. They are all located near planned hydrogen fueling stations. They are all high-volume electric and hybrid selling locations and they have the finances to handle any upgrades necessary to make the sales possible.
Giving Customers an Early Look at the Mirai
Mike Sullivan has been working hard to promote the Mirai and everything the vehicle stands for. He even hopped on the live streaming program Periscope to give dozens of interested people a walk around look at the Mirai in real time.
Introducing the Mirai Champion
Many of the eight Toyota dealerships to start off selling the Mirai before any others in the country plan on assigning a single employee to serve as the Mirai expert. This Mirai Champion will talk with every customer interested in buying the hydrogen fuel-cell car. The hope with assigning a single person to the task is that they become an expert on the matter and provide a more reliable and consistent buying experience for each of the Mirai shoppers. A similar strategy was employed by Nissan when the company began selling the LEAF to customers.
Toyota of Santa Monica Upgrades
To get the Toyota dealership ready to sell the Mirai a number of improvements have to be made to it. The first is an upgrade to the repair center so that repairs and services can be performed on the Mirai after it starts selling to customers. That way customers have a place they can take the vehicle if any work needs to be performed. Sullivan is also planning to add a personal hydrogen refueling station so that dealership customers can refuel their vehicles after making the purchase. This will cost around $150,000 for the dealership to do, but it’s a small price to make the dealership more accessible and it’s a real perk for customers that live in the area.
Heal the Bay is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the coastal areas and watersheds of Southern California. LAcarGUY works closely with the organization in several different capacities and has been a 10-year sponsor. For the past four years they supported the Beach Report Card program, but have since moved on to providing funding for field trips to the Heal the Bay Aquarium
The Beach Report Card
The Beach Report Card program grades all of the waterways around Southern California and lets everyone know how the area is doing. Not only does this effort help bring the beaches in poor shape to the attention to the locals and the supporters, but it also helps all of the volunteers understand how their contributions are making a difference. It gives everyone involved a chance to see how the waterway is improving over time, and gives them a goal to work toward as well.
Field Trip Funding
Heal the Bay runs a major aquarium known as the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium that’s positioned right on the prominent Santa Monica Pier. The aquarium is the main education center for the organization, and it also happens to be home to more than 100 different species of animals and plants that can all be found in the Santa Monica Bay.
The Aquarium serves as an introduction to everything that the Bay is home to and it helps people get attached to their local waterway while also learning a thing or two about the ecosystem. The aquarium provides a great opportunity for locals to learn about all the animals and plants that are affected by their decisions while at the beach, unfortunately not everyone can afford to visit the aquarium or even know about it. Some schools offer field trips to the location, but others can’t afford to. That’s where LAcarGUY comes in. The company is no sponsoring fieldtrips for local schools to the aquarium if they aren’t able to afford it on their own. This gets more children in to see the animals, and provides a good learning experience for students that will hopefully result in improved coastal health over time.
Teaching Children to Care About Waterways
One of the best ways to help improve conditions of beaches around the country is to teach children to love and care about all the animals that live in that ecosystem. By sponsoring the Heal the Bay Aquarium field trips more students will get the chance to go visit the aquarium and learn about the animals that are local to the Southern California area. This is a change that will affect many schools and could be a big help to the Heal the Bay message and goal of taking care of the Santa Monica Bay and the ocean overall.
LAcarGUY is once again happy to run the Touchdown to a Cure event to benefit sufferers from Cystic Fibrosis in conjunction with the Pipeline to a Cure Foundation. Mike Sullivan (CEO) of LAcarGUY, has been a member of the Pipeline to a Cure board since its inception. Throughout football season the event donates thousands of dollars to this great non-profit cause, and helps raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis as well. If you would like to learn more about the event visit it here.
The Touchdown to a Cure Event
LAcarGUY is continuing their Touchdown to a Cure event this year and will be donating $300 for every touchdown that USC (The University of Southern California) scores this season. We’re off to a good start this season, but Pipeline to a Cure needs as much money as they can get to help with research costs. Follow along with our latest donations here, and even make one of your own if you like.
About Pipeline to a Cure
Pipeline to a Cure is a non-profit organization started in 2007 in homage to an exciting discovery about surfing CF patients. Children and adults alike suffering from Cystic Fibrosis were found to be much healthier if they were also regular surfers. After studying these patients, Australian researchers and Doctors realized that by inhaling salt water regularly the surfers were keeping their lungs moist and helping them eliminate mucus infected with bacteria more easily. Now nearly every CF patient uses a salt-water spray on a daily basis to improve their condition.
