Tag: mike sullivan
Mike Sullivan has been racing since his teens getting his adrenaline fix on the backs of dirt bikes, but it wasn’t until 2014 that he decided to give Porsche racing a try. After all, they say that racing your brand is an excellent way to connect with it on another level, and that’s absolutely true according to Sullivan. He teamed up with Carl Tofflemire, the Porsche sales manager at LAcarGuy at the time, and they began racing vintage Porsches together.
The moment that Porsche came out with the Cayman GT4 Clubsport racer back in 2015, Sullivan snapped up two of them with a price tag of about $200,000 each. That’s when he decided they were going to take part in more serious races, they would enter the 2016 Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA series of races.
At the start of the series Sullivan decided to film the whole thing, and to his amazement the videos began getting some serious views. Within the first year of release his series had more than 180,000 views to his astonishment, and both drivers did better than expected with third place finishes in their categories.
It Just Made Sense to Create a Video Series
With nearly $20,000 going into each race, it only made sense for Sullivan to use all the racing footage to help promote his brand and bring more attention to Porsche South Bay. LAcarGUY has an in-house video department that’s responsible for creating videos and promoting them on social media, and the team worked hard to create the Behind the Wheel: GT4 Weekend Warriors series showing off everything that occurred during those 2016 races. The videos are all available at the porschesouthbay.com website.
The series had a production budget of about $50,000 with an additional $15,000 dedicated to social media marketing. The racing series was good business for the store though, and many of the racers featured in the video other than Sullivan and Tofflemire were actually customers that purchased their vehicles at the store as well. Nearly 10 vehicles were sold to racers in the series in 2015 and 2016.
Expanding the Store
Sullivan’s foray into more serious Porsche racing occurred at the same time that his old Porsche store was being improved upon with an all-new store in Hawthorne California. The $28 million construction is three times the size of the old store, and makes a real effort to show off the racing heritage of Porsche, with displays of some of Sullivan’s vintage race cars for customers to see upon entering the building.
Not only does the new store offer more space, more inventory and a richer presentation platform for the vehicles, but it’s right down the road from the Porsche Experience Center that promises to draw in interested buyers from all over the world.
Sullivan sees a real opportunity to expand his brand further with the racing and the release of the new store. He understands that it’s a chance to broaden his customer base and take things to a more national level. He wants to become the Porsche guy of more people around the country, and with more than 180,000 views on his racing series that seems like a strong possibility.
We are excited to announce that the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica have decided to honor Mike Sullivan at this year’s Great Futures Gala on November 18th!
Enjoy an exciting evening of silent and live auctions, cocktails, and a delicious dinner! Mix and mingle with hundreds of Club supporters, city officials, and business & community leaders all while supporting the mission of inspiring and enabling youth to reach their highest potential.
The event will be at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tickets are available now here
The EMA awards (sponsored by Toyota and Lexus) were a fun-filled spectacle that really gave Gwyneth Paltrow and a handful of other environmental champions a chance to shine for all their efforts to improve the environment. Paltrow received the 2015 Green Parent Award thanks to all her efforts to make corporations label all their GMO products as such. This is a major environmental issue and Gwyneth spent 2015 working toward getting the issue resolved. Lance Bass was the night’s host and he kept the tone light and fun, but also made sure that everyone understood just how important the environmental issues represented really are.
Both the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Mirai were recognized at the event. The Prius was a major spectacle at the EMA awards because the vehicle’s been on the market for the last 15 years. The Mirai – Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell car – was on display for everyone to get acquainted with fuel cell technology a bit more and to see the stylish vehicle in person.
Rescuing a Baby Elephant
Kristin Davis of Sex and the City was honored at the big event for her work with the EMA to bring back an orphaned baby elephant in Kenya. She helped rescue the creature that was a victim of poaching and she helped raise even more awareness for the ongoing issue in Kenya and other parts of the world with poaching.
Missions in Music
Don Henley received the Missions in Music Award during the event for his continued work to help preserve historic locations and the Walden Woods, home to Henry David Thoreau’s many writings and to the conservation movement overall.
Overall there was an excellent turnout to the event. Big names like Jessica Biel, Blythe Danner, Don Henley, and Gwyneth Paltrow were all in attendance to show their support for the environment.
Mike Sullivan of LAcarGUY was present to explain the Mirai and Toyota’s leading environmental technology and it was a good night for the environment overall.
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 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.
For the sixth year in a row, LAcarGUY was the title sponsor of Manhattan Beach’s World Famous Pumpkin Race on October 27th. For the second year in a row Mike Sullivan was the MC of the event, and entertained the crowd for the finals.
This year every LAcarGUY store created a race pumpkin and participated in the event, along with hundreds of others.
Pacific Porsche had their Cayman S race car and Subaru Pacific had their BRZ race car on display all done up in a custom designed LAcarGUY wrap! LAcarGUY also manned the “VALET” area where all the racers registered and the winners were displayed!
Rather than give you a blow by blow of the events we created a video, so you can enjoy this great event! We can’t wait till next years Pumpkin Race as every year it gets bigger and better!
Subaru’s XV Crosstrek has been a sales success since entering the market last September. Subaru reports having sold 45,000 of the little crossovers in its first year and the brand as a whole is set to top 400,000 U.S. sales this year – the fifth year in a row the company has witnessed a sales increase.
In order to keep the momentum going, Subaru is introducing its very first hybrid-electric vehicle for the 2014 model year, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Sure Subaru may be a little late in coming to the hybrid party, but it’s better late than never.
Starting at $25,995, the XV Crosstrek Premium takes the topline non-hybrid XV Crosstrek Touring and builds on it. That means besides added fuel efficiency the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid comes with features such as LED rear taillights, a standard 4.3-inch LCD display, a standard rearview camera, keyless access and ignition that allows owners to unlock and start the vehicle without removing the key from his or her pocket, and automatic climate control.
Step up to the $29,295 XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring and you’ll receive a standard navigation system with a 6.1-inch display, leather seats, and a sunroof.
To learn even more about the capable and fuel efficient XV Crosstrek Hybrid, as well as the standard XV Crosstrek, stop by Subaru Pacific today.
On May 2nd Audi Pacific hosted the private preview for Iron Man 3 in Torrance. A BIG thank you to the over 160 customers that came out to experience the fun and see the Audi R8 and Tony Stark in action.
This special preview was before the Midnight first showing for the general public, in fact as the Audi Pacific showing was being ushered into the theatre, there were 10 lines of people waiting for the midnight showing.
This was the second time that Audi Pacific has hosted an Iron Man movie night at the AMC Del Amo in Torrance and it was great to see so many friends out to see it.
There were a number of people from the Audi Pacific and LAcarGUY team at the event including Mike and Sean Sullivan, Jeff LaPlant, Chris Prodromides and his wife Stephany, and many more.
The Audi R8 e-tron® was front and center in the latest Iron Man movie, it was the perfect choice for Tony Stark, power, technology, style, and all done in a way that defies convention!
Audi Celebrates Grand Opening of Audi Pacific First LEED Certified Dealership that Features Largest Audi Showroom in U.S.
LAcarGUY’s new dealership in Torrance, CA will be among the greenest; features the largest Audi showroom in the U.S. showcasing 17 models
Audi of America, in coordination with LAcarGUY, will celebrate the grand opening of the newly redesigned Audi Pacific dealership on Tuesday, November 27. The new dealership will become the largest Audi showroom in the U.S. showcasing 17 models and is the first to be LEED Gold certified incorporating a state-of-the-art design with environmental technology aimed at improving energy efficiency, reducing water usage, as well as promoting the reuse and recycling of materials and waste. The new location marks one of 11 dealerships within the LAcarGUY family, headed by Mike Sullivan.
“Audi remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing green technology and environmentally responsible business practices,” said Mike Cagle, Director, Western Region for Audi of America. “Through the opening of Audi Pacific, we not only celebrate the largest Audi showroom in the United States, but also take great pride in achieving LEED Gold certification.”
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification process promoted by the U.S. Green Building Council to assess the sustainability of a building’s design, construction and operations. To meet LEED Gold certification, the Audi Pacific dealership features energy efficient water fixtures, low energy use lighting and a 45 kilowatt (kW) DC Solar PV system.
The owner of Audi Pacific and President of LAcarGUY, Mike Sullivan has been in the car business for over 45 years and also serves on the board of Heal The Bay and the Environmental Media Association as well as the Regional Board of Directors for Global Green USA. Having owned this Audi franchise since October of 1999, Sullivan became the first to build an Audi Hangar in California. To continue his encouragment in the adoption of electric vehicles, LAcarGUY recently became the first automotive dealer in the country to offer electric charging stations open to the public at four of its dealerships.
“The LAcarGUY family of dealerships has long been committed to promoting sustainable, greener business operations and supporting environmental initiatives,” said Sullivan. “Our new Audi Pacific dealership facility exemplifies our leadership and focus on ecology, economy and social responsibility across the board.”
General Manager and LAcarGUY business partner Jeff LaPlant will oversee the newly redesigned space which has expanded from 14,000 to 45,000 square feet allowing the dealership to better serve their customers with the expanded capacity and convenience within a compelling environment. The new dealership also follows the new Audi “terminal” design, an ecologically advanced construction method promoted by the Audi’s parent company in Germany. The structure makes an impressive architectural statement on Hawthorne Boulevard, with bold signage and an open two-story showroom, as well as 22 service bays showcasing the brand’s latest collection of luxury vehicles.
“Audi Pacific is very proud to be the first LEED Gold certified dealership for the Audi brand,” said LaPlant. “Environmental stewardship is very much in line with Audi Pacific’s overall business philosophy, commitment to exceptional and award-winning customer service, as well as focus on selling some of the most innovative, quality-engineered luxury products on the market today.”
Audi of America maintains a regional office, two technical facilities and a design center in California to better identify with and service the state’s strategically vital and diverse market. Since 2011, sales in the area have increased by 21.9% and represent 19.2% of total U.S. sales. Other noteworthy accomplishments for Audi in California include an increase in IHG market share from 5.56% in 2006 to 10.1% in 2012, effectively doubling the brand’s presence in the state. The Audi Pacific dealership opening marks the brand’s continued expansion and strong presence in the Southern California market.
We’ve put together a great slide show of pictures of the new store which you can view here
Nearly 50 Southern California-area Fisker Karma owners drove their cars to Santa Monica Sunday to share their excitement and appreciation for the award winning Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer).
Hosted by Fisker Santa Monica, 48 of the very first Karma owners were treated to brunch and open conversation with Executive Chairman Henrik Fisker at the exclusive Jonathan Club Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Fisker executives Tony Posawatz, CEO, and Alex Klatt, Vice President of Global Design, also attended.
Brunch was followed by a scenic drive on the Pacific Coast Highway and through town to the showroom on Santa Monica Boulevard, where owners were treated to a close up look at a design prototype of Fisker Automotive’s next car, the Fisker Atlantic.
With more than 100 Karmas sold in less than 10 months, Fisker Santa Monica is one of the highest volume Fisker retailers in the world. Fisker’s global network of more than 70 retailers has sold more than 1,500 Karmas since the car went on sale in December 2011.
“I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see how excited Karma owners get about their cars and the future of this company,” Henrik Fisker said. “I’ve been in the business a long time and truly have never seen anything like it. It was fantastic to watch all those Karmas make their way through town, knowing they weren’t using a drop of gas.”
Fisker Santa Monica principal Mike Sullivan said, “It was so great for me to show my appreciation for Fisker owners who understand you don’t have to compromise to drive more responsibly. Driving down San Vicente Blvd in a parade of 48 Fiskers in all-electric Stealth mode showed everyone a great example of the automotive future that we are hoping to build together.”