LAcarGUY was proud to support and represent at the recent Organization of Women Leaders breakfast in Santa Monica. The International Women’s Day breakfast gathered professionals from throughout the community to network and celebrate women leaders in Santa Monica. This year “OWLIE” honorees were Elaine Polachek, Assistant City Manager of the City of Santa Monica and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Amy Ziering.
“The Chamber holds this event annually with a dual focus: to highlight outstanding women leaders in the city and surrounding county, and to unite women in business in all levels of the community,” states Laurel Rosen, President and CEO of the Santa Monica Chamber. “The Organization of Women Leaders (OWL) feels this breakfast now more than ever highlights the importance of female entrepreneurs and business champions! Everyone enjoyed the networking and a delicious breakfast while listening to the inspiring speakers.
Local businesses and non-profits gathered at the Festival to provide expertise, advice, and product samples promoting a healthy and happy lifestyle for the entire Santa Monica Community. Stores and restaurants from every neighborhood had food and vendor booths. There was be music, cooking demos and interactive classes on stages and lots of opportunities to get free resources and screenings.
We always enjoy connecting with the community and it was great to see everyone out and having a great time!
Lexus Santa Monica is proud to once again sponsor the Junior Achievement of Southern California Golf Classic at the Riviera Country Club on May 2nd. The event kicks off at 8:30 with a registration, breakfast and a putting contest. 10:30 is the shotgun start to the event, there will be a barbecue lunch, and then starting at 4PM is the cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner and awards.
Please see the flyer for all the details, but we look forward to seeing everyone on May 2nd!
The 2015 Manhattan Beach pumpkin race was a huge success that brought together local families and businesses for a day of fun while helping to support local schools and the CHOICE program. Families got a chance to get out and participate in crafts or enter into the big pumpkin race against all the other participants for a chance to win the prized Championship Trophy.
What Goes on at the Pumpkin Race?
While the main event feautures a set medium-sized pumpkins turned race cars racing against one another for the top-prize trophy, there are arts and crafts, food and special events going on all along the Manhattan beach area for everyone involved. It’s a fun day to dress in costumes, get involved with the local community and show off your carefully crafted pumpkin car before you race it against all the competitors.
The event was organized back in 1990 and has been bringing thousands of participants together ever since. Mike Sullivan from LAcarGUY was the MC for the event and a also behind some of the donations supporting the event as well as many other local businesses in the area.
The CHOICE Program
The CHOICE program is a partnership with local businesses to help High School students involved with a special education program find local employment opportunities. Small businesses are encouraged to learn more about the program and how they can help these students get a start in their first career. By encouraging a more inclusive workplace environment companies can obtain loyal employees that are going to thrive in their positions. That’s the ultimate goal of the CHOICE program and it’s something that businesses all along the Manhattan Beach California area can become involved with. To learn how your business can be involved with the program and help out local students email Sonia Dickson at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the program and how you can become involved.
The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is a fun city park for families and friends to get together and enjoy the great outdoors together. It’s home to a total of 58 recreational acres for biking, walking and different types of physical activity. Unfortunately it’s become an unsafe environment lately because visitors continually turn to the steep entry road that’s used heavily for entering and exiting by vehicles. All the people using the road are at risk, and drivers are having trouble getting in and out effectively.
To solve this problem funding from the CBS EcoMedia Wellness Ad program and LAcarGUY a new paved walking path is being added to the park beside Heltzer road. This offers the same recreational space that the entry road is currently providing, and it’s a much safer environment for everyone.
When to Look for the Path
The new walking path should be released this fall, so look out for the new construction starting soon. It should offer the needed space that visitors are longing for to walk, jog and enjoy activities that a paved surface work so well for.
Cleaning up the Area
To further improve the environment, LAcarGUY volunteers worked closely with CBS EcoMedia and LA Radio volunteers to carry out a habitat restoration project. During the project the group removed a range of invasive species to help preserve the natural habitats and ecosystem for all the other plants and animals in the space.
The big question: When is it coming out?
No firm date was given, but it looks like early first quarter of 2016
What is going to cost?
Again, no firm numbers were given, but we’d bet that it will be very close in pricing to the current one, even though there is more content and safety items available.
How big is it?
The new Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower than the model it replaces, providing a planted on-road presence while delivering more occupant and cargo room.
Will it get better fuel economy?
With an expected ten percent improvement in EPA estimated MPG on core models, Prius will offer best-in-class fuel economy among vehicles without a plug. A soon-to-be unveiled Eco model will achieve an even greater improvement, strengthening Toyota’s leadership in hybrid fuel efficiency.
What is the interior like?
The Prius’ new, premium interior adopts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and have high visual impact. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and improved visibility put the driver in complete control.
What has Toyota done to make the Prius safer?
The new global architecture that the 2016 Prius is built on also provides a more rigid structural framework to help enhance occupant protection in the event of a collision. The high strength upper body is designed to distribute frontal collision impact energy. Plus, the Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Automatic High Beams
What inspired the design?
From the side, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion.
The hood is lower and the distinctive roof peak has been moved forward. Bold character lines run along the side from the front fenders – one just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler, which has been lowered.
The use of new standard LED headlamps minimizes the Prius’ front fascia and, at the same time, provides an arresting lighting display which helps define the vehicle’s character. The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides.
When can I place my order?
Make sure that you follow us on Facebook and Twitter and we will let you know just as soon as you can.
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.
LAcarGUY and Toyota of Hollywood formed a connection with Lori Goldman of Friends of Hollywood Central Park to help aid the effort and bring this beautiful dream to fruition. Lori Goldman was interested in forming a relationship with Toyota of Hollywood because it’s been a mainstay in the local community for more than 50 years. If there’s any business interested in helping the local community one with such a long-standing history is it.
All of the added space provides room for countless playgrounds, baseball fields and even an amphitheater. It gives people an area they can go to connect with nature, and get outdoors a bit more. The local park would encourage active fitness and provide a place to run or walk dogs. It’s a cool project that helps bring nature to those who are in serious need of it. The community in this section of Hollywood currently have the lowest ratio of open space to population of any area in California, and if there’s anyone who could benefit from such a project, it’s them. Overall the project will bring 38 acres of lush green park land to the community.
There are countless benefits that come along with this massive one-mile length of proposed park. It would help provide clean air to the rest of the city while providing more than 40,000 jobs to the local community. The project offers a fun and natural place for more than 80,000 local kids to play. It also helps connect both sides of the community that were normally split in two because of the highway.
As the project develops it’s easy to see how beneficial the new park would be for the community. There are still some problems that need to be overcome before the project can actually begin, but with each passing meeting the project comes a little closer to being reality and that’s an exciting thing for the Hollywood community.
Since 2009 the non-profit organization Friends of Hollywood Central Park have been working tirelessly to see their dream of a large central park in Hollywood come true. With aid from major sponsors such as LAcarGUY and Toyota of Hollywood as well as hundreds of other supporters the park dream is slowly coming true. The proposed park would sit between Hollywood and Santa Monica BLVD on US 101 will take up a total of 44 acres of land, and provide 38 acres of park to local residents. The park would provide a valuable spot for local festivals and hundreds of thousands of locals access to facilities that aren’t currently nearby. Over 180,000 people live within a mile of the park location, including 40,000 children who could all benefit from having a place to play. Partnership
Both Toyota of Hollywood and LAcarGUY are happy to be sponsors of the Hollywood Central Park project. They are providing funding and exposure to help increase awareness and get the project the support it needs. Throughout April Toyota of Hollywood will put on a display in their showroom based around the park project, and will also distribute information about the project through its social media accounts, blogs and the LAcarGUY email database. These efforts should help make citizens aware of the project and increase the support that it has as well.
Creating the Park
In order to bring this new park to life the plan is to cap US 101 between Hollywood and Santa Monica Blvd. Doing this would create a mile long stretch of park accessible to a wide range of local citizens. The project isn’t a simple one, and it’s not something that will be completed in a few weeks or even months, but it’s a worthwhile one. The project is estimated to create around 40,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Between local hire positions, entry level offerings and apprenticeship programs the new park project will offer a lot to the local community.
There currently isn’t a timeline for the park project to be completed, and it’s still in the initial planning phase. A scoping meeting was held in September of 2014 and the committee is continuing to work through issues that were voiced at the meeting by local community members. It’s a work in progress, but the Hollywood Central Park is an important project that will benefit the community overall. For more information about the project visit http://hollywoodcentralpark.org/home for updated news and additioanl coverage about what’s going on.
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.