After that discovery Pipeline to a Cure was started and the organization has raised more than $2 million in research funding since then. You can rest assured that when you make a donation to the organization the majority of your money is going toward research because $0.92 of every dollar donated goes in the research fund.
About Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis is a debilitating genetic defect that creates thicker mucus in the lungs leading to trouble with lung health and digestion. It affects around 30,000 children and adults, and makes it difficult for their pancreas, digestive system and immune system to function properly. Additional research funding helps aid the goal of discovering a cure to this disease.
This honor recognizes Mike’s personal commitment to supporting so many important local environmental organizations and for actively promoting community projects from beach cleanups to creating school gardens. When Global Green needed hybrid cars for their Red Carpet – Green Car campaign (i.e., taking stars to the Oscars in fuel efficient cars), Mike provided them.
LAcarGUY not only sell more hybrids and clean diesel cars than any other dealership group in America, we also showcase energy and resource conserving practices in its dealerships — including the new Audi LEED certified dealership. The LA Green Team represents the company’s commitment to advancing sustainability by encouraging, inspiring and educating its 800+ employees about reducing their individual and corporate carbon footprint, as well as selling more hybrids and clean diesel cars than any other dealership group in the United States.
We hope you will join us in paying tribute to Mike’s contributions and help support the work of Global Green by sponsoring a table or purchasing tickets to the event. To participate or for further information, please contact MTA Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818.906.0240 if you require further information. We look forward to seeing you there!
LAcarGUY is proud to announce that they will be honored with the grand prize at the 2011 Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) at the Sheraton Santa Monica from 11am – 2pm on Wednesday, April 27th. The SQAs, a partnership between the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Works and the City of Santa Monica, celebrates local business achievement in economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the environment.
LAcarGUY is the first automotive dealership to win an SQA grand prize reinforcing the company’s leadership in an industry not known for its earth friendly practices. The grand prize was based on a number of factors including:
• LAcarGUY is #1 Hybrid dealer in the world, and Toyota Santa Monica is the #1 Prius dealership in the world.
• LAcarGUY offers vehicles at varied price points that utilize different energy sources (gasoline, hybrid, electric) lending itself to all economic conditions and customer choice.
• Toyota Santa Monica won the coveted Environmental Sustainability Award presented by Senator Pavley’s office.
• LAcarGUY was the first automotive dealership in the country to install the “Level 2” SAE J-1772 EV chargers for the new plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
• LAcarGUY is providing open access to the chargers at no cost in order to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles.
• Lexus Santa Monica is the #1 Lexus Hybrid Dealer in the U.S.
• LAcarGUY spent close to $15 million renovating the Lexus Santa Monica dealership instead of tearing it down.
• In January 2011, a major LED retrofit was executed at Lexus Santa Monica.
• LAcarGUY created the position of Manager of the Environment, a Green Team and a Green Newsletter that includes tips for employees on how to conserve energy in the office and at home.
• LAcarGUY has a long history of giving back to the community, and in 2010 employees volunteered at 15 events for a total of 650+ pro-bono hours.
• In 2010 LAcarGUY donated $200k to a side range of environmental charities including Heal the Bay, Environmental Media Association, Global Green, Tree People and Sustainable Works.
The 16th Annual Sustainable Quality Awards are Santa Monica’s most prestigious environmental event, and will be presented by LACarGUY and Morley Builders at the Sheraton Santa Monica on April 27th, 2011. Sarah Backhouse, host of Discovery’s “Planet 100″ show is the emcee, and Evan Kleiman, host of Good Food on KCRW will give the luncheon keynote.
Please take a few minutes and enjoy some of the photos from a few of our events:
In a field fill with celebrities and racing stars, LAcarGUY‘s Mike Sullivan battled hard to a podium finish of third in the Celebrity Class and a very solid fifth place overall in the 2011 Toyota Pro/Celebrity race during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend. Mike finished just behind former “Malcolm In The Middle” star Frankie Munoz, who is a highly skilled driver and competed in the Pro category!
By participating in the race Toyota donated $5,000 in Mike’s name to the Racing for Kids foundation. Racing for Kids is a national nonprofit program benefiting children’s hospitals in Long Beach and Orange County, Calif. Toyota has donated $1.9 million on behalf of the race and its participants to various children’s hospitals since 1991.
The Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is scheduled to be broadcast on the Speed Channel on Sunday, May 1, at Noon PDT and will be rebroadcast after that. (See local listings or www.speedtv.com for times.)
You can see the overall results below and a few pictures from the event and the LAcarGUY team cheering Mike on.
On Monday, March 22, the Los Angeles Lakers held their 20th Annual Celebrity Golf Invitational and Dinner presented by LAcarGUY at the Riviera Country Club. With strong support from corporate sponsors, the team raised over $175,000 for the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation.
Approximately 140 Golfers enjoyed a sunny Southern California afternoon at the world renowned Riviera Country Club, which was in terrific condition as it recently hosted the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open in February. Sponsors had the opportunity to play golf alongside Lakers Legends Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, James Worthy and Mitch Kupchak.
After golf, Phil Jackson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the entire Lakers team attended the cocktail reception and awards dinner. Lakers players Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol joined host Joel Meyers in addressing the audience and answering questions.
Much of the $175,000 was raised during the live auction, which featured: Lakers floor seats and trips to Europe and Hawaii, and the silent auction, which featured: memorabilia jewelry and vacation packages.
“This year we were able to raise more money for the Foundation than in any of our past nineteen golf tournaments,” said Janie Drexel, Director of Charitable Services. “Especially in such a difficult economic time, we are pleased and thankful for the support of our corporate sponsors, who enjoyed interacting with the Lakers players and legends throughout the event.”
The Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation’s goal is to assist nonprofit community organizations based on need. With the Foundation’s focus on the use of sports to promote education, teamwork and self-esteem among Los Angeles area youth, the fundraising directly supports these initiatives by providing financial assistance to children and local youth programs.
Mike Sullivan and LAcarGUY have sponsored the Laker Youth Foundation event for the last three years and plan to continue this new, exciting tradition. Mike is not only a huge Laker basketball fan for many years, but continues to support underprivileged youth throughout the Los Angeles.
The Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles (SBCLA), a non-profit organization which provides a professional networking and education forum for Southern California businesses and individuals working with sustainable products, services, and processes, hosted “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon.” The panel featured six key players in this fast-emerging and competitive industry who guided the audience through a topic that is especially integral to the fabric and future of Los Angeles.
The event took place on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Valcucine’s showroom in Beverly Hills. The distinctive presentation reinforced SBCLA’s commitment to showcasing environmentally-conscious businesses, and spotlighted cutting-edge sustainability trends and best practices across a broad range of industry sectors.
Moderated by Plug In America’s (http://www.pluginamerica.org) VP, Paul Scott, who is also President of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California, “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” presented: Laura Marion, CFO, Aptera; K. Forest Beanum, VP of Public Affairs & Communications, CODA Automotive; Richard Steinberg, Manager, Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy, BMW of North America, LLC; Eric Shieh, Account Executive, Coulomb Technologies and Mike Sullivan, Owner and President, LAcarGUY
This distinguished group of professionals—representing the cycle of invention to delivery and consumer use—addressed the value proposition of these businesses and California’s leading role in the sector’s growth.
-Why is the timing for electric vehicles more ideal now than when “Who Killed the Electric Car” was released in 2006? What has changed? Or has it?
-What are the sustainable aspects of the vehicle industry vs. other forms of mobility, especially in Los Angeles?
-What are the economic implications of millions of Californians switching from 60% foreign oil to 100% domestic renewable electricity?
-What plug-in vehicles are available today and what will be available in the near future? What are the predictions for the future of electric vehicle adoption?
The event was sponsored by Stonefield Josephson, Inc., LAcarGUY, Valcucine, “Dom,” Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss, Summa Marketing Communications, New Belgium Brewing, Evenson Design Group and dubroWorks Public Relations/Marketing/ Project Management.
We are excited to announce that LAcarGUY’s Mike Sullivan will be participating in the Sustainable Business Council’s Electric Vehicle roundtable this Thursday, September 30th. The roundtable is open to the public and is only $25. Click here to rsvp.
We have posted the press release with more info about the event and other panelists below.
SBCLA MIXER AND PANEL PRESENTS ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROUNDTABLE AND DRIVE-A-THON WITH KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS
ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th AT VALCUCINE IN BEVERLY HILLS
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — September 23, 2010 — The Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles (SBCLA), a non-profit organization which provides a professional networking and education forum for Southern California businesses and individuals working with sustainable products, services, and processes, will host “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon.”
The panel features six key players in this fast-emerging and competitive industry who will help guide the audience through a topic that is especially integral to the fabric and future of Los Angeles. The event will take place on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Valcucine’s showroom in Beverly Hills. The distinctive presentation reinforces SBCLA’s commitment to showcasing environmentally-conscious businesses, and spotlighting cutting-edge sustainability trends and best practices across a broad range of industry sectors.
Moderated by Plug In America’s (http://www.pluginamerica.org) VP, Paul Scott, who is also President of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California, “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” presents:
* Laura Marion, CFO, Aptera (http://www.aptera.com)
* K. Forest Beanum, VP of Public Affairs & Communications, CODA Automotive (http://www.codaautomotive.com)
* Richard Steinberg, Manager, Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy, BMW of North America, LLC (http://www.bmwusa.com/ActiveE)
* Eric Shieh, Account Executive, Coulomb Technologies (http://www.coulombtech.com)
* Mike Sullivan, Owner and President, LAcarGUY (http://www.lacarguy.com/green)
This distinguished group of professionals—representing the cycle of invention to delivery and consumer use—will address the value proposition of these businesses and California’s leading role in the sector’s growth. “We will explain why this technology will improve our environment, strengthen our economy and increase our national security,” states Paul Scott, VP, Plug In America. “With the new era of electric vehicles mere months away, this is information vital to anyone who cares about these issues,” Scott added. Specific topics may include:
* Why is the timing for electric vehicles more ideal now than when “Who Killed the Electric Car” was released in 2006? What has changed? Or has it?
* What are the sustainable aspects of the vehicle industry vs. other forms of mobility, especially in Los Angeles?
* What are the economic implications of millions of Californians switching from 60% foreign oil to 100% domestic renewable electricity?
* What do national security experts say about the need to switch from oil to electricity as the energy source for our transportation fleet?
* What plug-in vehicles are available today and what will be available in the near future?
* How many charging stations are there, and how many are really needed?
* What companies are opening electric vehicle showrooms in L.A.?
* How important is the L.A. market as a model for electric vehicle adoption?
* What are the predictions for the future of electric vehicle adoption? What will be future trends?
“On behalf of the SBCLA board, I am thrilled to welcome such a strong representation of this vibrant, rapidly-expanding industry to the Valcucine showroom,” said Laura Berland-Shane, member of the SBCLA board of directors, and business development manager of Alternative Energy at SIEMENS Industry. “We anticipate a lively discourse that will inform and hopefully inspire creative thinking and planning in light of the current electric vehicle renaissance. We are particularly excited to note that many of the companies we will hear from are California-based.”
Advance registration is required to attend SBCLA’s “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” panel discussion and drive-a-thon. To RSVP, please visit http://www.sustainablebc.org.
General admission price of $25 includes:
* Admission to “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” mixer and panel discussion.
* Electric Vehicle displays.
* Tour of Valcucine’s showroom featuring sustainable kitchen furnishings.
* Light refreshments
The event is sponsored by Stonefield Josephson, Inc. LAcarGUY, Valcucine, “Dom,” Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss, Summa Marketing Communications, New Belgium Brewing, Evenson Design Group and dubroWorks Public Relations/Marketing/ Project Management.
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LAcarGUY offers automotive products and services to our greater Los Angeles area customers. The company carries a comprehensive line of vehicles by Volkswagen, Toyota, Scion, Audi, Lexus and Porsche, providing new and used cars featuring hybrids, TDI clean diesel and other industry-leading alternatives. LAcarGUY counts the nation’s top selling Toyota and Lexus Hybrid destinations as part of its family of dealerships. They also offer trusted car repair, original car parts, and financing as well two dedicated body shops.
Mike Sullivan’s LAcarGUY.com Family of Dealers is proud to sponsor Richstone Family Center “Affair of the Heart” Gala Event honoring Roger Van Remmen.
The Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse, strengthening families, and preventing violence in families, schools and communities.
This year’s event, “AN EVENING IN NEW ORLEANS”, takes place this Saturday May 22nd 6:30pm This is our 4th year in a row to sponsor this event (Mike Sullivan was honored at last year’s event!)
Taste Premier Cal wines, auction, food and drinks and a complete New Orleans style dinner complete with Strawberry Beignets
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive