iDriveSoCal https://www.idrivesocal.com Mobility in the automotive capital of the world – Southern California. Mon, 20 May 2019 03:43:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2 The iDriveSoCal Podcast is all about mobility in the automotive capital of the world – Southern California. The region with the worst traffic congestion on the planet has become ground zero for the revolution in how humans travel from point ‘A’ to ‘B’. Whether those points are across town, between cities, states or planets; iDriveSoCal is talking to the leaders of the companies, governments, and organizations that are leading the charge in changing the way we move. Tom Smith clean episodic Tom Smith tom@idrivesocal.com tom@idrivesocal.com (Tom Smith) Copyright © 2018 iDriveSoCal Mobility from the automotive capital of the world - Southern California. iDriveSoCal https://idrivesocal.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/iDSCpodcast1400x1400.png https://www.idrivesocal.com TV-PG Los Angeles, California 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-chevrolet-blazer-review/ Wed, 15 May 2019 14:30:18 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10717 The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is a stylish and fun to drive crossover SUV. Most of us recall the Blazer name.  Because Chevy has used it in a couple of previous versions.  There was the compact S-10 Blazer and then going way back there was the full-sized K-5 Blazer. The all-new 2019 Chevy Blazer is more of a crossover.  Whereas its predecessors were definitely more of SUVs.  But, that's really only in the more serious off-road department. 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Top-3 1. Styling 2. Tech 3. Power My friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA recently gave me a 2019 Blazer for a day of fun-driving around Southern California.  Continue reading below or click play to listen to my review while scrolling through my '19 Chevy Blazer photo shoot. All-New 2019 Chevy Blazer The rebooted 2019 Chevrolet Blazer comes in three primary trim options.  There's the base, the RS and the Premier.  If you go with the base then you have a few additional, call them sub-trim, options to chose from. As always, don't worry about MSRP.  The manufacturer's suggested retail price is only that.  The two things that are important. First, be sure to get your '19 Blazer equipped the way you want.  We spend way too much time in our cars here in Southern California to not love what we drive! Where to Buy - 2019 Chevy Blazer And second, go to Martin Chevrolet.  Hands down, this is the best place to buy a Chevy.  Of course, your price will be the best.  But Martin Chevy is led by my friend Lewis Cook. And I love his no-nonsense straightforwardness.  The first thing Lewis suggests when helping customers buy or lease cars is to get what you want!  (Of course, we all have a budget we need to work within.)  But getting the features you want is key to automotive happiness! Blazer Powertrains & MPG The all-new 2019 Blazer comes with two different engine options.  There's a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 193-horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque.  And the bigger 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 308-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. Going with the 4-cylinder will require you to stick to a version of the base model '19 Blazer.  But you can get the base model with the V6 as well.  And when you step up to the RS and or the Premier your only option is the V6. Another key difference between the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer and Blazers of the past is standard front-wheel drive.  Previous Blazers were rear-wheel drive. But like previous Blazers, the '19 Blazer offers all-wheel drive.  And of course, this is expected in any crossover SUV. "...the bigger 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 308-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque." Whatever your overall configuration, the 2019 Chevy Blazer's fuel economy is rated respectably.  The base Blazer with only front-wheel drive and the 4-cylinder will give you 22 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. And a load-up Premier with all-wheel drive and the bigger V6 will deliver only slightly different numbers with 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway. And the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer's towing capacity is also respectable.  Up to 4,500 pounds with the V6 and AWD. 2019 Chevy Blazer Exterior Because Chevrolet has used the 'Blazer' name in the past it's natural to expect the vehicle will look a certain way.  And I don't think I'm alone in saying it's not what I expected.  But it's very, very good looking.   This all-new Chevy Blazer is sexy, bold and stylish looking in every trim level.  Because it's sweeping lines and bold stance seem to take its cues from the Camaro - surprisingly. My test driver was the base model and it looks great.  But when you add the sporty accents of the RS and or the more upscale accents of the Premier the result is eye-popping. "...when you add the sporty accents of the RS and or the more upscale accents of the Premier the result is eye-popping."  Because you wind up with what looks, The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is a stylish and fun to drive crossover SUV.

Most of us recall the Blazer name.  Because Chevy has used it in a couple of previous versions.  There was the compact S-10 Blazer and then going way back there was the full-sized K-5 Blazer.

The all-new 2019 Chevy Blazer is more of a crossover.  Whereas its predecessors were definitely more of SUVs.  But, that’s really only in the more serious off-road department.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Top-3
1. Styling
2. Tech
3. Power

My friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA recently gave me a 2019 Blazer for a day of fun-driving around Southern California.  Continue reading below or click play to listen to my review while scrolling through my ’19 Chevy Blazer photo shoot.

2019 Chevy Blazer driver profile banner

All-New 2019 Chevy Blazer

The rebooted 2019 Chevrolet Blazer comes in three primary trim options.  There’s the base, the RS and the Premier.  If you go with the base then you have a few additional, call them sub-trim, options to chose from.

As always, don’t worry about MSRP.  The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is only that.  The two things that are important.

First, be sure to get your ’19 Blazer equipped the way you want.  We spend way too much time in our cars here in Southern California to not love what we drive!

Where to Buy – 2019 Chevy Blazer

And second, go to Martin Chevrolet.  Hands down, this is the best place to buy a Chevy.  Of course, your price will be the best.  But Martin Chevy is led by my friend Lewis Cook.

And I love his no-nonsense straightforwardness.  The first thing Lewis suggests when helping customers buy or lease cars is to get what you want!  (Of course, we all have a budget we need to work within.)  But getting the features you want is key to automotive happiness!

Blazer Powertrains & MPG

The all-new 2019 Blazer comes with two different engine options.  There’s a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 193-horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque.  And the bigger 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 308-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.

Going with the 4-cylinder will require you to stick to a version of the base model ’19 Blazer.  But you can get the base model with the V6 as well.  And when you step up to the RS and or the Premier your only option is the V6.

Another key difference between the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer and Blazers of the past is standard front-wheel drive.  Previous Blazers were rear-wheel drive.

But like previous Blazers, the ’19 Blazer offers all-wheel drive.  And of course, this is expected in any crossover SUV.

“…the bigger 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 308-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.”

Whatever your overall configuration, the 2019 Chevy Blazer’s fuel economy is rated respectably.  The base Blazer with only front-wheel drive and the 4-cylinder will give you 22 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.

And a load-up Premier with all-wheel drive and the bigger V6 will deliver only slightly different numbers with 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway.

And the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer’s towing capacity is also respectable.  Up to 4,500 pounds with the V6 and AWD.

2019 Chevy Blazer Exterior

Because Chevrolet has used the ‘Blazer’ name in the past it’s natural to expect the vehicle will look a certain way.  And I don’t think I’m alone in saying it’s not what I expected.  But it’s very, very good looking.

 

This all-new Chevy Blazer is sexy, bold and stylish looking in every trim level.  Because it’s sweeping lines and bold stance seem to take its cues from the Camaro – surprisingly.

My test driver was the base model and it looks great.  But when you add the sporty accents of the RS and or the more upscale accents of the Premier the result is eye-popping.

“…when you add the sporty accents of the RS and or the more upscale accents of the Premier the result is eye-popping.” 

Because you wind up with what looks, feels and drives like a luxury vehicle.

Inside the ’19 Chevrolet Blazer

The interior of the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is spacious and modern.  There’s plenty of room throughout for both people and our stuff.

There are lots of storage nooks to keep all the various items that might interest would be thieves out of sight.

Even my test driver, again base model, had heated front seats.  And ventilated front seats are also an option when you jump up to the RS trim.  Heat and ventilated front seats are standard on the Premier trim.

“…the outside dial of the vent turns to either increase or decrease the cabin temperature.”

And speaking of heating and ventilation the circular vents both look cool and are functional.  Because the outside dial of the vent turns to either increase or decrease the cabin temperature.  Great design!

The 2019 Blazer seats up to 5 adults.   Plus, if you’re in the backseat and in the middle, you still get to enjoy a flat floor!

And with the backseat up you have an ample 30.5 cubic-feet of cargo space.  Drop the backseats down and you wind up with a generous 64.2 cu-ft.

Technology & Safety

The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is packed with technology features.  For instance, the 8-inch touchscreen is standard across all trim levels.

And that touchscreen, along with the rest of the ’19 Blazer controls are all well laid out and highly functional.  The intuitive and user-friendly design makes all the features, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a cinch to master.

And the 2019 Chevy Blazer offers all the driver assisted safety technology that we’ve come to expect.

The Drive

Being more crossover than SUV, the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is smooth.  But it’s also powerful and fun.  I love the upright seating position giving you a great view and command for the road.

“I love the upright seating position giving you a great view and command for the road.” 

Confidence behind the wheel is a key factor.  Especially when you’re dealing with the insane traffic we live with here in Southern California!

Stepping on the Blazer’s accelerator enhances that confidence through both the torque and even the sound.  But the Blazer’s cabin is still quiet and refined – even while driving a bit more aggressively than normal.

All-New 2019 Chevrolet Blazer | Top-3

  1. Exterior Styling – This Blazer is sharp, it looks great in every trim level.  The RS gives you the sportiness.  The Premier delivers the more refine and even the base Blazer looks great pulling up to a valet stand.
  2. Technology – The 2019 Blazer can be loaded up like a luxury vehicle.  In fact, when you buy a fully loaded version, the only thing you’re missing is a luxury badge.
  3. Power – The 2019 Blazer’s 308-horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque instill a sense of confidence and control.  I love a vehicle that has more than I need under the hood… cause you never know when you might want just a sample of the goods. 🙂

Martin Chevrolet – Southern California’s Chevy Dealer

My thanks again to our Chevy partner, Martin Chevrolet.  For all-things Chevy, Martin Chevrolet is Southern California’s Chevy Dealer.  Stop in and say hi to my friend, general manager, Lewis Cook.  Also, his general sales manager, Ronnie Blomquist.

If you haven’t checked out my talk with Lewis about the car buying process then you’re missing out.  I promise you’ll love his honesty!

Martin Chevrolet is on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and at MartinChevrolet.com.  Chevrolet, Find New Roads!

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The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is a stylish and fun to drive crossover SUV. - Most of us recall the Blazer name.  Because Chevy has used it in a couple of previous versions.  There was the compact S-10 Blazer and then going way back there was the f... The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer is a stylish and fun to drive crossover SUV.<br /> <br /> Most of us recall the Blazer name.  Because Chevy has used it in a couple of previous versions.  There was the compact S-10 Blazer and then going way back there was the full-sized K-5 Blazer.<br /> <br /> The all-new 2019 Chevy Blazer is more of a crossover.  Whereas its predecessors were definitely more of SUVs.  But, that's really only in the more serious off-road department.<br /> <br /> 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Top-3<br /> 1. Styling<br /> 2. Tech<br /> 3. Power<br /> <br /> My friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA recently gave me a 2019 Blazer for a day of fun-driving around Southern California.  Continue reading below or click play to listen to my review while scrolling through my '19 Chevy Blazer photo shoot.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> All-New 2019 Chevy Blazer<br /> The rebooted 2019 Chevrolet Blazer comes in three primary trim options.  There's the base, the RS and the Premier.  If you go with the base then you have a few additional, call them sub-trim, options to chose from.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> As always, don't worry about MSRP.  The manufacturer's suggested retail price is only that.  The two things that are important.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> First, be sure to get your '19 Blazer equipped the way you want.  We spend way too much time in our cars here in Southern California to not love what we drive!<br /> Where to Buy - 2019 Chevy Blazer<br /> And second, go to Martin Chevrolet.  Hands down, this is the best place to buy a Chevy.  Of course, your price will be the best.  But Martin Chevy is led by my friend Lewis Cook.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And I love his no-nonsense straightforwardness.  The first thing Lewis suggests when helping customers buy or lease cars is to get what you want!  (Of course, we all have a budget we need to work within.)  But getting the features you want is key to automotive happiness!<br /> <br /> <br /> Blazer Powertrains & MPG<br /> The all-new 2019 Blazer comes with two different engine options.  There's a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that produces 193-horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque.  And the bigger 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 308-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Going with the 4-cylinder will require you to stick to a version of the base model '19 Blazer.  But you can get the base model with the V6 as well.  And when you step up to the RS and or the Premier your only option is the V6.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Another key difference between the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer and Blazers of the past is standard front-wheel drive.  Previous Blazers were rear-wheel drive.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> But like previous Blazers, the '19 Blazer offers all-wheel drive.  And of course, this is expected in any crossover SUV.<br /> <br /> "...the bigger 3.6-liter V6 that delivers 308-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque."<br /> <br /> Whatever your overall configuration, the 2019 Chevy Blazer's fuel economy is rated respectably.  The base Blazer with only front-wheel drive and the 4-cylinder will give you 22 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And a load-up Premier with all-wheel drive and the bigger V6 will deliver only slightly different numbers with 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer's towing capacity is also respectable.  Up to 4,500 pounds with the V6 and AWD.<br /> 2019 Chevy Blazer Exterior<br /> Because Chevrolet has used the 'Blazer' name in the past it's natural to expect the vehicle will look a certain way.  And I don't think I'm alone in saying it's not what I expected.  But it's very, very good looking.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> This all-new Chevy Blazer is sexy, bold and stylish looking in every trim level.  Because it's sweeping lines and bold stance seem to take its cues ... Tom Smith clean 17:55
2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-volkswagen-jetta-gli-review/ Tue, 07 May 2019 15:26:11 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10603 The long-anticipated 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has officially made it to dealers like our partner in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, CA - Ontario Volkswagen. The GLI is the enthusiasts, sporty model, of the Jetta.  Volkswagen updated its standard line of Jetta's in the previous year.  So, with these 2019 models, Volkswagen marks the 7th generation of GLIs and Jettas.  And actually, in VW-lingo that's 'Mark 7 or Mk7.' 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Top-3 1. Exterior Styling. 2. The Drive. 3. Warranty. My friends at Ontario VW gave me a Jetta GLI for a day recently.  Here's my complete report after running around Southern California's Inland Empire and getting a feel for the all-new 2019 VW Jetta GLI! May 7, 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI  The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has historically been compared to its VW hatchback (hot hatch in VW-lingo) sibling the Golf GTI.  Why?  Well, they're both Volkswagens and both the sporty/enthusiasts trims of their respective models.  Personally, I like both for different reasons.  I'll contrast the two vehicles, only once, in a moment. With the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI being in its 7th generation that equates to 35-years here in the United States.  And those 35-years are honored in one of the trim options for the 2019 VW Jetta GLI.  And, it just so happens that, my test-driver was a 35th Anniversary Edition GLI. VW's Jetta GLI & Golf GTI So here's the cool comparison I'm going to give the 2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition and the 2019 Golf GTI Rabbit Edition.  Volkswagen's stylish, yet in-the-know and subtle seat tags.   Okay, one other comparison, with the GTI and the GLI both being the sporty trims, is the very cool red line across the grills of both vehicles.  It's in all sorts of pics.  BTW, wondering what GTI and GLI stand for? Those are acronyms for Grand Touring Injection and Grand Luxury Injection. So to put the comparisons of the Jetta GLI and the Golf GTI to rest, at least for this post, the Golf is going to be sportier and a hatchback.  Whereas the Jetta GLI is a sedan and slightly less aggressive. 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Trim Options The '19 VW Jetta GLI is offered in three different trims. As always, don't worry about the MSRP - manufacturer's suggested retail price - for two reasons.  First, you need to get your '19 VW Jetta GLI equipped to your specifications.  And more importantly, go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Beyond putting you in the car you want and at the best price, they're not going to play any of the old school (or new school!) games. The guys and gals at Ontario Volkswagen are my friends and I'm happy to personally introduce you.  Just email me tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com. '19 VW Jetta GLI Powertrain & MPG Volkswagen's 2019 Jetta GLI comes with the same engine across all three trims.  That's a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 228-horsepower with 258 lb-ft of torque. The '19 Jetta GLI comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission.  And I love driving manual on open roads and low-traffic conditions.  Of course, here in Southern California, we're hardpressed to find either of those settings.  So the optional 7-speed automatic transmission is probably the way to go. My test driver hand the automatic transmission option and it's Tiptronic shifting offered the fun and control of manual while delivering the convenience of automatic.  What's even better are the paddle shifters.  Even in normal drive mode, I spun the tires with the paddles.  In sport mode, you can easily smoke the rubber. And with the 2019 VW Jetta GLI still being a Volkswagen, great fuel economy comes standard.   All the trims and engines are rated the same at 25-miles-per-gallon in the city and 32-miles-per-gallon on the highway. My Test Driver - The 2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition Like usual, the Ontario Volkswagen team set me up in a gorgeous, The long-anticipated 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has officially made it to dealers like our partner in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, CA – Ontario Volkswagen.

The GLI is the enthusiasts, sporty model, of the Jetta.  Volkswagen updated its standard line of Jetta’s in the previous year.  So, with these 2019 models, Volkswagen marks the 7th generation of GLIs and Jettas.  And actually, in VW-lingo that’s ‘Mark 7 or Mk7.’

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Top-3
1. Exterior Styling.
2. The Drive.
3. Warranty.

My friends at Ontario VW gave me a Jetta GLI for a day recently.  Here’s my complete report after running around Southern California’s Inland Empire and getting a feel for the all-new 2019 VW Jetta GLI!

2019 VW Jetta GLI 35 driver profile banner

May 7, 2019

Volkswagen Jetta GLI 

The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has historically been compared to its VW hatchback (hot hatch in VW-lingo) sibling the Golf GTI.  Why?  Well, they’re both Volkswagens and both the sporty/enthusiasts trims of their respective models.  Personally, I like both for different reasons.  I’ll contrast the two vehicles, only once, in a moment.

With the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI being in its 7th generation that equates to 35-years here in the United States.  And those 35-years are honored in one of the trim options for the 2019 VW Jetta GLI.  And, it just so happens that, my test-driver was a 35th Anniversary Edition GLI.

VW’s Jetta GLI & Golf GTI

So here’s the cool comparison I’m going to give the 2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition and the 2019 Golf GTI Rabbit Edition.  Volkswagen’s stylish, yet in-the-know and subtle seat tags.

 

Okay, one other comparison, with the GTI and the GLI both being the sporty trims, is the very cool red line across the grills of both vehicles.  It’s in all sorts of pics.  BTW, wondering what GTI and GLI stand for?

Those are acronyms for Grand Touring Injection and Grand Luxury Injection.

So to put the comparisons of the Jetta GLI and the Golf GTI to rest, at least for this post, the Golf is going to be sportier and a hatchback.  Whereas the Jetta GLI is a sedan and slightly less aggressive.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Trim Options

The ’19 VW Jetta GLI is offered in three different trims.

As always, don’t worry about the MSRP – manufacturer’s suggested retail price – for two reasons.  First, you need to get your ’19 VW Jetta GLI equipped to your specifications.  And more importantly, go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Beyond putting you in the car you want and at the best price, they’re not going to play any of the old school (or new school!) games.

The guys and gals at Ontario Volkswagen are my friends and I’m happy to personally introduce you.  Just email me tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com.

’19 VW Jetta GLI Powertrain & MPG

Volkswagen’s 2019 Jetta GLI comes with the same engine across all three trims.  That’s a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 228-horsepower with 258 lb-ft of torque.

The ’19 Jetta GLI comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission.  And I love driving manual on open roads and low-traffic conditions.  Of course, here in Southern California, we’re hardpressed to find either of those settings.  So the optional 7-speed automatic transmission is probably the way to go.

My test driver hand the automatic transmission option and it’s Tiptronic shifting offered the fun and control of manual while delivering the convenience of automatic.  What’s even better are the paddle shifters.  Even in normal drive mode, I spun the tires with the paddles.  In sport mode, you can easily smoke the rubber.

And with the 2019 VW Jetta GLI still being a Volkswagen, great fuel economy comes standard.   All the trims and engines are rated the same at 25-miles-per-gallon in the city and 32-miles-per-gallon on the highway.

My Test Driver – The 2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition

Like usual, the Ontario Volkswagen team set me up in a gorgeous, well-equipped test driver.  The 35th Anniversary Edition is super-eye-catching, especially in the Pure Gray color they gave me.

But really, you can’t go wrong with any of the colors, (red, white, black, gray, & silver) VW offers for the ’19 Jetta GLI.  All of them look fantastic with the red highlighted GLI badging.

Another nod to the 35th Anniversary Edition, in addition to the seat tags mentioned above, is the exterior badging on both sides of the Jetta GLI.

And the 18″ 5-spoke gray painted wheels, on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition, with red accents, looked great especially with the red brake calipers visible.

Driving the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Driving the enthusiasts’ version of the 2019 Jetta was a blast.  Exactly as, I’m sure, Volkswagen intended.  The GLI is quick.  From a dead stop, you can really feel the torque.  And that goes the same for when you’re on the highway and want to pass someone.  In both cases, it also sounds great when doing so!  Even more so in the Sport mode when the GLI gets a little ‘throaty.’

My test driver, the 35th Anniversary Edition, also had Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chasis Control (DCC) giving it a very sure-footed and stable feel when handling at any speed.

So, between the power and enhanced ability to handle it the ’19 VW Jett GLI delivers a whole lot of fun starting at under $30k.  And again, that’s just MSRP, go see my friends at Ontario VW for the best deal you’ll find.

’19 VW Jetta GLI Exterior

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is distinctive and sharp in its styling.  LED headlines and daytime running lights lend further accent to the great design lines and the red GLI accent line that screams performance.

Black painted side mirrors and a thin rear spoiler are nice additional touches.  Chrome exhaust tips and LED taillights give the Jetta GLI a look that’s every bit equal to its performance.

And the 2019 VW Jetta GLI is a little more than half-an-inch lower than the regular Jetta.  And the 5-spoke rims with red accents and brake calipers are worth restating here – very sporty yet stylish.

Inside the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Moving inside the 7th generation VW Jetta GLI you have a handsome cockpit and dash with an awesome flat-bottom steering wheel.

The 35th Anniversary Edition comes with cloth interior and heated front seats.  If you step up to the Autobahn you get leather and both heated and ventilated front seats – a favorite feature of Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s. :0)

The 35th Anniversary did have the stainless steel pedal covers – which adds another great looking dimension to the inside.

And I have to point out the awesome accessibility of the child safety seat latches in the backseat.  This is another favorite feature of mine that VW brings to its vehicles.

There’s plenty of human-space throughout the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI – just like the regular Jetta.  And while there’s ample trunk cargo-space as well VW engineering takes the Jetta’s versatility to the next level.

The trunk turns into a huge cavern by dropping the backseats.

By allowing both backseats to fold way-down there’s a huge access-point between the trunk and the interior of the vehicle’s backseat area.

’19 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Technology

The 35th Anniversary Edition I test drove didn’t have Volkswagen’s new digital cockpit.  But that is an available option that I’d probably add on to my purchase.  It goes nicely with the 10-color interior accent lighting.  Since my test drive was during the day I didn’t get any pictures of that but it gives the Jetta GLI a very classy look in the evening.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto play key roles to the technology stack in the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI.  And the touch-screen interface with dials brings all the tech to your fingertips in a very user-friendly and intuitive way.

And while Volkswagen adds the Fender brand name to its SUVs (Tiguan and Atlas), the ’19 VW Jetta GLI gets boosted in the audio department by the beats name brand!

2019 VW Jetta GLI Driver Assistance & Safety

The ’19 Jetta GLI delivers some of VW’s top driver assistance tech features to help keep you safe on the roads.

“The ’19 Jetta GLI delivers some of VW’s top driver assistance tech features to help keep you safe on the roads.”

Blind Spot Monitoring will alert you to vehicles you can’t see when changing lanes.  Front assist will audibly alert you of potential front-end collisions.  And Rear Traffic Alert keeps you in the know when backing up.  It can even brake for you to avoid accidents.

’19 Volkswagen Jetta GLI & The People First Warranty

VW describes it’s ‘The People First Warranty‘ as America’s Best Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty and it’s rather tough to dispute.

“The People First Warranty… 6-Years/72,000-miles and the fact that it’s transferable too is impressive.” 

6-Years/72,000-miles and the fact that it’s transferable too is impressive.  That definitely delivers extra peace of mind – especially if you’re buying rather than leasing.

2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary | Top-3

  1. Exterior Styling – All trims of the 2019 VW Jetta GLI look awesome.  I love the 35th Anniversary badging.  Gotta go with the 5-spoke painted wheels with red accents

  2. The Drive – ’19 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a fun car to drive.  The turbocharged power, torque, and paddle shifters provide an exceptional performance package.

  3. Warranty – Of the many additional options to include in the ’19 Jetta GLI the People First Warranty just can’t be taken for granted.  It adds big value.

Ontario Volkswagen

If the 2019 VW Jetta GLI or any Volkswagen is of interest to you then you have to connect with my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  They’re located just off I-15 at I-10 and at OntarioVW.com.

Earl Reed is the General Manager, Shant Bashian is his General Sales Manager, Randy Halcomb is the iDriveSoCal point-person at Ontario VW and they love hearing from iDriveSoCal readers/listeners/surfers.

You can connect with Randy via email RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com.  Or call his cell 909-772-1728.

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The long-anticipated 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has officially made it to dealers like our partner in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, CA - Ontario Volkswagen. - The GLI is the enthusiasts, sporty model, of the Jetta. The long-anticipated 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI has officially made it to dealers like our partner in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, CA - Ontario Volkswagen.<br /> <br /> The GLI is the enthusiasts, sporty model, of the Jetta.  Volkswagen updated its standard line of Jetta's in the previous year.  So, with these 2019 models, Volkswagen marks the 7th generation of GLIs and Jettas.  And actually, in VW-lingo that's 'Mark 7 or Mk7.'<br /> <br /> 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Top-3<br /> 1. Exterior Styling.<br /> 2. The Drive.<br /> 3. Warranty.<br /> <br /> My friends at Ontario VW gave me a Jetta GLI for a day recently.  Here's my complete report after running around Southern California's Inland Empire and getting a feel for the all-new 2019 VW Jetta GLI!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> May 7, 2019<br /> <br /> Volkswagen Jetta GLI <br /> The Volkswagen Jetta GLI has historically been compared to its VW hatchback (hot hatch in VW-lingo) sibling the Golf GTI.  Why?  Well, they're both Volkswagens and both the sporty/enthusiasts trims of their respective models.  Personally, I like both for different reasons.  I'll contrast the two vehicles, only once, in a moment.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> With the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI being in its 7th generation that equates to 35-years here in the United States.  And those 35-years are honored in one of the trim options for the 2019 VW Jetta GLI.  And, it just so happens that, my test-driver was a 35th Anniversary Edition GLI.<br /> VW's Jetta GLI & Golf GTI<br /> So here's the cool comparison I'm going to give the 2019 VW Jetta GLI 35th Anniversary Edition and the 2019 Golf GTI Rabbit Edition.  Volkswagen's stylish, yet in-the-know and subtle seat tags.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Okay, one other comparison, with the GTI and the GLI both being the sporty trims, is the very cool red line across the grills of both vehicles.  It's in all sorts of pics.  BTW, wondering what GTI and GLI stand for?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Those are acronyms for Grand Touring Injection and Grand Luxury Injection.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> So to put the comparisons of the Jetta GLI and the Golf GTI to rest, at least for this post, the Golf is going to be sportier and a hatchback.  Whereas the Jetta GLI is a sedan and slightly less aggressive.<br /> 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Trim Options<br /> The '19 VW Jetta GLI is offered in three different trims.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> As always, don't worry about the MSRP - manufacturer's suggested retail price - for two reasons.  First, you need to get your '19 VW Jetta GLI equipped to your specifications.  And more importantly, go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Beyond putting you in the car you want and at the best price, they're not going to play any of the old school (or new school!) games.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The guys and gals at Ontario Volkswagen are my friends and I'm happy to personally introduce you.  Just email me tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com.<br /> '19 VW Jetta GLI Powertrain & MPG<br /> Volkswagen's 2019 Jetta GLI comes with the same engine across all three trims.  That's a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 228-horsepower with 258 lb-ft of torque.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The '19 Jetta GLI comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission.  And I love driving manual on open roads and low-traffic conditions.  Of course, here in Southern California, we're hardpressed to find either of those settings.  So the optional 7-speed automatic transmission is probably the way to go.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> My test driver hand the automatic transmission option and it's Tiptronic shifting offered the fun and control of manual while delivering the convenience of automatic.  What's even better are the paddle shifters.  Even in normal drive mode, I spun the tires with the paddles.  In sport mode, you can easily smoke the rubber. Tom Smith clean 17:14
2019 Honda Civic Sedan Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-honda-civic-sedan-review/ Fri, 03 May 2019 15:10:50 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10547 The 2019 Honda Civic Sedan is a stylish, spacious, smooth-driving, and powerful compact car. While carmakers are producing everything bigger these days, the 2019 Honda Civic Sedan stands out in its crowded segment.  And it does so for many reasons.  First, it's a Honda that's going to deliver incredible fuel economy.  Second, you have Honda's longtime reputation of reliability.  Also, you're going to have a great resale value.  The list goes on but you get the idea... :0) I sent Clinton "The Professor" Quan to see our friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana.  They, of course, put the good Professor in a fully loaded 2019 Honda Civic Sedan for a day-long test drive. 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Top-3 1. Interior Space 2. Powerful Engine 3. Smooth Ride Click play below to listen to his complete analysis in our podcast report.  Or you can continue reading and check out the pictures of this compact car that delivers way more than it's price suggests. ***Transcript*** May 2, 2019 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Test Drive Clinton "The Professor" Quan: I drove the 2019 Honda Civic.  That fastback styling, it’s really the only compact sedan in its class that really has that, but you do see it in a lot of other cars, notably mid-size sedans, and luxury automobiles as well. Ninety-five cubic feet for passenger space, that’s almost as big as some mid-size sedans.  It had plenty of power, very smooth ride for a compact car. Tom: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton! Professor: Hi, Tom. Tom: Hello! This podcast, as you probably know, because you clicked it on, is about the 2019 Honda Civic. The good Professor picked one up from our phenomenal friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California, Rock Honda. Civic Sedan Test Driver Courtesy of Rock Honda Go on out to Rock Honda for all of your Honda needs. Say hello to our good friend, Mr. David Latif, the General Manager out there, his right hand, Hamid Javid, the General Sales Manager, Ruben Serna, Service Director. Love everybody at Rock Honda. They are truly a family out there and they love iDriveSoCal peeps. So, go on out there and tell them that Tom and Clinton and iDriveSoCal sent you. Much love to Rock Honda. So, the Professor picked up a 2019 Honda Civic Sedan from Rock Honda and actually, I drove the Hatchback recently and that’s going to be a different podcast. But the Civic is big, it’s a big, big mover. Actually, the Civic family for Honda might be the biggest group that represents their biggest sales. Although subcompact, the CR-V is moving real good as an individual, right? Professor: Yes. "...the Civic, the CR-V, and the Accord are their top three sellers." Tom: When you group all the Civics together, that’s probably their—Honda, as a manufacturer—probably the most that they sell, yeah? Professor: It could be, yes. Definitely, the Civic, the CR-V, and the Accord are their top three sellers. Tom: Because you got the Civic Coupe. Professor: Yes. Tom: Which we did a podcast on already and actually ranks quite well in Google. You have the Civic Type R, the fun one, you have the Civic Hatchback. And, you have the Civic Sedan. A lot of Civics! Professor: Yes. Well, it comes in three body styles, sedan, coupe and hatchback. Tom: All right. Your podcast, Professor. [Laughs] 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Trims & Pricing Professor: Well, I drove the 2019 Honda Civic Touring and the Touring is the top of the line trim in the Civic family for the sedans. Tom: The Touring, let’s go base trim to tippy-top Touring that you just mentioned you drove. Professor: Yes. The base trim is the LX, which starts at about $19,000. Tom: MSRP? Professor: Yeah. Tom: Okay. Professor: Then you move up to the Sport, The 2019 Honda Civic Sedan is a stylish, spacious, smooth-driving, and powerful compact car.

While carmakers are producing everything bigger these days, the 2019 Honda Civic Sedan stands out in its crowded segment.  And it does so for many reasons.  First, it’s a Honda that’s going to deliver incredible fuel economy.  Second, you have Honda’s longtime reputation of reliability.  Also, you’re going to have a great resale value.  The list goes on but you get the idea… :0)

I sent Clinton “The Professor” Quan to see our friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana.  They, of course, put the good Professor in a fully loaded 2019 Honda Civic Sedan for a day-long test drive.

2019 Honda Civic Sedan Top-3
1. Interior Space
2. Powerful Engine
3. Smooth Ride

Click play below to listen to his complete analysis in our podcast report.  Or you can continue reading and check out the pictures of this compact car that delivers way more than it’s price suggests.

2019 Honda Civic Sedan driver profile banner

***Transcript***

May 2, 2019

2019 Honda Civic Sedan Test Drive

Clinton “The Professor” Quan: I drove the 2019 Honda Civic.  That fastback styling, it’s really the only compact sedan in its class that really has that, but you do see it in a lot of other cars, notably mid-size sedans, and luxury automobiles as well.

Ninety-five cubic feet for passenger space, that’s almost as big as some mid-size sedans.  It had plenty of power, very smooth ride for a compact car.

Tom: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton!

Professor: Hi, Tom.

Tom: Hello! This podcast, as you probably know, because you clicked it on, is about the 2019 Honda Civic.

The good Professor picked one up from our phenomenal friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California, Rock Honda.

Civic Sedan Test Driver Courtesy of Rock Honda

Go on out to Rock Honda for all of your Honda needs. Say hello to our good friend, Mr. David Latif, the General Manager out there, his right hand, Hamid Javid, the General Sales Manager, Ruben Serna, Service Director. Love everybody at Rock Honda.

They are truly a family out there and they love iDriveSoCal peeps. So, go on out there and tell them that Tom and Clinton and iDriveSoCal sent you. Much love to Rock Honda.

So, the Professor picked up a 2019 Honda Civic Sedan from Rock Honda and actually, I drove the Hatchback recently and that’s going to be a different podcast.

But the Civic is big, it’s a big, big mover. Actually, the Civic family for Honda might be the biggest group that represents their biggest sales. Although subcompact, the CR-V is moving real good as an individual, right?

Professor: Yes.

“…the Civic, the CR-V, and the Accord are their top three sellers.”

Tom: When you group all the Civics together, that’s probably their—Honda, as a manufacturer—probably the most that they sell, yeah?

Professor: It could be, yes. Definitely, the Civic, the CR-V, and the Accord are their top three sellers.

Tom: Because you got the Civic Coupe.

Professor: Yes.

Tom: Which we did a podcast on already and actually ranks quite well in Google. You have the Civic Type R, the fun one, you have the Civic Hatchback. And, you have the Civic Sedan. A lot of Civics!

Professor: Yes. Well, it comes in three body styles, sedan, coupe and hatchback.

Tom: All right. Your podcast, Professor. [Laughs]

2019 Honda Civic Sedan Trims & Pricing

Professor: Well, I drove the 2019 Honda Civic Touring and the Touring is the top of the line trim in the Civic family for the sedans.

Tom: The Touring, let’s go base trim to tippy-top Touring that you just mentioned you drove.

Professor: Yes. The base trim is the LX, which starts at about $19,000.

Tom: MSRP?

Professor: Yeah.

Tom: Okay.

Professor: Then you move up to the Sport, which runs for about $21,000.

Tom: Okay.

Professor: Then the mid-level EX trim, which has a different engine, a 1.5 liter inline 4 turbocharged and that starts at about $23,000.

Then you move up to the EX-L and that starts at around $25,000. And then you have the very top of the line Touring trim, which starts at about $27,000.

Tom: Okay. And as always, those are just MSRPs, i.e., aka [laughs] manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Equip Your Civic Sedan to Your Likening 

You need to go get your Civic decked out to your specifications, whatever you want on it.

Of course, above all, go to Rock Honda, they’re going to take the best care of you. They’re going to give you a smoking price.

But you know, I’ve had lots of conversations with our dealer partners on this one lately. We all get hung up on price because obviously, buying a car is a big contentious thing.

Customer versus car dealer, but it doesn’t need to be if you heed our advice and go to one of our dealer partners.

“The important thing is, we sit in traffic forever in Southern California.  So… you best be in something that you’re going to be comfortable in.”

The important thing is, we sit in traffic forever in Southern California.  So, even if you’re leasing it for three years, you best be in something that you’re going to be comfortable in.

So, go get what you want with what you want on it and then work out the price.

You go to one of our guys, they’re going to handle the price. I don’t mean to get off on a tangent, but that’s been a hot topic I’ve been chatting with our partners about lately.

2019 Civic Sedan Exterior

The 2019 Honda Civic Touring, which has all the bells and whistles, tell us about the Civic Sedan overall and then we’ll get a little bit more granular on the Touring trim.

Professor: Let’s start off with the exterior design, which has that fastback styling.

It’s really the only compact sedan in its class that really has that, but you do see it in a lot of other cars, notably midsize sedans and luxury automobiles as well.

I think that’s another reason why it’s such a big seller and it’s gotten so much attention.

Tom: The Civic, I mean, it’s a fabulous looking car.

“The Civic Sedan is probably just as big as what an Accord was back in the mid to late 1980’s.”

If I was a younger man, and it’s true, if I were a younger man, just out of college, new in my career, that is a good-looking car for a first-time buyer.

But it’s great—I’ve seriously considered one of them for myself and my family because it’s just me and my wife, our small dog, and our son right now.

Certainly, plenty of room for one baby seat back there.

Professor: Well, the Civic is so much bigger now than what it used to be.

Tom: It’s huge, yeah.

Professor: The Civic Sedan is probably just as big as what an Accord was back in the mid to late 1980’s.

Tom: Yeah. Now the Accord is even bigger than that.

’19 Honda Civic Sedan Interior 

Professor: Yeah. It’s got plenty of space, about 95 cubic feet of passenger space, about 15—I believe it’s nearly 15 cubic feet of cargo space. 95 cubic feet for passenger space, that’s almost as big as some mid-size sedans out there. That’s a lot of space for a compact car.

Tom: Anything else about the outside before we go inside or where are you going take us next?

Professor: Yeah, we can go on the inside.

“It’s got plenty of space. About 95 cubic feet of passenger space and it’ll carry four people comfortably…”

It’s got plenty of space. About 95 cubic feet of passenger space and it’ll carry four people comfortably, four adults, two people in the front, two people in the back. I think that’s one of the things you’ll notice and appreciate as soon as you sit in the vehicle.

Tom: Okay. What’s next? Technology on the car?

Honda Sensing Driver Assistance &  Safety Tech

Professor: Well, it’s got the Honda Sensing that you could call it, that suite of safety features.

Tom: Safety and driver assistance features.

Professor: Yes, correct.

Tom: Your lane keep assist and— all that.

“That’s what Honda is known for as well, their safety features. That comes standard in all the Honda vehicles. You don’t have to pay extra for that.”

Professor: Yes. That’s what Honda is known for as well, their safety features. That comes standard in all the Honda vehicles. You don’t have to pay extra for that. You’re going to get that.

Tom: And you got your Apple Car Play and Android Auto, too, I believe, right?

Professor: Yes.

The ’19 Civic Sedan Engines

Tom: Okay. What do we have for drive modes and tell me more, we got paddle shifters?

Professor: Yes, there are paddle shifters, yes.

Tom: Okay. You know what we forgot to touch on, is the engines.

Professor: Yes. In the LX and the Sport trim, the LX being the base trim and then the Sport a step above that, you’re going to get a 2.0 liter inline 4 engine, normally aspirated that pumps out 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque.

Tom: Okay.

Professor: When you move up to the EX, the midlevel trim, the EX-L, and the top of the line Touring trim, you’re going to get the 1.5 liter inline 4 turbocharged engine that produces 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque.

Tom: Interesting how that works, right? You have larger liters on the lower-level engine, you got a 2.0 liter, but then you get a 1.5 liter, throw on the turbocharger, and you’re actually getting more horsepower and torque.

Professor: Yeah. It’s a smaller engine in terms of displacement but with the turbocharger, you’ll get a little more horsepower and more torque as well.

2019 Civic Sedan MPG

Tom: What are we getting, fuel economy?

Professor: Fuel economy, interesting thing, I was looking at the specs on that. Whether you’re getting the base trim, with that 2.0 liter, normally aspirated 4-cylinder or you’re going for the top line Touring with the 1.5-liter, inline-4 turbocharged engine, the fuel economy is almost identical. I think the reason for that is with the Touring, you’re getting all the additional features, it’s the luxury version.

Tom: Weighs it down a bit.

Professor: Yeah, it’s additional weight. It came out to something like I believe it was like 36 miles to the gallon on the highway and about 30 on the city. They’re very comparable.

Tom: Yeah.

“Whether you’re getting the base trim… or you’re going for the top line Touring with the 1.5-liter, inline-4 turbocharged engine, the fuel economy is almost identical.”

Professor: But the EX and EX-L, I believe it was a little bit more fuel efficient because it doesn’t have all the additional luxury features on those vehicles.

Tom: Right. All the features add weight and the weight burns a little bit more fuel. But nevertheless, you’re in fantastic shape with your fuel economy on any of the Civics, but especially when you’re on the highway with the—well, with any of them, right?

Professor: Yes.

Driving the 2019 Honda Civic Sedan

Tom: Tell us about the drive, where’d you go?

Professor: Well, the Civic, as I mentioned, it’s got really a good amount of horsepower for a compact car. As soon as you step on it, you can feel the power. I didn’t feel any lag and it’s got plenty of pep as soon as you step on the gas. It’s a really, really smooth ride and it’s fun playing with the paddle shifters, as I always enjoy doing when I’m going out for a test drive. [Laughs]

Tom: Paddle shift away, Professor.

Professor: Yes. It’s great for both highway and city driving.

Tom: Sure, absolutely. Even though it’s bigger, it’s still one of the smaller cars on the road these days—one of the smaller new cars these days—and easy to get in and out of parking spots and traffic congestion as well.

Professor: Yeah. You asked where I went, well, that was the weekend I was at the Auto Club 400.

“…t’s got really a good amount of horsepower for a compact car. As soon as you step on it, you can feel the power. I didn’t feel any lag…”

Tom: Oh, okay! You just picked up the Honda at Rock Honda and then went over to their Fontana neighbor, the Auto Club Speedway for the NASCAR event?

Professor: Yes. I didn’t do that much driving in the morning, but following the race, I took a drive out to Cherry Valley, went out for a scenic drive. It was beautiful out there.

Tom: Yeah, your pictures were pretty. Lots of scenery I saw in those pictures.

Professor: Yes. I figured that would be a good place to take some photos, so I got to do a good amount of driving both on the freeway and surface streets and some windy roads as well.

Packed with Features for a Compact Sedan

Tom: Anything else about 2019 Honda Civic that you drove or are we ready to go onto the top three?

Professor: I just wanted to add that for a compact car, it’s quite impressive in terms of the features it has, and it just has a really upscale feel to it, even though it’s a compact car.

Tom: It’s a tremendous value.

“…it’s quite impressive in terms of the features it has, and it just has a really upscale feel to it, even though it’s a compact car.”

Professor: Yeah.

Tom: Even at MSRP.

Professor: It’s almost like getting a midsize car nowadays.

Tom: Yeah. Even at MSRP, which you won’t pay, if you just go to Rock Honda, trust me, they’re going to take care of you, but the value of the Civic, pretty much—no, across the board, the entire Civic family, it’s fantastic.

2019 Honda Civic Sedan | Top-3

Okay, top three.

Professor: Top three, I’m going to have to go with the interior space.

Tom: Interior space. Number one of the top three, okay.

“…a lot of people prefer having something smaller, especially when they’re driving it around in the city. Makes it easier to maneuver around and to parallel park. But you’re still getting a lot of interior space…”

Professor: Which we mentioned earlier, yeah. For a compact car, it’s got plenty of space and I think that’s why it’s such a popular vehicle now because you really don’t have to move up to a midsize car to get all that space.

And, a lot of people prefer having something smaller, especially when they’re driving it around in the city. Makes it easier to maneuver around and to parallel park. But you’re still getting a lot of interior space, even though the exterior dimensions are not as big as, say a midsize car.

“…I really liked the power of the vehicle. I felt like it had plenty of power, even though it’s a smaller engine…”

Tom: Yep.

Professor: Number two, I think I’m going to go with the engine. I really liked the power of the vehicle. I felt like it had plenty of power, even though it’s a smaller engine, a 1.5-liter engine, but it’s turbocharged, as I mentioned earlier, 174 horsepower, 162-ft of torque.

Then third, I’m going to say the ride. Very smooth ride for a compact car. A lot of times with a compact car with a shorter wheelbase, it’s not going to be a smooth of a ride, but with Honda vehicles, you feel that refinement in the vehicles and I really appreciate that.

Tom: Professor, thank you as always. Rock Honda, love you guys. David Latif, General Manager, Hamid Javid, General Sales Manager, Ruben Serna, Service Director. Go on out to Rock Honda for all of your Honda needs.

For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you, as always, for tuning in. We’ll talk to you soon.

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The 2019 Honda Civic Sedan is a stylish, spacious, smooth-driving, and powerful compact car. - While carmakers are producing everything bigger these days, the 2019 Honda Civic Sedan stands out in its crowded segment.  And it does so for many reasons. The 2019 Honda Civic Sedan is a stylish, spacious, smooth-driving, and powerful compact car.<br /> <br /> While carmakers are producing everything bigger these days, the 2019 Honda Civic Sedan stands out in its crowded segment.  And it does so for many reasons.  First, it's a Honda that's going to deliver incredible fuel economy.  Second, you have Honda's longtime reputation of reliability.  Also, you're going to have a great resale value.  The list goes on but you get the idea... :0)<br /> <br /> I sent Clinton "The Professor" Quan to see our friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana.  They, of course, put the good Professor in a fully loaded 2019 Honda Civic Sedan for a day-long test drive.<br /> <br /> 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Top-3<br /> 1. Interior Space<br /> 2. Powerful Engine<br /> 3. Smooth Ride<br /> <br /> Click play below to listen to his complete analysis in our podcast report.  Or you can continue reading and check out the pictures of this compact car that delivers way more than it's price suggests.<br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcript***<br /> May 2, 2019<br /> <br /> 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Test Drive<br /> Clinton "The Professor" Quan: I drove the 2019 Honda Civic.  That fastback styling, it’s really the only compact sedan in its class that really has that, but you do see it in a lot of other cars, notably mid-size sedans, and luxury automobiles as well.<br /> <br /> Ninety-five cubic feet for passenger space, that’s almost as big as some mid-size sedans.  It had plenty of power, very smooth ride for a compact car.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton!<br /> <br /> Professor: Hi, Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom: Hello! This podcast, as you probably know, because you clicked it on, is about the 2019 Honda Civic.<br /> <br /> The good Professor picked one up from our phenomenal friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California, Rock Honda.<br /> Civic Sedan Test Driver Courtesy of Rock Honda<br /> Go on out to Rock Honda for all of your Honda needs. Say hello to our good friend, Mr. David Latif, the General Manager out there, his right hand, Hamid Javid, the General Sales Manager, Ruben Serna, Service Director. Love everybody at Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> They are truly a family out there and they love iDriveSoCal peeps. So, go on out there and tell them that Tom and Clinton and iDriveSoCal sent you. Much love to Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> So, the Professor picked up a 2019 Honda Civic Sedan from Rock Honda and actually, I drove the Hatchback recently and that’s going to be a different podcast.<br /> <br /> But the Civic is big, it’s a big, big mover. Actually, the Civic family for Honda might be the biggest group that represents their biggest sales. Although subcompact, the CR-V is moving real good as an individual, right?<br /> <br /> Professor: Yes.<br /> <br /> "...the Civic, the CR-V, and the Accord are their top three sellers."<br /> <br /> Tom: When you group all the Civics together, that’s probably their—Honda, as a manufacturer—probably the most that they sell, yeah?<br /> <br /> Professor: It could be, yes. Definitely, the Civic, the CR-V, and the Accord are their top three sellers.<br /> <br /> Tom: Because you got the Civic Coupe.<br /> <br /> Professor: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom: Which we did a podcast on already and actually ranks quite well in Google. You have the Civic Type R, the fun one, you have the Civic Hatchback. And, you have the Civic Sedan. A lot of Civics!<br /> <br /> Professor: Yes. Well, it comes in three body styles, sedan, coupe and hatchback.<br /> <br /> Tom: All right. Your podcast, Professor. [Laughs]<br /> 2019 Honda Civic Sedan Trims & Pricing<br /> Professor: Well, Tom Smith clean 14:47
Leasing vs. Buying Chevrolet https://www.idrivesocal.com/buy-vs-lease-chevrolet/ Wed, 01 May 2019 12:30:30 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10513 Does leasing vs. buying make sense when it comes to Chevrolet vehicles?  Or any vehicle for that matter.  Ultimately it's a personal decision but I love sharing the details to help you weigh the options. In recent years, leasing vs. buying has been on the rise.  And for lots of good reasons.  For instance, who doesn't like getting a new car every few years? Also, always having a newer car that's covered under a factory warranty offers a great feeling of protection.  And then there's the element of being able to afford a little nicer car for a little lower payment... the list of 'pros' to leasing versus buying goes on. However, there are cons to leasing versus buying.  Personally, I don't think the cons outweigh the pros... but I used to.  That's why I love sitting down with experts to discuss this very topic. In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, we get the lowdown on leasing versus buying from Lewis Cook, General Manager of Martin Chevrolet.  Click play below to hear the details.  (BTW - I think this report is a listen rather than a read... but consume it as you wish.  I also lease instead of buy! :0)) ***Transcription*** Recorded at Martin Chevrolet, Torrance, CA Benefits of Leasings vs. Buying Lewis Cook: You ultimately are paying less interest, that’s cool, for a lot of people - for everybody. On a lease, you don’t pay the tax up front. It’s another huge part of the savings that you get from leasing.  "...paying less interest... you don't pay tax up front... an option at the end of a lease to purchase the vehicle if you want." You have an option at the end of that lease to purchase the vehicle if you want. When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage...  there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that. Tom Smith: Welcome back to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am very excited to be sitting down and recording a podcast with my friend, Lewis Cook, who is the General Manager here at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California, right off of Hawthorne Boulevard. Not too far away from where I live, actually. I’m in the South Bay. "When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage...  there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that." So I’m really, really excited to be working with Lewis and Martin Chevrolet for the proximity reason, but also because these guys are just awesome, and Lewis is a fantastic human being! Lewis: Wow! Laying it on pretty thick, huh, Tom? Tom: [Laughs] Lewis: Your intros are getting better and better! Tom: Can we do that again? [Laughs] It just feels good. Don’t worry, we got it recorded. Should You Buy or Lease? Lewis: Human being…great. I like it! [Laughs] Tom: [Laughs] This podcast, it’s going to be good advice. You know it’s going to be good advice because you have that authentic introduction. Lewis: Good to me. "What we love to do here with iDriveSoCal is bring insider information, literally, the coaching that I gave for Lewis for this podcast is hey, it’s just whatever you would tell your daughter to do." Tom: Right, because it’s the wonderful human being! Lewis: [Laughs] Just kidding. Tom: Right, because it’s the wonderful human being! This podcast, we’re going to do—we’re going to talk buy/lease, right? Lewis: Yeah. Tom: And it’s a big thing, right? Do I buy or do I lease? What we love to do here with iDriveSoCal is bring insider information, literally, the coaching that I gave for Lewis for this podcast is hey, it’s just whatever you would tell your daughter to do. He’s got, two beautiful daughters. Lewis: I was going to say the coaching is a little light. It was more like, buy versus lease, you want to do that? Yes. Okay, good. Let’s go. Clap. Tom: [Laughs] Aw, yeah, good stuff. Does leasing vs. buying make sense when it comes to Chevrolet vehicles?  Or any vehicle for that matter.  Ultimately it’s a personal decision but I love sharing the details to help you weigh the options.

In recent years, leasing vs. buying has been on the rise.  And for lots of good reasons.  For instance, who doesn’t like getting a new car every few years?

Also, always having a newer car that’s covered under a factory warranty offers a great feeling of protection.  And then there’s the element of being able to afford a little nicer car for a little lower payment… the list of ‘pros’ to leasing versus buying goes on.

However, there are cons to leasing versus buying.  Personally, I don’t think the cons outweigh the pros… but I used to.  That’s why I love sitting down with experts to discuss this very topic.

In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, we get the lowdown on leasing versus buying from Lewis Cook, General Manager of Martin Chevrolet.  Click play below to hear the details.  (BTW – I think this report is a listen rather than a read… but consume it as you wish.  I also lease instead of buy! :0))

Tom Smith & Lewis Cook of Martin Chevrolet pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast banner 178 Buying vs. Leasing Chevy

***Transcription***

Recorded at Martin Chevrolet, Torrance, CA

Benefits of Leasings vs. Buying

Lewis Cook: You ultimately are paying less interest, that’s cool, for a lot of people – for everybody.

On a lease, you don’t pay the tax up front. It’s another huge part of the savings that you get from leasing. 

“…paying less interest… you don’t pay tax up front… an option at the end of a lease to purchase the vehicle if you want.”

You have an option at the end of that lease to purchase the vehicle if you want. When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage…  there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that.

Tom Smith: Welcome back to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.

Tom Smith here and I am very excited to be sitting down and recording a podcast with my friend, Lewis Cook, who is the General Manager here at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California, right off of Hawthorne Boulevard. Not too far away from where I live, actually. I’m in the South Bay.

“When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage…  there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that.”

So I’m really, really excited to be working with Lewis and Martin Chevrolet for the proximity reason, but also because these guys are just awesome, and Lewis is a fantastic human being!

Lewis: Wow! Laying it on pretty thick, huh, Tom?

Tom: [Laughs]

Lewis: Your intros are getting better and better!

Tom: Can we do that again? [Laughs] It just feels good. Don’t worry, we got it recorded.

Should You Buy or Lease?

Lewis: Human being…great. I like it! [Laughs]

Tom: [Laughs] This podcast, it’s going to be good advice. You know it’s going to be good advice because you have that authentic introduction.

Lewis: Good to me.

“What we love to do here with iDriveSoCal is bring insider information, literally, the coaching that I gave for Lewis for this podcast is hey, it’s just whatever you would tell your daughter to do.”

Tom: Right, because it’s the wonderful human being!

Lewis: [Laughs] Just kidding.

Tom: Right, because it’s the wonderful human being!

This podcast, we’re going to do—we’re going to talk buy/lease, right?

Lewis: Yeah.

Tom: And it’s a big thing, right? Do I buy or do I lease? What we love to do here with iDriveSoCal is bring insider information, literally, the coaching that I gave for Lewis for this podcast is hey, it’s just whatever you would tell your daughter to do. He’s got, two beautiful daughters.

Lewis: I was going to say the coaching is a little light. It was more like, buy versus lease, you want to do that? Yes. Okay, good. Let’s go. Clap.

Tom: [Laughs] Aw, yeah, good stuff.

Leasing vs. Buying – the Former Bad Reputation

But we bring you behind the scenes with iDriveSoCal and really, you know, buying versing leasing, I used to be the hardcore buyer and I switched to leasing, I don’t know, about five years ago or so, six years ago or so, and I love it. Because, well, for a lot of reasons.

I love being under warranty, not being overly concerned about where I park in the grocery store and getting dings and what not because I love my cars, right? And I’m going to take care of my car regardless but when I know that I bought it and I’m not just bringing it back at 36,000 miles or whatever—whatever the mileage is I bought—I’m over the top.

Lewis: Right.

Tom: I don’t know if I’m going to leave this in, but I’m anal retentive. I don’t really know how else to describe myself, but I mean, I love cars! And I’m not alone. I got buddies that are the same way.

Lewis: It’s okay to get that out there. Leave it in.

Tom: [Laughs] So, Lewis is the General Manager here at Martin Chevrolet and Lewis, seriously, what do you tell your daughters? What do you tell your relatives?

Lewis: I tell my daughters, “I’m making the payment, here’s your car.” No, I know what you mean though. Leasing had a bad—I mean, when I got into this business, we talked about that a little bit before when we talked about the years, but there was definitely a stigma, right?

Tom: Right.

New Lease Contracts Changed the Game

Lewis: “I’m not leasing a car. I’m not renting a car.”

Tom: Right.

“You know what you’re going to pay for the car at the end of the lease and there are no hidden fees, there are no surprises…”

Lewis: Nowadays we have closed-end leases, which means that you know what you get at the end of the lease.

You know what you’re going to pay for the car at the end of the lease and there are no hidden fees, there are no surprises, I guess you could say.

Tom: You know what you’re going to pay for the car if you choose to buy it at the end of the lease.

Now the Residual Value is Set – Leasing vs. Buying Makes Sense

Lewis: Well, yeah, okay, if you choose to buy it at the end of the lease, correct.

We call that the residual value, that’s set by the bank now. It used to not be, a long time ago, I’m dating myself. But that’s set by the bank now and the cool thing—here’s the cool thing about a lease—there are a few things, where do I start?

“Typically, they are factory-sponsored. Meaning that the cost of money that you are going to pay on a lease is typically less than a normal interest rate.”

Typically, they are factory-sponsored. Meaning that the cost of money that you are going to pay on a lease is typically less than a normal interest rate.

Especially nowadays. I mean, interest rates are 4 or 5%, great credit on a purchase.

Carmakers Finance Arms Help the Cause

Well, the factories subvene the leases. They buy down that rate. They invest in the cost of the money, which gets the payments lower. You ultimately are paying less interest, right? That’s cool, for a lot of people. For everybody.

Tom: For everybody that likes money!

Lewis: Yeah, that’s true. Believe it or not, there’s somebody, they don’t care.

Tom: Well, yeah.

“They invest in the cost of the money, which gets the payments lower. You ultimately are paying less interest…”

Lewis: But yeah, you’re 100% right. If you want to save some money in that category, it’s a good way to go. Different strokes/different folks, is that trademarked?

Tom: No, you can use it. You can use that. I don’t think we owe anybody on that.

A New Car Every 3-Years – Leasing vs. Buying

Lewis: [Laughs] Like my wife, for instance, she wants a car every three years. That’s the bottom line.

Three years comes and goes, I’m in the car business, I drive demos and I bring home a new car all the time—that I don’t pay for, perk of the business, right? So, she wants a new car all the time.

“On a lease, you don’t pay the tax up front. It’s another huge part of the savings that you get from leasing.”

I’m not going to invest and pay all that sales tax and license up front. On a lease, you don’t pay the tax up front. It’s another huge part of the savings that you get from leasing.

I just don’t want to be committed for longterm, with her, especially. That goes with my kids. I have a 22—well, can we edit that? [Laughs] A 22-year-old and a 19-year-old and, you know, they want to be cool and drive the newest cars. It’s really all about a payment for me when it comes to them. I lease their cars as well.

Some distinct differences in leasing versus buying, if you want to break it down to some basics, it’s a three-year term, typically. A lot less then that, five or six-year term that you got on the purchases nowadays.

Tom: Right.

“So, you’re committed less. You have an option at the end of that lease to purchase the vehicle if you want…”

Lewis: So, you’re committed less. You have an option at the end of that lease to purchase the vehicle if you want. Like you had mentioned, that’s the residual value. The cool thing about that is that’s set by the bank. So, the bank says, “Okay, this $40,000 car in 3 years, based on the mileage that you’ve chosen to drive, is going to be worth 20 grand.”

Financial Institutions Assume Risk – Leasing vs. Buying

At the end of that, now you come back in three years and we’ll do an evaluation on the car, let’s say. If the car is worth 25 grand, well, good for you.

And that happens typically. Maybe 5 grand is a little bit of a stretch there, but typically, the bank tries to put a residual value on the car based on the market because what happens is, if you don’t want that car at the end of the three-year lease, they’re on the hook for that 20 grand, that residual value.

Tom: So, the bank is gambling a little bit, right?

Lewis: Gambling a lot of bit.

“…you stand back and look at it, it doesn’t look like the bank is gambling a lot, but they really are.”

Tom: On what the value is going to be, right?

Lewis: Yes. Yeah, I mean, just overview, I mean, if you just look at it from, you know, you stand back and look at it, it doesn’t look like the bank is gambling a lot, but they really are.

Leasing vs. Buying – Issues in the Rearview Mirror

I mean, there’s a lot of manufacturers that got in a lot of trouble back a few, maybe more than a few years ago now, but these residuals are so high because they’re trying to drive down the payment and now the car is not worth that at the end of the lease. They own it for that, right? The car goes to the auction, whatever, they take a loss.

Tom: The bank takes a loss.

Lewis: Yes. Listen, I think it’s better than me taking a loss, the bank taking a loss.

Tom: Sure. The customer doesn’t want to take a loss.

Lewis: No, of course not.

Tom: Dealer doesn’t want to take a loss.

Making Leasing vs. Buying Work for All

Lewis: No, of course not. But now, they’ve got it down to a science. They can get really close to that value at the end of that three years and then you have the opportunity to purchase the car if you want to, or you can give the car back to the bank. Your contractual obligation is satisfied, and you lease another car.

“…now, they’ve got it down to a science. They can get really close to that value at the end of that three years and then you have the opportunity to purchase the car if you want to, or you can give the car back to the bank.”

I mean, there are some things to take into consideration. Wear and tear on the vehicle, that definitely comes into play when you’re talking about value. If the car has bald tires, that value has lessened, so you’re going to get charged for that kind of stuff.

There are ways around it. You can purchase pretty inexpensive warranty packages that will cover that, so you don’t have to do it. There’s a solution for that. But I think, all in all, short term, less interest, typically. You pay tax as you go for the usage of the car and not all up front. You’re not paying a ton of interest on all this tax. The ease and the ability to get in and out of cars after three years, like my wife and children.

It’s definitely beneficial now, it’s not like it used to be.  For sure. It’s good for the dealers, you know? I like seeing people back here every three years, let’s face it.

Tom: Sure! Absolutely, of course.

When Leasing vs. Buying Doesn’t Make Sense

Lewis: Yeah, as far as a purchase goes, as I said, different people want different things. You may be ready to—I mean, at some point I’m going to stop leasing and I’ll buy my car and I won’t have to worry about it. Hopefully, that’s a long ways from now.

Tom: You mean, like when you get into retirement age kind of thing, like all right, I’m just going to buy this one and I’ll ride it out?

Lewis: Yeah, that’s where I was going with that, yes.

Tom: [Laughs] I wasn’t sure.

Lewis: Yeah, no, I got that. There’s a reason why you weren’t sure. I was trying to avoid the age comments.

Tom: I think me and you are pretty darn close in age.

Steady Stream of Safety & Technology Innovation

All the tech and innovation, I mean, cars these days are rolling computers. One of the reasons that I love leasing right now is because I have the latest, greatest safety features embedded into my—okay, fine, it’s embedded into the monthly payment that I have to write a check for every month.

Lewis: It is whether you purchase or lease it.

Tom: That’s the other thing, too. I’m getting all the safety and safety, tech and innovation and what-not. But look, when I’m buying a car, I own it. I own the problems after it’s out of warranty. But I don’t really own it until I finish paying it off with the bank, right?

Lewis: Right.

Tom:  Which is, these days, five years solid away from the time that I drive it off the lot. I don’t know, and maybe, I think I’m probably right there with you in that maybe later on in life, I’ll say, “Okay, I’m just going to buy and I’m not going to worry about that,” but I’m a huge fan of leasing now.

I joke a lot in saying that talking to people about buying versus leasing sometimes is asking them to switch political parties.

Lewis: Right!

Leasing over Buying is on the Rise

Tom: I know it’s gotten more popular in recent years, what percentage? Just out of curiosity, are you guys buying/leasing?

Lewis: This store specifically, we’re in the high 30-percentage. 38, 39%.

Tom: Or leasing?

Lewis: Leasing versus purchase.

Tom: Wow, okay. But that’s up, I’m assuming in recent…

Lewis: Yes, it’s up.

Tom: What are the common pitfalls in leasing? I think there’s a stigma about leasing from way back and there are some commonalities to why people feel that way and way it’s a polarizing, kind of political party thing. What are some common pitfalls and how do you avoid them?

Common Misconceptions of Leasing vs. Buying 

Lewis: Well, I think the biggest misconception is—and I just get this from talking to customers, so many, “Well, I don’t own the car.” Right?

Tom: Right.

“…if you think about it, if you’re on a five-year purchase and three years in, do you own the car?”

Lewis: I mean, if you think about it, if you’re on a five-year purchase and three years in, do you own the car?

Tom: Right.

Lewis: You don’t. You don’t own the car, right?

Tom: Right.

Lewis: You don’t own the car until you get that pink slip, right? You have that ability to do that on the lease. If the car is 40 grand—I’m just using round number—and in 3 years, you owe 20 grand. Typically, residuals are 50% of that MSRP. You’ve paid off, you’ve invested, you now own 50% of that car. You’ve paid that much into it.

Tom: Yep.

Lewis: I think the misconception is, well, I’m renting the car, where does that money go? That money goes to the principle of the loan. I mean, it’s as basic as that. So, it’s a $40,000 car 3 years later, now you owe $20,000. If you break it down, if you purchase a car, 3 years later, if it’s 40 grand, in 3 years, how much do you owe?

Tom: Right.

The Reinvention of Leasing vs. Buying

Lewis: It’s really close, right? It’s really close, if not better. Typically, you’re in a better position on a lease after that three-year term, than not.

Because in a purchase, you’re paying for all that tax and license up front. All that is built in and you have to pay that. That’s part of your principle and now you have to pay that down.

“Leasing got reinvented, for the most part. Now, that residual is on the contract, you know, and everything is laid out for you. I think a lot of people are very open to it.”

That’s one misconception. I think that’s the biggest misconception and I think people are more educated nowadays than they were before.

Leasing got reinvented, for the most part. Now, that residual is on the contract, you know, and everything is laid out for you. I think a lot of people are very open to it. I mean, we’re dealing with a different generation now, too.

Tom: Sure.

Lewis: What is it, Millennials?

Tom: I think we’re even… even the generation after Millennials are now getting old enough to drive.

Lewis: Yeah. And they’re looking for a low payment on a nicer car and that’s really how you do it. And typically, they want—they’re looking at just the cost of ownership. That’s what it’s more about to them.

Estimating Your Lease Mileage

Tom: Some of the stories that I’ve heard of issues with leasing have surrounded around just being unrealistic about the miles that you’re going to put on a car.

Me, personally? I go 15,000 miles a year and I do that for two different leases that are spread out about a year, year-and-a-half apart for my car and my wife’s car. My model is that as I’m getting closer to bringing a car back, whichever, mine or my wife’s, I start driving the heck out of that one because I’m always way under my miles.

One time I brought a lease back with 10,000 miles to go, which is ridiculous. But any advice on that topic?

Lewis: Here’s the cool part. It’s all relative. It’s like you have a big pie. We’re going to cut that pie in half. Well, how we cut that pie in half is based on the mileage. If it’s 10,000 miles a year, you’re going to owe more on the car at the end of that three years because the car is worth more.

Don’t Penalize Yourself when Leasing vs. Buying

Tom: Because you pay so much.

Lewis: Based on less mileage. If it’s 15,000 miles a year, you’re going to owe less on that car, which makes that first three years of payments higher because you’re paying off more in the first three years. Follow me?

“My opinion on that is to go with the middle of the road kind of mileage, as long as you’re comfortable with that. Don’t penalize yourself up front because you’re going to pay for that.”

Tom: Yep.

Lewis: It’s all relative. I say to the customers that come in and have these kinds of questions, I think the bank will have programs better on a 10K or a 12K or a 15K, so you might be able to get a better payment on a 12,000-mile lease, versus the cost of ownership on a 15,000-mile lease.

My opinion on that is to go with the middle of the road kind of mileage, as long as you’re comfortable with that. Don’t penalize yourself up front because you’re going to pay for that.

Tom: Right.

Leasing vs. Buying – What You Don’t Know!

Lewis: Nowadays, when leases are up because the bank has done such a good job of getting the value of the car so close to where it is, I mean, you’re talking—it’s relative. It’s a few hundred bucks, really.

“The dealerships have a lot of power at the end of that lease, too. Whether to absorb some of that mileage for you or you can use that as part of the negotiation. “

So, I wouldn’t penalize myself up front and don’t ask me—no, I’m just kidding. The dealerships have a lot of power at the end of that lease, too. Whether to absorb some of that mileage for you or you can use that as part of the negotiation. That’s why I was kind of hesitant on saying that.

Tom: Come on! Hey, we’re here to take everybody behind the scenes.

Lewis: It’s all good.

Tom: This is what you would be telling your daughters. If you weren’t making the payment, if you weren’t buying a car for them, this is the insider scoop. That’s what we give on iDriveSoCal.

Lewis: I’m kidding around mostly. But yeah, I wouldn’t penalize yourself. Unless you’re going to drive 15K and you’re for sure going to drive the 15K, I wouldn’t penalize myself up front for that.

Leasing vs. Buying – Begin with the End in Mind

Tom: Meaning don’t over-buy miles?

Lewis: Yeah. Yeah.

Tom: Okay. Interesting.

“The biggest thing is, don’t be scared. Don’t let it hang you up. People overthink it a lot.”

Lewis: It depends on what you’re going to do with the car at the end of the lease, too, as well. If you know, I’m going to lease this car and I’m going to keep it, the mileage is irrelevant.

Tom: Right.

Lewis: If you know you’re going to give the car back and your lifestyle is—you know your lifestyle is not going to change and this is the miles I’m going to drive, then base it off of that, really, is all I can tell you. That’s probably the best advice. The biggest thing is, don’t be scared. Don’t let it hang you up. People overthink it a lot.

But because now, the way that leases are structured nowadays, it’s not as bad as it used to be. 20 cents, 25 cents a mile, 15 cents a mile, depending on the brand. Again, there’s so many incentives coming back into leasing another car from the manufacturers, from the dealer. It’s a very easy thing to get around.

I sound like a car salesman.

Tom: [Laughs]

Lewis: It is. I honestly, everything I lease is 10K a year.

Tom: 10,000 a year?

Lewis: Yeah, absolutely. When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage—I’m typically not, that’s why I do it—there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that.

Tom: Okay.

Lewis: Can’t believe I’m saying that. [Laughs] This is true insider information.

Should You Lease with Intention to Buy at the End?

Tom: Thank you for that. That’s excellent. Now, you touched on one other thing that I want to kind of unpack a little bit further and that is the buying at the end of the lease.

Is buying a good strategy—or is buying at the end of the lease, leasing with the intention to buy at the end, when is that a good—

“…why not give yourself an opportunity to make a decision based on the market at the end of the three years”

Lewis: It’s never a bad strategy. I mean, if you think about it, if you know that you’re going to buy the car—here’s the deal: They’re machines. They break down, right?

Tom: Yep.

Lewis: So, what if the scenario is, I got a lemon, or I have a car that is constantly breaking down? Well, you have three years to figure that out.

Tom: Right.

Lewis: You’re not going to pay any more for the car. Yes, I mean, if that’s the case, why not give yourself an opportunity to make a decision based on the market at the end of the three years, than not? I mean, if you follow me.

More Benefits of Leasing vs. Buying

If I purchase the car and in three years, getting out of it is going to be much harder than it is if I lease it because I paid all that tax and license up front.

Tom: Yeah.

“I like the fact that hey, in three years, let me make a decision about it. Let’s figure this out. Let’s look at the value of the car.”

Lewis: Follow me? If you were going to intentionally buy the car, you lease it, you pay less interest up front, you’re happy with the residual at the end, you get to the end of the lease, the car’s a great car, I’ve maintained it, I’ve done all of it. I don’t have any dings, I don’t have any dents, I’m happy. Okay, let’s buy it.

Tom: It’s like dating before engagement.

Lewis: There you go. Really, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. But yeah, that’s a great way to put it.

Tom: All right.

“It’s like dating before engagement.”

Lewis: And then you pay tax on that residual, so it’s not like you’re going to pay more or less, it’s all relative. I like the fact that hey, in three years, let me make a decision about it. Let’s figure this out. Let’s look at the value of the car.

Tom: I like that. I like the concept.

Lewis: Yeah. I mean, it’s just because the way leases are structured nowadays, you can do that.

The Downside of Leasing vs. Buying

Tom: Is there a downside to it? I mean, I see the upside no problem, but is there a downside?

Lewis: I mean, no. Not to sound like a car guy, but there really is not a downside. I mean, you got to come back and see me in three years, I don’t think that’s really a downside.

“…I don’t think that’s really a downside.”

Tom: I think you’re a pretty good guy.

Lewis: I’d come to see you anyway.

Tom: I think everybody should lease just for that fact alone. Just come see me!

Lewis: They have to come back and see me in three years. But no, I guess if you want to call a downside, you have to go through the process again. You know, you have to come back into the dealership. They actually have to purchase the car from you for that price because they’re a deal and they’re licensed, and you can’t do that. There’s no way to do that.

And then we inspect the car at that point in time and then you basically buy the car back from us for that same dollar amount. Sometimes dealers charge fees and they’re minimal though. But we have to make sure that the car—because we’re buying the car from you and then I’m selling it back to you. I still have to make sure it’s in good working order.

Tom: Sure.

Demand Transparency Like @ Martin Chevrolet – Or Just Go There!

Lewis: You have it inspected and you go from there. You know, maybe that’s a downside, that you have to do the process again in three years. Some people don’t like being here. I mean, let’s face it.

Tom: Well, but that’s the whole, you know, old school, car games that other dealerships play. That doesn’t happen here at Martin Chevrolet.

Lewis: Of course not!

Tom: That’s why we’re here with iDriveSoCal at Martin Chevrolet.

“…we’re all about. Transparency, making the buying process fun. You know, just information is key.”

Lewis: I shouldn’t even kind of make fun of that though. It does not happen here. I mean, that’s what we’re all about. Transparency, making the buying process fun. You know, just information is key.

Tom: Anything else on buying versus leasing at this point in time? I think we’re going to circle back on this particular topic sometime down the line. I’m not sure when, but I just like talking to you about it because you’re an open book on it.

Behind the Scenes with Martin Chevrolet 

Lewis: Sure. Are we going to clap now?

Tom: [Laughs]

Lewis: Just kidding.

Tom: I would like to clap here, guys. All right, we recorded a podcast earlier. Now I need to explain it.

We recorded a podcast earlier and we’re doing the audio, but we’re also doing this on video. Maybe you’re even watching on video, I’m not sure. But in order to sync up the audio and video, there’s a clap. The first clap that I did made Lewis laugh, so he’s actually been doing the claps since then.

We’re going to wrap this one up. Lewis Cook from Martin Chevrolet. Thank you so much for all the great information. Thank you for being an iDriveSoCal partner. Come on down here to Martin Chevrolet for all of your Chevy needs, buying and servicing. Martin Chevrolet is in Torrance, California on Hawthorne Boulevard.

Thank you again. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. Thank you, as always, for tuning in, and Lewis is going to clap.

Lewis: Appreciate you.

Martin Chevrolet is on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and at MartinChevrolet.com.  Chevrolet!  Find New Roads!

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Does leasing vs. buying make sense when it comes to Chevrolet vehicles?  Or any vehicle for that matter.  Ultimately it's a personal decision but I love sharing the details to help you weigh the options. - In recent years, leasing vs. Does leasing vs. buying make sense when it comes to Chevrolet vehicles?  Or any vehicle for that matter.  Ultimately it's a personal decision but I love sharing the details to help you weigh the options.<br /> <br /> In recent years, leasing vs. buying has been on the rise.  And for lots of good reasons.  For instance, who doesn't like getting a new car every few years?<br /> <br /> Also, always having a newer car that's covered under a factory warranty offers a great feeling of protection.  And then there's the element of being able to afford a little nicer car for a little lower payment... the list of 'pros' to leasing versus buying goes on.<br /> <br /> However, there are cons to leasing versus buying.  Personally, I don't think the cons outweigh the pros... but I used to.  That's why I love sitting down with experts to discuss this very topic.<br /> <br /> In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, we get the lowdown on leasing versus buying from Lewis Cook, General Manager of Martin Chevrolet.  Click play below to hear the details.  (BTW - I think this report is a listen rather than a read... but consume it as you wish.  I also lease instead of buy! :0))<br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded at Martin Chevrolet, Torrance, CA<br /> <br /> Benefits of Leasings vs. Buying<br /> Lewis Cook: You ultimately are paying less interest, that’s cool, for a lot of people - for everybody.<br /> <br /> On a lease, you don’t pay the tax up front. It’s another huge part of the savings that you get from leasing. <br /> <br /> "...paying less interest... you don't pay tax up front... an option at the end of a lease to purchase the vehicle if you want."<br /> <br /> You have an option at the end of that lease to purchase the vehicle if you want. When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage...  there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome back to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith here and I am very excited to be sitting down and recording a podcast with my friend, Lewis Cook, who is the General Manager here at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California, right off of Hawthorne Boulevard. Not too far away from where I live, actually. I’m in the South Bay.<br /> <br /> "When you come and you’re going to lease again, you find, if you are over mileage...  there’s a good chance that the dealer can absorb some of that."<br /> <br /> So I’m really, really excited to be working with Lewis and Martin Chevrolet for the proximity reason, but also because these guys are just awesome, and Lewis is a fantastic human being!<br /> <br /> Lewis: Wow! Laying it on pretty thick, huh, Tom?<br /> <br /> Tom: [Laughs]<br /> <br /> Lewis: Your intros are getting better and better!<br /> <br /> Tom: Can we do that again? [Laughs] It just feels good. Don’t worry, we got it recorded.<br /> Should You Buy or Lease?<br /> Lewis: Human being…great. I like it! [Laughs]<br /> <br /> Tom: [Laughs] This podcast, it’s going to be good advice. You know it’s going to be good advice because you have that authentic introduction.<br /> <br /> Lewis: Good to me.<br /> <br /> "What we love to do here with iDriveSoCal is bring insider information, literally, the coaching that I gave for Lewis for this podcast is hey, it’s just whatever you would tell your daughter to do."<br /> <br /> Tom: Right, because it’s the wonderful human being!<br /> <br /> Lewis: [Laughs] Just kidding.<br /> <br /> Tom: Right, because it’s the wonderful human being!<br /> <br /> This podcast, we’re going to do—we’re going to talk buy/lease, right?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Lewis: Yeah.<br /> <br /> Tom: And it’s a big thing, right? Do I buy or do I lease? What we love to do here with iDriveSoCal is br... Tom Smith clean 23:50
Classic Auto Show https://www.idrivesocal.com/classic-auto-show/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:30:46 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10469 You might think there's no room for new-comers in the world of Southern California auto shows but luckily the organizers of the Classic Auto Show didn't think so. And we're glad they took the plunge hosting their first event in Los Angeles three years ago.  For their 3rd Annual Classic Auto Show, they moved the venue down to Orange County. We dispatched iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, and his Associate Professor, pictured below to check out the show.  They came back with this complete report.  Click play to listen below or continue reading and check out the great Classic Auto Show pictures. ***Transcription*** Recorded in Los Angeles, CA 3rd Annual Classic Auto Show Clinton "The Professor" Quan: It’s an outdoor and indoor venue, so they had cars that were inside and outside as well and there were over 2,000 vehicles that were on display. There were car clubs that were represented at the event, there are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.  Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton! Professor: Hey, Tom! Tom: Hello, my friend. This podcast—it’s been a while. Good to see you. "...there are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.  Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event." Professor: Good seeing you, too. Yeah, it’s been quite some time. Tom: Podcast listeners totally know that it’s been a while. Professor: They don’t. Tom: But thank you for tuning in. Thank you for listening. This podcast is about the Classic Auto Show. Cars Show that Makes The Cut The good Professor hits all of the top auto shows, has very discriminating taste when it comes to all things automotive. He knows what shows—there are tons of shows to hit throughout the year and that’s going to be another whole podcast. Professor: Absolutely. Tom: But there are tons, I mean, every weekend there’s shows to hit, right? Professor: There are automotive events that literally take place every single weekend in Southern California. Tom: Professor Quan here… If you’re a new listener, I call Clinton the Professor because he just keeps his finger on the pulse of everything coming out of all the manufacturers. "This year they decided to move it to Orange County in Cosa Mesa at the OC Fair and Event Center." Domestic, import, luxury, exotics, supercars, you name it. I mean, he goes to shows like regularly. Pretty much every weekend, he’s seeing something automotive related. If he’s not, that’s the anomaly in his life. Which is cool, because we then leverage that expertise into iDriveSoCal. Clinton, for the most part, curates iDriveSoCal’s events calendar. Thank you for doing that. And any big events that are worthy… Because again, all you have to do is Google and you can find something automotive related. Something going on every Saturday, every Sunday, of the year, somewhere in Southern California, hands down, no problem. The thing is, which ones do I want to go to? That’s why I come to iDriveSoCal, to find the gems. One of them that we covered recently, The Best of France and Italy? Or is it Italy and France? The Best of France an Italy Professor: The Best of France and Italy, yes, you are correct. Tom: The Best of France and Italy. Awesome show, beautiful cars. Their website needs some updating. It’s a little bit old website, you wouldn’t think by looking at the website that it’s such an awesome show. Therein lies—you know, the Professor is like iDriveSoCal’s Yelp when it comes to auto shows. Does that make sense? "...it was the 100th anniversary of Citroën, which is a French car company, so they had a number of their vehicles there." You might think there’s no room for new-comers in the world of Southern California auto shows but luckily the organizers of the Classic Auto Show didn’t think so.

And we’re glad they took the plunge hosting their first event in Los Angeles three years ago.  For their 3rd Annual Classic Auto Show, they moved the venue down to Orange County.

We dispatched iDriveSoCal’s Professor, Clinton Quan, and his Associate Professor, pictured below to check out the show.  They came back with this complete report.  Click play to listen below or continue reading and check out the great Classic Auto Show pictures.

Small boy stands next to small classic car pictured as part of the 2019 Classic Auto Shot podcast banner from iDriveSoCal

***Transcription***

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

3rd Annual Classic Auto Show

Clinton “The Professor” Quan: It’s an outdoor and indoor venue, so they had cars that were inside and outside as well and there were over 2,000 vehicles that were on display.

There were car clubs that were represented at the event, there are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.  Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton!

Professor: Hey, Tom!

Tom: Hello, my friend. This podcast—it’s been a while. Good to see you.

“…there are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.  Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event.”

Professor: Good seeing you, too. Yeah, it’s been quite some time.

Tom: Podcast listeners totally know that it’s been a while.

Professor: They don’t.

Tom: But thank you for tuning in. Thank you for listening. This podcast is about the Classic Auto Show.

Cars Show that Makes The Cut

The good Professor hits all of the top auto shows, has very discriminating taste
when it comes to all things automotive.

He knows what shows—there are tons of shows to hit throughout the year and that’s going to be another whole podcast.

Professor: Absolutely.

Tom: But there are tons, I mean, every weekend there’s shows to hit, right?

Professor: There are automotive events that literally take place every single weekend in Southern California.

Tom: Professor Quan here…
If you’re a new listener, I call Clinton the Professor because he just keeps his finger on the pulse of everything coming out of all the manufacturers.

“This year they decided to move it to Orange County in Cosa Mesa at the OC Fair and Event Center.”

Domestic, import, luxury, exotics, supercars, you name it. I mean, he goes to shows like regularly.

Pretty much every weekend, he’s seeing something automotive related. If he’s not, that’s the anomaly in his life.

Which is cool, because we then leverage that expertise into iDriveSoCal. Clinton, for the most part, curates iDriveSoCal’s events calendar. Thank you for doing that.

And any big events that are worthy…

Because again, all you have to do is Google and you can find something automotive related.

Something going on every Saturday, every Sunday, of the year, somewhere in Southern California, hands down, no problem.

The thing is, which ones do I want to go to? That’s why I come to iDriveSoCal, to find the gems.

One of them that we covered recently, The Best of France and Italy? Or is it Italy and France?

The Best of France an Italy

Professor: The Best of France and Italy, yes, you are correct.

Tom: The Best of France and Italy. Awesome show, beautiful cars.

Their website needs some updating. It’s a little bit old website, you wouldn’t think by looking at the website that it’s such an awesome show.

Therein lies—you know, the Professor is like iDriveSoCal’s Yelp when it comes to auto shows. Does that make sense?

“…it was the 100th anniversary of Citroën, which is a French car company, so they had a number of their vehicles there.”

Professor: I like that analogy.

Tom: All right. The Classic Auto Show, tell me all about it. I can’t wait to hear.

Professor: Well, this is the third year for the Classic Auto Show.

Tom: Okay, a new one.

Classic Auto Show New SoCal Location

Professor: However, this is the first time they’re doing it in Orange County.

The first two years, it was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

This year they decided to move it to Orange County in Cosa Mesa at the OC Fair and Event Center.

Tom: Okay. Did that mean they’re growing, and they needed more space, or they just wanted to bring it down to OC to bring it to OC?

Professor: That’s a great question.

I don’t know why they move the location. Maybe they just decided to change it up a bit.

“It’s an outdoor and indoor venue, so they had cars that were inside and outside as well and there were over 2,000 vehicles that were on display.”

I don’t know if that’s going to continue for next year or if they’re going to move it back to LA.

The great thing about this was that there were cars that were held both outside—if anyone’s familiar with the OC Fair and Event Center…

It’s an outdoor and indoor venue, so they had cars that were inside and outside as well and there were over 2,000 vehicles that were on display.

Wide Range of Classic Automotomobiles

Tom: 2,000?

Professor: Yeah. I think that includes some of the specialty cars on display.

Tom: People in the parking lot? [Laughs]

Professor: Well, also, there were car clubs that were represented at the event as well.

“They’ve got one on the Western side of the U.S. and they have one and you could say, I guess, Midwest.”

Tom: Okay. Obviously, we’re talking about older cars, but was there a particular genre, a particular niche of classic autos that were here or what was there?

Professor: There was a wide range of classic cars. There were, in fact, Japanese classic cars as well.

Tom: Okay. Another one that we covered, the Japanese Classic Car Show.

Professor: Yeah. Remember the Mazda RX3 that you saw?

Well, you saw a photo of it at the Local Car Fest in Corona and also at the Peterson Automotive Museum, that was there. Muscle cars.

OMG!  Did You See Who’s Here?

Tom: See what I mean about the Professor? He’s like, “Oh, yeah, that particular car, I saw it at this show, I saw it at this show, I saw it at this show.”

It’s kind of like your friend—everybody has one of these friends—I actually have a bunch of them.

The friends that notice all of the—not superstars, obviously everybody recognizes the superstars running around LA and Southern California, but all of the smaller kind of bit part actors.

I had a buddy that moved to Texas and he would pick people out.

Like we’d be sitting at Baja Fresh and he’d be like, “Oh, you see that girl over there? Yeah, she did…” I’m like, “Dude, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Sorry, I digress.

Back to the cars that were at the Classic Auto Show that this year took place at the OC Fairgrounds?

Classic Auto Show @ the OC Fair and Event Center

Professor: OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.

Tom: Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, okay.

2,000 cars and obviously you were touching base on some of the classic Japanese cars.

Did we have muscle there? Did we have antiques, yeah?

Professor: Yeah. There are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.

Tom: Okay. Who’s putting this show on?

Professor: I don’t know the name of the producer, but they also do an event in Chicago in September.

They’ve got one on the Western side of the U.S. and they have one and you could say, I guess, Midwest.

Tom: We had this show on iDriveSoCal’s events calendar.

Professor: Yes.

Tom: I don’t recall if there was—

Professor: It’s a two-day event. Saturday and Sunday.

“…Something going on every Saturday, every Sunday, of the year, somewhere in Southern California, hands down, no problem.”

Tom: Is there a fee?

Professor: Yes, there is a fee. I believe it was around $20.

The Benefits of Reporting for iDriveSoCal

Tom: Okay. And did you pay that $20 or did you say, I’m iDriveSoCal, I’m going to be doing a story on this?

Professor: Well, I got the media credentials.

Tom: You got media credentials?

Professor: Yes.

Tom: Thanks to iDriveSoCal.

Professor: Yes, thanks to iDriveSoCal.

Tom: All right, perfect.

Professor: Instead of waiting in that long line, I just went to the very front of the line and they let me in.

Tom: Like Mike Meyers in Wayne’s World going through with your backstage pass?

Professor: Yes.

Tom: Excellent, excellent. We’ll have to make sure that we share this with the Classic Auto Show folks.

What were the highlights?

Classic Cars of Every Flavor

There was a little bit of everything there, it sounded like, and obviously a paid show, so there’s a little bit of commercial business aspect of it.

This isn’t a Cars and Coffee kind of thing where it’s all just enthusiasts getting together and admiring each other’s cars…

What were some common threads, highlights of the areas of the show?

Professor: Well, some of the highlights would definitely be—it was the 100th anniversary of Citroën, which is a French car company, so they had a number of their vehicles there.

Those were vehicles you also saw at the Best of France and Italy.

Tom: Let me get something right.
You went to this show and basically saw a bunch of cars that you’ve seen at other shows?

Professor: Well, normally that’s what happens when you go to a car show. [Laughs]

The SoCal Car Show Community

Tom: [Laughs] Do you know a lot of people at these shows when you walk in? Are they like, “Hey! Professor, what’s happening?”

Professor: Sometimes I do run into people that they’ve seen me at other cars—

Tom: Norm!

Professor: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: All right, sorry, I cut you off. The highlights.

Professor: Yeah, so that was definitely one of my highlights.

Tom: 100 years? Hey, that’s big, right?

Professor: Yeah. That was a big one. There was quite a collection of classic Mini Coopers there are well.

Tom: Cool.

Professor: Yes, that was really, really cool. I’m a big fan of Japanese classics. I think I mentioned that earlier.

“There was quite a collection of classic Mini Coopers there are well.”

Tom: Sure.

Professor: They had the first generation NSX there, so that was really cool.

Tom: Okay.

Professor: They had a Mazda RX7 as well. Oh, the Alfa Romeo Club was there as well.

Tom: There’s a club? I didn’t know.

Professor: Yeah, there’s an Alfa Romeo Club, Southern California Club.

The Club, their vehicles were part—it was parked outside and there was quite a collection of classic Alfa Romeos as well.

Tom: Okay.

Professor: That was another highlight for me.

“…there was quite a collection of classic Alfa Romeos as well.”

Tom: What else about the Classic Auto Show down there at the OC—what is it? Expo and Fairgrounds?

Professor: OC Fair and Event Center.

Green Cars in Honor of St. Patty’s Day

Tom: I’m getting it. I’m going to get it wrong three more times before we wrap this up.

Professor: What was cool was this was also the same weekend as St. Patrick’s Day, so they had a collection of—

Tom: Green beer?

Professor: No, green cars!

Tom: Oh, of course! [Laughs]

Professor: [Laughs] Green beer? We’re talking about cars, aren’t we?

Tom: [Laughs] I don’t know. You know what? My son got me up at about 4:30 this morning. We’re recording in the afternoon and got the afternoon coffee going. I don’t know, I just thought green beer for some reason. Green cars, of course.

“…it was great that they had that St. Patrick’s Day theme as well.”

Professor: Yeah, it was great that they had that St. Patrick’s Day theme as well.

Tom: Cool.

Professor: And as soon as you walk in through the main entrance on the right-hand side, outside you see this whole collection of—

Tom: Corn beef and cabbage.

Professor: Green automobiles.

Tom: Green cars. Green cars, got it. Okay.

Professor: Green classic automobiles.

Tom: But no green beer and no corn beef and cabbage?

Professor: There could’ve been, I don’t know. I wasn’t looking for that.

Tom: Okay. All right. Anything else? Classic Auto Show 2019? Year three, huh?

Professor: This is the third year.

Tom: How did you hear about it for the first time?

Professor: The first time? I don’t remember. Probably from—

Tom: It was only two years ago.

Professor: From attending some other automotive events or probably on the website or Facebook or Instagram.

Car Shows of SoCal

Tom: It’s just interesting because we’re in Southern California…

And, as we were just illustrating earlier in this podcast, that you can hit an auto show any weekend and yet here is what seems to be quite a successful auto show that pretty new by Southern California standards.

Professor: Oh, it’s a very new show, absolutely.

Tom: There’s room for big shows to come in and stick their proverbial flag in the—

Professor: There are always new shows coming up.

Tom: Maybe we should do an iDriveSoCal Show.

Adam Carolla Played Grand Marshal

Professor: Maybe. And Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event.

Tom: Of course!

Professor: He’s a big car guy.

Tom: Big car guy.

Professor: As any auto enthusiast would probably know.

Tom: Yep. Especially here in Southern California. All right, well, cool! Anything else before we wrap this one up on the Classic Auto Show there at the OC Expo and—

Professor: Well, I would anticipate the show for next year should take place around the same time in March.

I believe in previous years it was the first weekend in March. This year it was mid-March, so I anticipate around the same time for next year.

Tom: You think they’ll bring it back up to LA and kind of bounce back and forth between LA and OC or you think they’re happy in their home down there? Who knows?

“…in previous years it was the first weekend in March. This year it was mid-March, so I anticipate around the same time for next year.”

Professor: That’s a good question.

Tom: I think it’s a who knows.

Professor: I think it seemed pretty successful in its new location.

Tom: It’s a little bit easier to get to that kind of thing in OC, you know? Especially for 2,000 cars.

Professor: Well, it’s nice that they have cars displayed both inside and out.

Tom: Yeah.

Southern California is the Automotive Capital of the World

Professor: Which I really liked.

Tom: Yeah, all right. Professor Quan, thank you, as always, for expert analysis on yet another fantastic automotive event here in Southern California.

We’ll just call that another reason why Southern California is the automotive capital of both the United States and the world.

Actually, I Googled it recently and if you Google “Car Capital of the World,” I think iDriveSoCal, one of our categories, comes up.

Professor: Oh, that’s great.

Tom: Kind of cool, yeah. Cool.

Professor: That is cool.

Tom: All right, Professor, thanks again. Thank you all for listening, as always. For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. We’ll talk to you soon.

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You might think there's no room for new-comers in the world of Southern California auto shows but luckily the organizers of the Classic Auto Show didn't think so. - And we're glad they took the plunge hosting their first event in Los Angeles three yea... You might think there's no room for new-comers in the world of Southern California auto shows but luckily the organizers of the Classic Auto Show didn't think so.<br /> <br /> And we're glad they took the plunge hosting their first event in Los Angeles three years ago.  For their 3rd Annual Classic Auto Show, they moved the venue down to Orange County.<br /> <br /> We dispatched iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, and his Associate Professor, pictured below to check out the show.  They came back with this complete report.  Click play to listen below or continue reading and check out the great Classic Auto Show pictures.<br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> 3rd Annual Classic Auto Show<br /> Clinton "The Professor" Quan: It’s an outdoor and indoor venue, so they had cars that were inside and outside as well and there were over 2,000 vehicles that were on display.<br /> <br /> There were car clubs that were represented at the event, there are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.  Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton!<br /> <br /> Professor: Hey, Tom!<br /> <br /> Tom: Hello, my friend. This podcast—it’s been a while. Good to see you.<br /> <br /> "...there are muscle cars, there’s hotrods, antiques, classics, a wide range of vehicles.  Adam Carolla was the grand marshal for the event."<br /> <br /> Professor: Good seeing you, too. Yeah, it’s been quite some time.<br /> <br /> Tom: Podcast listeners totally know that it’s been a while.<br /> <br /> Professor: They don’t.<br /> <br /> Tom: But thank you for tuning in. Thank you for listening. This podcast is about the Classic Auto Show.<br /> Cars Show that Makes The Cut<br /> The good Professor hits all of the top auto shows, has very discriminating taste<br /> when it comes to all things automotive.<br /> <br /> He knows what shows—there are tons of shows to hit throughout the year and that’s going to be another whole podcast.<br /> <br /> Professor: Absolutely.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom: But there are tons, I mean, every weekend there’s shows to hit, right?<br /> <br /> Professor: There are automotive events that literally take place every single weekend in Southern California.<br /> <br /> Tom: Professor Quan here…<br /> If you’re a new listener, I call Clinton the Professor because he just keeps his finger on the pulse of everything coming out of all the manufacturers.<br /> <br /> "This year they decided to move it to Orange County in Cosa Mesa at the OC Fair and Event Center."<br /> <br /> Domestic, import, luxury, exotics, supercars, you name it. I mean, he goes to shows like regularly.<br /> <br /> Pretty much every weekend, he’s seeing something automotive related. If he’s not, that’s the anomaly in his life.<br /> <br /> Which is cool, because we then leverage that expertise into iDriveSoCal. Clinton, for the most part, curates iDriveSoCal’s events calendar. Thank you for doing that.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And any big events that are worthy…<br /> <br /> Because again, all you have to do is Google and you can find something automotive related.<br /> <br /> Something going on every Saturday, every Sunday, of the year, somewhere in Southern California, hands down, no problem.<br /> <br /> The thing is, which ones do I want to go to? That’s why I come to iDriveSoCal, to find the gems.<br /> <br /> One of them that we covered recently, The Best of France and Italy? Or is it Italy and France?<br /> The Best of France an Italy<br /> Professor: The Best of France and Italy, yes, you are correct.<br /> <br /> Tom: The Best of France and Italy. Tom Smith clean 14:12
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-chevrolet-silverado-review/ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 15:04:54 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10339 The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 doesn't appear to be all-new at first glance, or even second for that matter. But when you dive into the details it's clear to see that Chevy worked hard to magnify what was already great about the Silverado 1500 and make the overall product even better. I recently spent a day with an all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado courtesy of our friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA. 2019 Chevy Silverado Top-3 1. The Drive  2. Interior  3. Power Continue reading below for my complete review or click play to listen to the podcast version.  Either way, check out the pictures from my afternoon drive along the Pacific Coast right here in SoCal! April 26, 2019 The All-New 2019 Chevy Silverado If you've ever shopped for a new full-sized pick-up truck then you know there are seemingly endless configuration possibilities.  And, it makes sense, when you consider that this vehicle segment accounts for around 14% of all new vehicles sold in the United States each year. Additionally, the Chevrolet Silverado's eight ( yes, 8) different trim options also make sense.  Because the Chevy Silverado makes up a huge percentage of that 14% I just mentioned.  So, it's important to have something for everyone. So, here are the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trim options.  Starting with the Silverado Work Truck (WT) that a country club groundskeeper might drive.  And, going all the way up to the High Country that a billionaire oil tycoon would feel very comfortable tooling around in. Silverado 1500 Trim Options Trim options and starting manufacturer's suggested retail pricing as well. Always remember the literal definition of MSRP is the manufacturer's suggested retail price. Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA  And don't worry a bit about MSRP!  Go see my friends at Martin Chevrolet on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and they're going to give you the best deal. Again, don't worry about MSRP, email me and I'll personally connect you with my friends at Martin Chevrolet: tom [at] idrivesocal [dot]com. "...see my friends at Martin Chevy.  They specialize in configuring vehicles precisely to your needs." Also, you have to get your Chevy Silverado equipped to your specifications. So, there's another reason to see my friends at Martin Chevy.  They specialize in configuring vehicles precisely to your needs. Engines, Transmissions, Beds & Cabs And speaking of configuring your Chevy Silverado, you have a number of additional options besides the trim that best suits you. And of course, you have the option of 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.  But when it comes to the engines for the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-sized pick-up truck you may be surprised. That's because the 2019 Silverado offers five engines.  But that's no big deal, right?  Well, here's the thing, one of them is a 4-cylinder!  And I hear it's powerful and quick too!  (I've not yet driven it.) As you can see various options really start to multiply with Silverado.  Especially when you consider that you still have various packages to select from and accessories. My 2019 Silverado Test Driver My friends at Martin Chevrolet set me up in a 2019 Chevy Silverado that I would professionally refer to as a 'bad mama-jamma.'  That's an iDriveSoCal technical term. :0) The 2019 Silverado that I test drove was a 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8.  It had a super-smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. "My friends at Martin Chevrolet set me up in a 2019 Chevy Silverado that I would professionally refer to as a 'bad mama-jamma.'"  Now, I didn't mention fuel economy above because there are too many variables to the overall equation.  But I can put the 2019 Chevy Silverado's overall fuel economy in perspective. The 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the big 6.2-liter engine is rated for 16-mpg city and 20-highway. The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 doesn’t appear to be all-new at first glance, or even second for that matter.

But when you dive into the details it’s clear to see that Chevy worked hard to magnify what was already great about the Silverado 1500 and make the overall product even better.

I recently spent a day with an all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado courtesy of our friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA.

2019 Chevy Silverado Top-3
1. The Drive 
2. Interior 
3. Power

Continue reading below for my complete review or click play to listen to the podcast version.  Either way, check out the pictures from my afternoon drive along the Pacific Coast right here in SoCal!

Black 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 driver profile banner

April 26, 2019

The All-New 2019 Chevy Silverado

If you’ve ever shopped for a new full-sized pick-up truck then you know there are seemingly endless configuration possibilities.  And, it makes sense, when you consider that this vehicle segment accounts for around 14% of all new vehicles sold in the United States each year.

Additionally, the Chevrolet Silverado’s eight ( yes, 8) different trim options also make sense.  Because the Chevy Silverado makes up a huge percentage of that 14% I just mentioned.  So, it’s important to have something for everyone.

So, here are the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trim options.  Starting with the Silverado Work Truck (WT) that a country club groundskeeper might drive.  And, going all the way up to the High Country that a billionaire oil tycoon would feel very comfortable tooling around in.

Silverado 1500 Trim Options

Trim options and starting manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing as well.

Always remember the literal definition of MSRP is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA 

And don’t worry a bit about MSRP!  Go see my friends at Martin Chevrolet on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and they’re going to give you the best deal.

Black 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 badge

Again, don’t worry about MSRP, email me and I’ll personally connect you with my friends at Martin Chevrolet: tom [at] idrivesocal [dot]com.

“…see my friends at Martin Chevy.  They specialize in configuring vehicles precisely to your needs.”

Also, you have to get your Chevy Silverado equipped to your specifications.

Black 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 rearSo, there’s another reason to see my friends at Martin Chevy.  They specialize in configuring vehicles precisely to your needs.

Engines, Transmissions, Beds & Cabs

And speaking of configuring your Chevy Silverado, you have a number of additional options besides the trim that best suits you.

And of course, you have the option of 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.  But when it comes to the engines for the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-sized pick-up truck you may be surprised.

That’s because the 2019 Silverado offers five engines.  But that’s no big deal, right?  Well, here’s the thing, one of them is a 4-cylinder!  And I hear it’s powerful and quick too!  (I’ve not yet driven it.)

As you can see various options really start to multiply with Silverado.  Especially when you consider that you still have various packages to select from and accessories.

My 2019 Silverado Test Driver

My friends at Martin Chevrolet set me up in a 2019 Chevy Silverado that I would professionally refer to as a ‘bad mama-jamma.’  That’s an iDriveSoCal technical term. :0)

Chrome on black 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ badge

The 2019 Silverado that I test drove was a 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8.  It had a super-smooth 10-speed automatic transmission.

“My friends at Martin Chevrolet set me up in a 2019 Chevy Silverado that I would professionally refer to as a ‘bad mama-jamma.'” 

Now, I didn’t mention fuel economy above because there are too many variables to the overall equation.  But I can put the 2019 Chevy Silverado’s overall fuel economy in perspective.

Chrome on black 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2L badge

The 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the big 6.2-liter engine is rated for 16-mpg city and 20-highway.  Highly respectable to say the least.

The Drive

I’m not going to pull punches on this one.  I felt like I owned the road while driving this truck!  So much so that I was deliberately trying to be extra-nice yielding to other drivers.

Maybe it was just my perception.  But the ’19 Silverado is so so big and muscular that I worried about intimidating other SoCal drivers!

“…the ’19 Silverado is so so big and muscular that I worried about intimidating other SoCal drivers!”

So, how’d it drive?  Awesome!  Ridiculous power and command of the road.  Acceleration was great with all that torque.

And now, I’m not an avid off-roader.  But this truck is ready to go for sure.

Yet, even with that in mind, the Silverado LTZ, complete with 20-inch wheels and a trailering package provided a surprisingly smooth ride.  And quiet too!

Exterior

Outside the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado remains 100% a Chevy Silverado.  In fact, so much so that there has been some criticism about the ‘all-new’ moniker not being deserved.

However, my view is, why screw up a good thing?  I like that they kept so much of the look of the previous generation.  It worked, so why not?

“The 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the big 6.2-liter engine is rated for 16-mpg city and 20-highway.”

But when you dive into the details Chevy made some great improvements.  They took an entire 450-pounds off the previous generation.  They also made the 2019 Silverado about 2-inches longer and gave it a wider bed.

In addition, one piece of technology on the outside of the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is the available power, up and down, tailgate.  I was surprised at how well it functioned.  And it did so without throwing off the normal tailgate function one bit.

One last note on the outside of the Silverado, specifically my test driver, the 4-wheel drive LTZ.  It stood quite tall.  I’m just under 6-feet tall and the roof of the cab well exceeded my height.

And the 2019 Silverado I drove didn’t have running boards.  I was able to get in and out without a problem but I’d probably add those to one I buy.  Both for function and aesthetics as they look great.

Interior

Inside the 2019 Chevy Silverado is huge.  You do have the option of a bench in front with a fold-down center console.  But for many of the upscale trim options, my choice would definitely be to stick with huge center console and separate front seats like I had.

And the back seat in the 2019 Silverado is ridiculously huge.  You have legroom galore.  And the width of the backseat really emphasizes the overall size of the truck.  I think the backseat might be bigger than the first futon I slept on in college.

And of course, the backseats fold to create different cargo space configurations.  But Chevy got really clever and created really cool storage nooks in the ’19 Silverado backrest of the backseats themselves!

The cockpit of the 2019 Silverado has all sorts of stuff ‘going on’ but it’s extremely well laid out.  And I found it easy to get familiar with while driving through Torrance and Palos Verdes.

“2019 Silverado that I test drove was a 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8.”

A few of items of special note in the cockpit include the following.  First, the 4-wheel drive and transmission mode selectors on the dash to the left of the steering wheel.

And second, is this row of controls toward the bottom of the center stack with ports below it.  Sure you have the obvious USB, old school cigarette plug but a 120V outlet as well?!?!  Sweet!

And just above the 120V outlet is a super-handy button that takes down all four door-windows simultaneously when selected.  Perfect for when you hop in a steamy vehicle in the summertime.

“2019 Silverado that I test drove… had a super-smooth 10-speed automatic transmission.”

Finally, I have to point out my favorite feature making its way into more and more vehicles – ventilated seats.  As you can see in the above pic, I had mine on full blast.  But also of note is the heated seats can be activated on either just your back or both but and back.  Great for achy-backs during those long road trips!

Technology

The optional technology on the 2019 Silverado is just as ample as the trim, engine, bed and cab offerings.

In addition to your safety and driver assistance features (see below), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto there are a number of optional standouts worth noting.

“…you have Silverado’s impressive Heads Up Display so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times.”

For instance, the Silverado trailering technology is a must-have for towing anything.  And that, along with a lot of other functionality, interfaces with the myCheverolet Mobile App.

Then you have Silverado’s impressive Heads Up Display so you can keep your eyes on the road at all times.  Chevy Silverado also offers a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.  In addition to Automatic Stop/Start for increased fuel savings.

And of course, sitting atop the very well configured center stack is a crystal clear, easy to use, swipe-action digital touch screen display.

Safety & Driver Assistance

The 2019 Chevy Silverado offers all the typical safety and driver assistance technology that new vehicles can include these days.  The one that stuck out to me, which has made appearances in General Motors vehicles for a few years now is the haptic seat-bottom vibration.  This is an optional way to alert the driver instead of using audible collision avoidance alerts.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado | Top-3

With so many configuration options I’m picking my Top-3 from the 2019 Chevy Silverado LTZ 4-wheel drive that I test drove.  And actually, just picking three from that truck is rather tough.  But, here goes:

1. The Drive – We all pay taxes and have equal rights to the roads.  But, in the Silverado, you can’t help but feel like you own a bit more of the roads than everyone else.  🙂

2. Interior – I love the space and design.  Again, there’s a lot going on.  Much to control, but everything is thoughtfully laid out.  Logical and a breeze to navigate.

3. Power – This could arguably be grouped in above with ‘The Drive.’  But, having 420-horses and 460-lb-ft of torque under your right foot deserves to be noted.

We’ll be reviewing additional Silverado’s from our friends at Martin Chevrolet for sure.  As for the LTZ 4-wheel drive with the 6.2L V8 is a great option for a daily driver that’s just as capable for the workweek as the weekend!

Martin Chevrolet is on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and at MartinChevrolet.com.  Chevrolet!  Find New Roads!
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The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 doesn't appear to be all-new at first glance, or even second for that matter. - But when you dive into the details it's clear to see that Chevy worked hard to magnify what was already great about the Silverado 1500 an... The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 doesn't appear to be all-new at first glance, or even second for that matter.<br /> <br /> But when you dive into the details it's clear to see that Chevy worked hard to magnify what was already great about the Silverado 1500 and make the overall product even better.<br /> <br /> I recently spent a day with an all-new 2019 Chevy Silverado courtesy of our friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA.<br /> <br /> 2019 Chevy Silverado Top-3<br /> 1. The Drive <br /> 2. Interior <br /> 3. Power<br /> <br /> Continue reading below for my complete review or click play to listen to the podcast version.  Either way, check out the pictures from my afternoon drive along the Pacific Coast right here in SoCal!<br /> <br /> <br /> April 26, 2019<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The All-New 2019 Chevy Silverado<br /> If you've ever shopped for a new full-sized pick-up truck then you know there are seemingly endless configuration possibilities.  And, it makes sense, when you consider that this vehicle segment accounts for around 14% of all new vehicles sold in the United States each year.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Additionally, the Chevrolet Silverado's eight ( yes, 8) different trim options also make sense.  Because the Chevy Silverado makes up a huge percentage of that 14% I just mentioned.  So, it's important to have something for everyone.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> So, here are the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 trim options.  Starting with the Silverado Work Truck (WT) that a country club groundskeeper might drive.  And, going all the way up to the High Country that a billionaire oil tycoon would feel very comfortable tooling around in.<br /> Silverado 1500 Trim Options<br /> Trim options and starting manufacturer's suggested retail pricing as well.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Always remember the literal definition of MSRP is the manufacturer's suggested retail price.<br /> Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA <br /> And don't worry a bit about MSRP!  Go see my friends at Martin Chevrolet on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and they're going to give you the best deal.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Again, don't worry about MSRP, email me and I'll personally connect you with my friends at Martin Chevrolet: tom [at] idrivesocal [dot]com.<br /> <br /> "...see my friends at Martin Chevy.  They specialize in configuring vehicles precisely to your needs."<br /> <br /> Also, you have to get your Chevy Silverado equipped to your specifications.<br /> <br /> So, there's another reason to see my friends at Martin Chevy.  They specialize in configuring vehicles precisely to your needs.<br /> Engines, Transmissions, Beds & Cabs<br /> And speaking of configuring your Chevy Silverado, you have a number of additional options besides the trim that best suits you.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And of course, you have the option of 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.  But when it comes to the engines for the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado full-sized pick-up truck you may be surprised.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> That's because the 2019 Silverado offers five engines.  But that's no big deal, right?  Well, here's the thing, one of them is a 4-cylinder!  And I hear it's powerful and quick too!  (I've not yet driven it.)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> As you can see various options really start to multiply with Silverado.  Especially when you consider that you still have various packages to select from and accessories.<br /> My 2019 Silverado Test Driver<br /> My friends at Martin Chevrolet set me up in a 2019 Chevy Silverado that I would professionally refer to as a 'bad mama-jamma.'  That's an iDriveSoCal technical term. :0)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The 2019 Silverado that I test drove was a 4-wheel drive LTZ Crew Cab with the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8.  It had a super-smooth 10-speed automatic transmission.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith clean 19:00
2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-volkswagen-tiguan-review/ Thu, 25 Apr 2019 12:30:31 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=10336 The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is VW's compact SUV that's as stylish as it is big!  So big that VW even offers up the option for a third row of seating.  And so stylish that many find it more appealing than Volkswagen's former Toureg model. Additionally, this second generation Tiguan comes in a trim level to suit every driver's needs.  Even offering up the sporty R-Line package! 2019 VW Tiguan Top-3: 1. Exterior Styling 2. Interior Tech & Design 3. Engine Power & Torque We picked up a 2019 VW Tiguan from our friends at Ontario Volkswagen for a recent fun day of driving Southern California.  Click play below to hear the complete details in our podcast or you can continue reading below and check out the pictures from our test drive.   April 24, 2019 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Test Drive & Review Clinton "The Professor" Quan: This is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.  That extra third row, it's a nice feature to have. This is one of the most attractive compact crossovers out there.  I'm a huge fan of the interior as well.  It's got plenty of torque, plenty of pick up, very, very smooth. "We're looking at about 22-city, 29-highway... that's solid for a vehicle this big, because this is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market." Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton. Professor: Hey Tom. Tom: Hello my friend. This podcast is a vehicle review, the good Professor, Mr. Quan went on out to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, just off the 15 there and he picked himself up a Volkswagen Tiguan. Tiguan Toureg Comparison And I've been eyeballing that Tiguan I tell you. I recently drove the Atlas and obviously the Tiguan is the Atlas's smaller sibling, but I've seen a Tiguan sitting next to a Touareg and we talked about this a little bit. A lot of people love the Touareg. The Touareg's no longer, but it's still an awesome truck. But the Tiguan looks just about as big as the Touareg when you're looking at them side by side from the rear. Now I know they're not. I know that the Touareg's still a little bigger. Professor: Just a little bit bigger. Tom: Yeah, but we were talking and I don't think you looked this up, I didn't look it up. I'll bet with the enhanced engineering technology as far as the interior goes, that the current Tiguan has more interior people and cargo space than the past Touareg. Professor: I wouldn't be surprised. "...the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It's a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan." Tom: Probably just a little bit of trivia, but nevertheless, to kind of bridge the gap of Volkswagen before and Volkswagen now. Professor: And that's I think another reason why the Touareg was discontinued because the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It's a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan. Tom: Yeah, it's a much bigger vehicle. So at any rate, out to Ontario Volkswagen, picked up the Tiguan… Thanks to our partners at Ontario Volkswagen, Mr. Earl Reed, General Manager, Randy Halcomb, our go-to guy, Shant Bashian, General Sales Manager, Jim Straley, Service Director, love everybody at Ontario Volkswagen. For all your Volkswagen needs, head on out to Ontario Volkswagen, just off the 15, in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California. That being said, Professor, take it away. Tiguan Trim Levels Professor: Yes, I drove the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan, SEL Premium which is one of the top-of-the-line trims in the Tiguan family. There's let's see, six different trims, well if you include all the different... if you include the four motion trims, then you're really looking at probably like nine or ten different trims. Tom: They have something for everybody the way that they ... The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is VW’s compact SUV that’s as stylish as it is big!  So big that VW even offers up the option for a third row of seating.  And so stylish that many find it more appealing than Volkswagen’s former Toureg model.

Additionally, this second generation Tiguan comes in a trim level to suit every driver’s needs.  Even offering up the sporty R-Line package!

2019 VW Tiguan Top-3:
1. Exterior Styling
2. Interior Tech & Design
3. Engine Power & Torque

We picked up a 2019 VW Tiguan from our friends at Ontario Volkswagen for a recent fun day of driving Southern California.  Click play below to hear the complete details in our podcast or you can continue reading below and check out the pictures from our test drive.

 

Gray 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal podcast banner 175 '19 VW Tiguan Vehicle Review

April 24, 2019

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Test Drive & Review

Clinton “The Professor” Quan: This is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.  That extra third row, it’s a nice feature to have.

This is one of the most attractive compact crossovers out there.  I’m a huge fan of the interior as well.  It’s got plenty of torque, plenty of pick up, very, very smooth.

“We’re looking at about 22-city, 29-highway… that’s solid for a vehicle this big, because this is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.”

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton.

Professor: Hey Tom.

Tom: Hello my friend. This podcast is a vehicle review, the good Professor, Mr. Quan went on out to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, just off the 15 there and he picked himself up a Volkswagen Tiguan.

Tiguan Toureg Comparison

And I’ve been eyeballing that Tiguan I tell you. I recently drove the Atlas and obviously the Tiguan is the Atlas’s smaller sibling, but I’ve seen a Tiguan sitting next to a Touareg and we talked about this a little bit. A lot of people love the Touareg. The Touareg’s no longer, but it’s still an awesome truck.

But the Tiguan looks just about as big as the Touareg when you’re looking at them side by side from the rear. Now I know they’re not. I know that the Touareg’s still a little bigger.

Professor: Just a little bit bigger.

Tom: Yeah, but we were talking and I don’t think you looked this up, I didn’t look it up.

I’ll bet with the enhanced engineering technology as far as the interior goes, that the current Tiguan has more interior people and cargo space than the past Touareg.

Professor: I wouldn’t be surprised.

“…the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It’s a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan.”

Tom: Probably just a little bit of trivia, but nevertheless, to kind of bridge the gap of Volkswagen before and Volkswagen now.

Professor: And that’s I think another reason why the Touareg was discontinued because the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It’s a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan.

Tom: Yeah, it’s a much bigger vehicle. So at any rate, out to Ontario Volkswagen, picked up the Tiguan…

Thanks to our partners at Ontario Volkswagen, Mr. Earl Reed, General Manager, Randy Halcomb, our go-to guy, Shant Bashian, General Sales Manager, Jim Straley, Service Director, love everybody at Ontario Volkswagen.

For all your Volkswagen needs, head on out to Ontario Volkswagen, just off the 15, in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.

That being said, Professor, take it away.

Tiguan Trim Levels

Professor: Yes, I drove the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan, SEL Premium which is one of the top-of-the-line trims in the Tiguan family.

There’s let’s see, six different trims, well if you include all the different… if you include the four motion trims, then you’re really looking at probably like nine or ten different trims.

Tom: They have something for everybody the way that they section off all of the various trims. So let’s go base to tippity-top and all the variations as you can, off the top of your head.

Professor: Got it. So, we’re gonna start off with the base trim which is the S, and that starts off at about $24000.

Then you move up to the SE and that goes for about $27000 and both of those have the analog cockpit. From there you move up to the SEL which has the digital cockpit and that runs for about $32000.

Then, there is an SEL R-Line and that runs for about $34000. And so, all of these first four trims that I mention, they also have a 4-Motion option.

Tom: Option. And 4Motion is their all-wheel drive.

Professor: It’s their all-wheel drive. It’s like Audi’s Quattro. And that’ll add about $1300 to each of the trims that I just mentioned.

Then you go up to the SEL Premium and that comes standard with four motion and that runs for about $37000 and then the very, very top of the line is the SEL Premium R-Line and that goes for about $39000.

2019 Tiguan Options

Tom: Now the R-Line is basically an aesthetic sports package, meaning it’s badging on the outside and in, but it looks nice.

Professor: It looks really nice, especially with those larger rims. You’ll get the 19 or the 20-inch rims with that.

Tom: Yeah, I like the R-Lines.

‘…4Motion is Volkswagen’s all-wheel drive.  Like Audi’s Quattro.’

Professor: Yeah, the R-Line looks fantastic. I really, really like the R-Line.

Tom: So it’s just the two top trims that come with four motion, standard?

Professor: Standard equipment, yeah. You wouldn’t be able to get that without the 4Motion. All the other trims that I mentioned previously, you can get it without the 4Motion.

Tom: You can get in two-wheel drive and that two-wheel drive’s gonna be front wheel drive.

Professor: Yes, correct. It’ll be front wheel drive.

4Motion All-Wheel Drive

Tom: But you know hey, for 1300 bucks, might as well get it I think right?

Professor: Yes. Well, a lot of people, especially in California, they don’t really need it and most people who buy crossovers and SUVs now, they don’t get the all-wheel drive.

You get a little bit of weight savings with that.

“The first one doesn’t even come close to this one, absolutely, exponentially better.”

Tom: You get a little bit of weight savings and you’re a little bit worse off in fuel economy which I want to get to in just a second, but to your point, because you always mention that, in L.A. don’t really need it and I agree.

My first four-wheel drive vehicle, SUV, in L.A., I had for six years and I took off the road a total of zero times. However, being from the Midwest, now present company excluded, you can drive. There’s a lot of Southern Californians who can’t or not very well. My beautiful wife… I won’t even go any further.

But so, with that in mind and the rainy season and the very poor drainage that we have on the roads, for 1300 bucks and not a big difference in fuel economy, getting that four-motion, all-wheel drive, not a terrible idea for some people.

“…the Tiguan does have available third-row seating. That’s big.”

Not a terrible idea. It’s going to give you better control of the road, significantly more surefootedness in certainly gravel situations, loose terrain, but especially the rainy, wet season, which we just had a heck of a one here.

Professor: Yeah, we had a big wet… pretty big rainy season.

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan MPG

Tom: I just wanted to note that. But now getting back on track, fuel economy, what are we looking at?

Professor: We’re looking at about 22-city, 29-highway.

“We’re looking at about 22-city, 29-highway.”

Tom: Okay, that’s solid.

Professor: Yeah, that’s solid for a vehicle this big, because this is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.

Probably the biggest one on the market among the compact crossovers. It even has available third-row seating on certain-

Optional Third-Row Seating

Tom: That’s right, the Tiguan does have available third-row seating. That’s big.

Professor: That’s big too.

“It’s very well proportioned. I think it looks great from every angle, whether you’re looking at the front, the side, the back…”

Tom: That’s a big plus.

Professor: That’s a big plus for a lot of families who want that extra third row when maybe they’ll need it once every few weeks or so or once a month but it’s a nice feature to have.

Tom: Yeah. Next, the outside. Take us around. What do we see?

2nd Generation Exterior Styling

Professor: Well I think this is one of the most attractive compact crossovers out there.

Tom: Agreed.

Professor: I love the clean, modern, contemporary design.

It’s very well proportioned. I think it looks great from every angle, whether you’re looking at the front, the side, the back, the three-quarter front or the three-quarter rear.

I don’t think there’s a bad angle on this vehicle.

Tom: Agreed, 100%.

Professor: Big fan of the design.

Tom: The Tiguan, this is the second generation, is it not?

Professor: Yes.

Tom: Okay and I think this generation looks exponentially better than the first generation.

Professor: Oh, it blows away the first generation. It’s night and day.

The first one doesn’t even come close to this one, absolutely, exponentially better.

2019 Tiguan Interior 

Tom: Inside?

Professor: The inside. I’m a huge fan of the interior as well. I really like what they’ve done with the interior. How the center stack, it’s angled towards the driver. You know-

Tom: You love that.

Professor: How I’m a big fan of that. So it’s got that big screen.

This one had the virtual cockpit as we mentioned earlier. The upper trims have that and it’s got really clean crisp graphics.

I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of this when I first saw it on a number of vehicles but after seeing this in the VW, I was very, very impressed.

And all of the buttons, the controls, switches, they’re all right there at your fingertips. So it’s got excellent ergonomics and there’s plenty of space.

It looks almost like an Audi inside, especially the top of the line trims.

“…all of the buttons, the controls, switches, they’re all right there at your fingertips. So it’s got excellent ergonomics and there’s plenty of space.”

Tom: Yeah, Volkswagen, there you go.

Professor: And I love the massive moon roof as well. Gives it-

Tom: That is big right?

Professor: It gives it a… it makes it feel a lot more spacious inside.

VW Tiguan Technology

Tom: So, 2019 VW Tiguan technology.  We already touched on it a couple of times, but the digital cockpit. That is a big thing for Volkswagen.

I think it’s not only a big thing for Volkswagen, I think it’s gonna be a big thing for everybody in the not so distant future.

I think Volkswagen’s ahead of the curve on the digital dash, especially as more vehicles become hybrids and more vehicles become certainly electrics. The digital dash is just going to be I think, the norm.

Professor: Yeah, you’re seeing that in a lot of the luxury vehicles.

So, you’re definitely going to see that in the non-luxury vehicles coming up.

“…I really like what they’ve done with the interior. How the center stack, it’s angled towards the driver.”

And, I’m trying to think of another compact crossover in this segment that has a digital cockpit and I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

I believe this is the only one in its class that has that digital cockpit.

Tom: The only non-luxury. I can’t think of any.

Professor: Yeah, nothing. I can’t think of anything… nothing that comes to mind right now.

Volkswagen Digital Cockpit

Tom: And before the podcast, I kept on telling you, let’s call it the right thing. Is its digital cockpit, and then I just started calling it digital dash, didn’t I? Perfect. Good job Tom.

To explain what the digital cockpit does is, I mean, it’s exactly what it sounds like. But instead of the two big circular gauges that you would have.

Professor: Tachometer and speedometer.

Tom: Right for your RPMs and your miles per hour. Instead of those, it’s a digital screen in either scenario and highly configurable.

“…this is the only one in its class that has that digital cockpit.”

Professor: That’s a big advantage right there.

Tom: Now we don’t have anybody in the Audi space that we work with or Porsche, but those are both in the Volkswagen family upstream.

Professor: Yes.

Tom: Are they big in digital cockpits right now already?

Professor: Oh yeah. Audi’s definitely doing it.

Tom: So, they’re already been there, done that.

Professor: Yeah, that’s why it’s coming down to the Volkswagen vehicles.

Tom: That makes sense, that makes sense.

Professor: Yeah, if you look at the A8, A7, A6-

Tom: And they’ve been doing it for a while?

Professor: More recently in the past several years. Yeah, the Q5. So the Q5 is the compact crossover from Audi. Very similar in size to the Tiguan.

2019 Tiguan Engine & Drive

Tom: All right. How’d it drive?

Professor: Oh, it drives great. It’s got, I don’t think we mentioned the engine. It’s got a 2.0 liter inline, four-cylinder turbo charge.

Tom: I meant to ask you about that. Are we across the board that same engine?

Professor: It is the same engine across the board on all trim levels.

Tom: Okay.

Professor: Yeah. It pumps out 184 horsepower, but more importantly, it cranks out 221 pound-feet of torque. So it’s got plenty of torque, plenty of pick up, very, very smooth.

Tom: If you have that third row, all that torque will be put to use. But that is a lot of torque, isn’t it?

Professor: Yes. And I felt like it had plenty of power.

“…I drove it up to Lake Arrowhead up on the twisty mountain roads and it handled well and plenty of power going uphill.”

Tom: Alright.

Professor: Even though it’s a big compact crossover vehicle.  It handled very well. I drove it up to Lake Arrowhead up on the twisty mountain roads and it handled well and plenty of power going uphill.

Tom: The Professor. He’s always taking his test drives some exotic, southern California location. I’m just like taking mine wherever is…

Professor: I’m getting the full experience.

Tom: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. The professor is thorough in his vehicle reviews.

2019 VW Tiguan Warranty

Okay, so that brings us to the one thing that I think we need to touch on more in our Ontario Volkswagen vehicle reviews and that is the Volkswagen People First Warranty.

Professor: Six years, 72000 miles.

Tom: Bumper to bumper.

‘…Volkswagen’s People First Warranty.  6-Years / 72,000-miles transferable!’

Professor: Bumper to bumper.

Tom: Now the key thing about that, it’s okay-

Professor: That’s the key thing, bumper to bumper.

Tom: Bumper to bumper, right, and I mean, lots of vehicles have three year, 36000 miles.

So we’re already doubling that, right? Boom. But the big thing is that not only is it double what most are, it’s also transferrable. That’s big.

Professor: That’s big, yeah.

Tom: So, need to point that out. With that in mind, unless there’s anything else, the top three.

Top-3 | 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 

Professor: Top three.

I’m gonna have to definitely go with the exterior styling of the vehicle.

As soon as I saw the new Tiguan, I was very, very impressed with the design. I love the way it looks as I mentioned earlier from all angles. Really clean, modern, contemporary design.

Second, I’m going with the interior.

2019 VW Tiguan Top-3:
1. Exterior – clean, modern, contemporary design.
2. Interior – ergonomics, high-tech digital cockpit and big screen navi.
3. Engine – power and torque with all-wheel drive and great fule economy!

I’ve been a big fan of Volkswagen ergonomics for a long time and they did another fantastic job and this one, they decided to go really high tech with the digital cockpit and they’ve got that really big screen for the navigation system.

So that’s really, really nice.

Tom: Oh, that’s right and on the center stack, big screen.

Professor: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah, we didn’t even mention that.

Professor: Center stack and it’s angled towards the driver.  So, it’s got great ergonomics.

And then third I’m going with the engine, especially with that torque and then you’re still getting great fuel economy, especially for a crossover with all-wheel drive.

Tom: All right, very nice.

Ontario Volkswagen in Ontario, California

Professor, thank you so much as always. That was the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan as reviewed by our good friend, Mr. Clinton Quan, aka the Professor.

Our thanks as always to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen, just off the 15 in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.

Mr. Earl Reed, General Manager, Randy Halcomb, our go-to for iDriveSoCal, Shant Bashian, the General Sales Manager, Jim Straley, the Service Director.

Just a fine group of people out there at Ontario Volkswagen, we love working with you guys.

For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you, Professor, and thank you very much for listening.

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The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is VW's compact SUV that's as stylish as it is big!  So big that VW even offers up the option for a third row of seating.  And so stylish that many find it more appealing than Volkswagen's former Toureg model. - The 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan is VW's compact SUV that's as stylish as it is big!  So big that VW even offers up the option for a third row of seating.  And so stylish that many find it more appealing than Volkswagen's former Toureg model.<br /> <br /> Additionally, this second generation Tiguan comes in a trim level to suit every driver's needs.  Even offering up the sporty R-Line package!<br /> <br /> 2019 VW Tiguan Top-3:<br /> 1. Exterior Styling<br /> 2. Interior Tech & Design<br /> 3. Engine Power & Torque<br /> <br /> We picked up a 2019 VW Tiguan from our friends at Ontario Volkswagen for a recent fun day of driving Southern California.  Click play below to hear the complete details in our podcast or you can continue reading below and check out the pictures from our test drive.<br /> <br />  <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> April 24, 2019<br /> <br /> 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan Test Drive & Review<br /> Clinton "The Professor" Quan: This is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market.  That extra third row, it's a nice feature to have.<br /> <br /> This is one of the most attractive compact crossovers out there.  I'm a huge fan of the interior as well.  It's got plenty of torque, plenty of pick up, very, very smooth.<br /> <br /> "We're looking at about 22-city, 29-highway... that's solid for a vehicle this big, because this is one of the biggest compact, crossovers on the market."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Professor: Hey Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom: Hello my friend. This podcast is a vehicle review, the good Professor, Mr. Quan went on out to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, just off the 15 there and he picked himself up a Volkswagen Tiguan.<br /> Tiguan Toureg Comparison<br /> And I've been eyeballing that Tiguan I tell you. I recently drove the Atlas and obviously the Tiguan is the Atlas's smaller sibling, but I've seen a Tiguan sitting next to a Touareg and we talked about this a little bit. A lot of people love the Touareg. The Touareg's no longer, but it's still an awesome truck.<br /> <br /> But the Tiguan looks just about as big as the Touareg when you're looking at them side by side from the rear. Now I know they're not. I know that the Touareg's still a little bigger.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Professor: Just a little bit bigger.<br /> <br /> Tom: Yeah, but we were talking and I don't think you looked this up, I didn't look it up.<br /> <br /> I'll bet with the enhanced engineering technology as far as the interior goes, that the current Tiguan has more interior people and cargo space than the past Touareg.<br /> <br /> Professor: I wouldn't be surprised.<br /> <br /> "...the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It's a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan."<br /> <br /> Tom: Probably just a little bit of trivia, but nevertheless, to kind of bridge the gap of Volkswagen before and Volkswagen now.<br /> <br /> Professor: And that's I think another reason why the Touareg was discontinued because the new Tiguan is so much bigger. It's a little over a foot longer than the previous Tiguan.<br /> <br /> Tom: Yeah, it's a much bigger vehicle. So at any rate, out to Ontario Volkswagen, picked up the Tiguan…<br /> <br /> Thanks to our partners at Ontario Volkswagen, Mr. Earl Reed, General Manager, Randy Halcomb, our go-to guy, Shant Bashian, General Sales Manager, Jim Straley, Service Director, love everybody at Ontario Volkswagen.<br /> <br /> For all your Volkswagen needs, head on out to Ontario Volkswagen, just off the 15, in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.<br /> <br /> That being said, Professor, take it away.<br /> Tiguan Trim Levels<br /> Professor: Yes, Tom Smith clean 17:06
2019 Honda Accord Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-honda-accord-review/ Wed, 24 Apr 2019 16:32:33 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=9571 The 2019 Honda Accord could very well be your next sedan.  Why?  Because it can suit the needs, and wants, of many different types of drivers. It's plenty big enough to be a comfortable family sedan.  The Accord is sporty enough to play the role of an aggressive sports sedan.  Additionally, it's stylish enough and comes with enough technology and creature comforts to haul around top power-executives.  (Let's not forget Amazon's Jeff Bezos drove an Accord well after becoming a billionaire.)  And, oh yeah, the Accord Hybrid is plenty green enough too. So who's the Accord not for?  I'm not quite sure. Like all Accord's the 2019 Honda flagship sedan delivers great fuel economy even without opting for the Hybrid.  The Accord is currently in its 10th generation. And after my test drive, I realize there's no wonder why the Honda Accord has been a best-selling car in America for more than 40-years.  And the Honda Accord ranks #8 in the best selling vehicles in history! 2019 Honda Accord Top-3: 1. Styling. 2. Performance. 3. Technology. I recently picked up an Accord from our friends at Rock Honda.  And I was super-surprised at a number of features, the Accord's performance, and the ample space inside - among other things. Click play below to listen to my podcast review or continue reading and check out the pictures. April 23, 2019 2019 Honda Accord If you read or listen to iDriveSoCal often then you know I'm a big fan of Honda's simple and straightforward trim options.  Of course, you can add features and accessories, but the way Honda configures each trim level is quite logical and very straight-forward.  And I love the elegance in the simplicity that delivers when it comes time to make buying decisions. With the Accord being Honda's flagship it offers six different trim levels.  Listed with manufacturer's suggested retail starting prices below: LX: $23,720 MSRP Hybrid: $25,320  Sport: $26,180  EX: $26,720  EX-L: $30,120  Touring: $34,990 I have to stress (as always) these are simply manufacturer's suggested retail prices.  Don't worry about them for two reasons.  First, you need to get your Accord equipped the way you want.  Second, and more importantly, our partners at Rock Honda are going to give you the best deal in SoCal.  They are one of the biggest Honda dealers in the United States. And back to the topic of getting your Honda Accord equipped to your liking - you have up to three powerplants to choose from: 1.5T There's a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder putting out 192-horsepower and 192-pound-feet of torque.  That comes in the LX standard and can come in the Sport, EX and EX-L.  Depending on your configuration, the 2019 Honda Accord with the 1.5T is rated to deliver a range of 29-miles-per-gallon in the city and 38-mpg on the highway. 2.0T Then you have the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that puts out 252-horsepower and 273-pound-feet of torque.  And that is offered in the Sport the EX-L and standard in the Touring.  And again, depending on your configuration, the EPA rating is between 22-mpg city and 34-highway. Hybrid Finally, you have the hybrid motor putting out a total system horsepower of 212 with 232-pound-feet of torque.  That (obviously) comes standard in the Accord Hybrid but is also offered in the EX, the EX-L, and the Touring.  Any of the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is rated to give you 48-mpg. My Test Driver | Accord Touring As usual, our friends at Rock Honda gave me a fully loaded test driver.  So I drove the 2019 Honda Accord Touring and I was impressed on many levels. First just the look of the car.  I love the styling.  It's a Honda and a Japanese vehicle for certain but there are some European styling cues to the exterior shape of the body.  And it just looks great. Its clean sharp lines give the Accord an aura of sophistication that you might not expect in a Honda. The 2019 Honda Accord could very well be your next sedan.  Why?  Because it can suit the needs, and wants, of many different types of drivers.

It’s plenty big enough to be a comfortable family sedan.  The Accord is sporty enough to play the role of an aggressive sports sedan.  Additionally, it’s stylish enough and comes with enough technology and creature comforts to haul around top power-executives.  (Let’s not forget Amazon’s Jeff Bezos drove an Accord well after becoming a billionaire.)  And, oh yeah, the Accord Hybrid is plenty green enough too.

So who’s the Accord not for?  I’m not quite sure.

Like all Accord’s the 2019 Honda flagship sedan delivers great fuel economy even without opting for the Hybrid.  The Accord is currently in its 10th generation.

And after my test drive, I realize there’s no wonder why the Honda Accord has been a best-selling car in America for more than 40-years.  And the Honda Accord ranks #8 in the best selling vehicles in history!

2019 Honda Accord Top-3:
1. Styling.
2. Performance.
3. Technology.

I recently picked up an Accord from our friends at Rock Honda.  And I was super-surprised at a number of features, the Accord’s performance, and the ample space inside – among other things.

Click play below to listen to my podcast review or continue reading and check out the pictures.Black 2019 Honda Accord pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast banner 174

April 23, 2019

2019 Honda Accord

If you read or listen to iDriveSoCal often then you know I’m a big fan of Honda’s simple and straightforward trim options.  Of course, you can add features and accessories, but the way Honda configures each trim level is quite logical and very straight-forward.  And I love the elegance in the simplicity that delivers when it comes time to make buying decisions.

With the Accord being Honda’s flagship it offers six different trim levels.  Listed with manufacturer’s suggested retail starting prices below:

  • LX: $23,720 MSRP
  • Hybrid: $25,320 
  • Sport: $26,180 
  • EX: $26,720 
  • EX-L: $30,120 
  • Touring: $34,990

I have to stress (as always) these are simply manufacturer’s suggested retail prices.  Don’t worry about them for two reasons.  First, you need to get your Accord equipped the way you want.  Second, and more importantly, our partners at Rock Honda are going to give you the best deal in SoCal.  They are one of the biggest Honda dealers in the United States.

And back to the topic of getting your Honda Accord equipped to your liking – you have up to three powerplants to choose from:

1.5T

There’s a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder putting out 192-horsepower and 192-pound-feet of torque.  That comes in the LX standard and can come in the Sport, EX and EX-L.  Depending on your configuration, the 2019 Honda Accord with the 1.5T is rated to deliver a range of 29-miles-per-gallon in the city and 38-mpg on the highway.

2.0T

Then you have the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that puts out 252-horsepower and 273-pound-feet of torque.  And that is offered in the Sport the EX-L and standard in the Touring.  And again, depending on your configuration, the EPA rating is between 22-mpg city and 34-highway.

Hybrid

Finally, you have the hybrid motor putting out a total system horsepower of 212 with 232-pound-feet of torque.  That (obviously) comes standard in the Accord Hybrid but is also offered in the EX, the EX-L, and the Touring.  Any of the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is rated to give you 48-mpg.

My Test Driver | Accord Touring

As usual, our friends at Rock Honda gave me a fully loaded test driver.  So I drove the 2019 Honda Accord Touring and I was impressed on many levels.

First just the look of the car.  I love the styling.  It’s a Honda and a Japanese vehicle for certain but there are some European styling cues to the exterior shape of the body.  And it just looks great.

Its clean sharp lines give the Accord an aura of sophistication that you might not expect in a Honda.  And that transcends every trim level in general, but especially the top-of-the-line Touring trim that I drove.

Driving the 2019 Honda Accord

Overall, the 2019 Honda Accord car feels very big and comfortable. The steering is light, and the ride feels controlled but never harsh. This 10th generation Accord reformulates the midsize sedan with its elegance, fuel-efficiency, and a smooth (yet powerful) driving experience.

On The Outside

This is just a great looking car. It echos the design of a premium vehicle with its sharp and tasteful lines. It’s a perfectly stylish car for a family, professional, or even an executive level projecting very smart economy (we’re talking about you again, Bezos.).

“The design is stylish, but isn’t over-wrought- which is exactly how a Honda feels like it should be.”

The 2019 Honda Accord Touring comes in seven totally different colors: Platinum White, Lunar Silver, Modern Steel (eat your heart out, Derek Zoolander), Crystal Black, Obsidian Blue, Radiant Red, and Champagne Frost. I personally drove the Obsidian Blue and thought it looked awesome.

You can select to have 17 or 19-Inch Alloy Wheels, and there’s a gamut of exterior additions to select from, ranging from door visors to fender emblems.

The design is stylish but isn’t over-wrought- which is exactly how a Honda feels like it should be.

On The Inside

It’s great-looking out the outside, and the inside does not disappoint, either.

“I love the heads up display. It functions perfectly, and it’s much better than the ‘HUDs’ of the past, which were iffy at best.”

The Honda Accord’s spaciousness struck me the second I entered the vehicle.  Because there’s an enormous amount of passenger space. Bigger people will have plenty of room, even in the backseat.  And there’s ample space for stuff in the trunk with 16.7 cubic feet of whatever-you-need room. 🙂

Technology & Creature Comforts

I really loved the heads up display. It functions perfectly, and it’s much better than the ‘HUDs’ of the past, which were iffy at best.

Additional sweet perks that come with the 2019 Honda Accord are bi-LED headlights, ventilated front seats, rear heated seats, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging, an enhanced instrument cluster, and a navigation system integrated into the standard touchscreen.

The models come standard with touchscreen infotainment, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are reserved for the system with the 8.0-inch touchscreen. The system is nicely designed, and quick and easy to use.

Safety and Driver-Assistance

When you first began driving, or when your kid(s) first began driving, there’s a very good possibility that it was in a Honda. There’s a reason for that. Honda is recognized for its safety, and the Accord proudly holds a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Administration, and Top Safety Pick classification from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“…the Accord proudly holds a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Administration and Top Safety Pick classification from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.”

Furthermore, the 2019 Honda Accord is no exception when it comes to taking safety and driver assistance features.  Honda Sensing includes a collection of standard driver-assistance features crash-avoidance technologies in all of the Accords, including lane-keeping assist, cruise control, and automated emergency braking. Additional assistance features include rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and parking sensors.

2019 Honda Accord Top-3

In conclusion, this is such a well-rounded vehicle. It’s appealing stylistically and with lots of passenger and cargo space, and the performance is solid.

“If you’re in the market for a contemporary, safe and stylish ride, you really can’t go wrong with the 2019 Honda Accord.”

So, here are my Top-3 on the 2019 Honda Accord:

  1. Styling – This is one head-turning Honda. We’ve come a long way from the 1976 edition, and I think we’re only moving up from here. This car is perfect for a family and worthy of executive drivers at all levels.
  2. Performance – As always, Honda is maximizing the engine’s power, and the Accord handles as well as the luxury sports sedans that cost twice as much. This is a lot of car for your money, folks.
  3. Technology – Sure, Honda sensing delivers great driver assistance features, but the one piece of tech I really love is the heads up display – they absolutely nailed it.

If you’re in the market for a contemporary, safe and stylish ride, you really can’t go wrong with the 2019 Honda Accord. But don’t just take our word for it! Pay a visit to our friends at Rock Honda, and take one out for a test drive.

Say hello to my dear friends at Rock Honda – please!  Tell them iDriveSoCal sent you.  David Latif is the General Manager.  Hamid Javid is the General Sales Manager.  Ruben Serna runs the service department.  Email me and I’ll connect you personally tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com.

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The 2019 Honda Accord could very well be your next sedan.  Why?  Because it can suit the needs, and wants, of many different types of drivers. - It's plenty big enough to be a comfortable family sedan.  The Accord is sporty enough to play the role of ... The 2019 Honda Accord could very well be your next sedan.  Why?  Because it can suit the needs, and wants, of many different types of drivers.<br /> <br /> It's plenty big enough to be a comfortable family sedan.  The Accord is sporty enough to play the role of an aggressive sports sedan.  Additionally, it's stylish enough and comes with enough technology and creature comforts to haul around top power-executives.  (Let's not forget Amazon's Jeff Bezos drove an Accord well after becoming a billionaire.)  And, oh yeah, the Accord Hybrid is plenty green enough too.<br /> <br /> So who's the Accord not for?  I'm not quite sure.<br /> <br /> Like all Accord's the 2019 Honda flagship sedan delivers great fuel economy even without opting for the Hybrid.  The Accord is currently in its 10th generation.<br /> <br /> And after my test drive, I realize there's no wonder why the Honda Accord has been a best-selling car in America for more than 40-years.  And the Honda Accord ranks #8 in the best selling vehicles in history!<br /> <br /> 2019 Honda Accord Top-3:<br /> 1. Styling.<br /> 2. Performance.<br /> 3. Technology.<br /> <br /> I recently picked up an Accord from our friends at Rock Honda.  And I was super-surprised at a number of features, the Accord's performance, and the ample space inside - among other things.<br /> <br /> Click play below to listen to my podcast review or continue reading and check out the pictures.<br /> April 23, 2019<br /> <br /> 2019 Honda Accord<br /> If you read or listen to iDriveSoCal often then you know I'm a big fan of Honda's simple and straightforward trim options.  Of course, you can add features and accessories, but the way Honda configures each trim level is quite logical and very straight-forward.  And I love the elegance in the simplicity that delivers when it comes time to make buying decisions.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> With the Accord being Honda's flagship it offers six different trim levels.  Listed with manufacturer's suggested retail starting prices below:<br /> <br /> LX: $23,720 MSRP<br /> Hybrid: $25,320 <br /> Sport: $26,180 <br /> EX: $26,720 <br /> EX-L: $30,120 <br /> Touring: $34,990<br /> <br /> I have to stress (as always) these are simply manufacturer's suggested retail prices.  Don't worry about them for two reasons.  First, you need to get your Accord equipped the way you want.  Second, and more importantly, our partners at Rock Honda are going to give you the best deal in SoCal.  They are one of the biggest Honda dealers in the United States.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And back to the topic of getting your Honda Accord equipped to your liking - you have up to three powerplants to choose from:<br /> 1.5T<br /> There's a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder putting out 192-horsepower and 192-pound-feet of torque.  That comes in the LX standard and can come in the Sport, EX and EX-L.  Depending on your configuration, the 2019 Honda Accord with the 1.5T is rated to deliver a range of 29-miles-per-gallon in the city and 38-mpg on the highway.<br /> 2.0T<br /> Then you have the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that puts out 252-horsepower and 273-pound-feet of torque.  And that is offered in the Sport the EX-L and standard in the Touring.  And again, depending on your configuration, the EPA rating is between 22-mpg city and 34-highway.<br /> Hybrid<br /> Finally, you have the hybrid motor putting out a total system horsepower of 212 with 232-pound-feet of torque.  That (obviously) comes standard in the Accord Hybrid but is also offered in the EX, the EX-L, and the Touring.  Any of the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is rated to give you 48-mpg.<br /> My Test Driver | Accord Touring<br /> As usual, our friends at Rock Honda gave me a fully loaded test driver.  So I drove the 2019 Honda Accord Touring and I was impressed on many levels.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> First just the look of the car. Tom Smith clean 15:14
A Better Way to Buy a Chevrolet – Martin Chevy https://www.idrivesocal.com/martin-chevrolet/ Wed, 03 Apr 2019 12:30:46 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=9726 Martin Chevrolet is a family and community-focused Chevy dealership that I'm proud to announce as our newest iDriveSoCal partner. One of the many things I love about Martin Chevy is this; in the store's 50-plus years of existence, there have been all of two owners!  That represents serious stability while serving the iconic Chevy brand to car buyers in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties - literally for decades. And yet, Martin Chevrolet has remained innovative even while standing, sentinel-like, on Hawthorne Boulevard in the South Bay for generations.  So, how does a car dealer with so much history, selling a brand with even more history keep ahead of the evolving automotive industry?  In my opinion, it starts with refreshingly brutal honesty.  And I love it.  I'll bet you will too. Just listen to this no-holds-barred podcast I recorded with General Manager, Lewis Cook.  Once you get his take on the car buying process, Martin Chevrolet will become your Family's SoCal Chevy Store too. April 3, 2019 Open Honesty About the Car Buying Process Lewis Cook: Everybody hates the process. It's fine. Say it. It's what we deal with every day. We've built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks, right? Me personally, I think, and I relay to my staff, I mean that's the thing that we need to change as a dealer. "Everybody hates the process... We've built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks..." It's not about selling the car, it's about servicing the customer. About taking care of the customer's needs and just being here for them. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I'm very excited to be sitting with Lewis Cook here at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California. Lewis and Martin Chevrolet are iDriveSoCal's... Is it are or is? I'm not sure. Lewis: Are. Tom: Are, thank you. Are iDriveSoCal's- Lewis: It was quite the intro. Quite the intro. Tom: Our newest dealer partner. We're going to be pumping out all kinds of great content about all things Chevy and Lewis, thank you so much for coming on board. Thank you for joining me and it's a pleasure to have you guys. Lewis: Yeah, no, it's my pleasure to be here. Thanks for making me do it. I think it was what, six months of beating down my door to get me to actually respond and now we got taking pictures, hi Ian. Your Family SoCal Chevy Dealer - Martin Chevrolet But no, I'm glad to be here. It's fun. It's exciting. I haven't had headphones on since ... I can't remember the last time I had ... This is cool. Tom: Since the AV class in junior high? Lewis: Yeah, maybe. I was in a helicopter once and I got to wear headphones, but that's about it. Tom: I'm just petrified of heights. I've never been in one. I don't think I will. Lewis: Me Too. I never will do it again. Anyway... Tom: So, at any rate, obviously we like to keep it light on iDriveSoCal. Lewis: If you don't, you got the wrong guy. Tom: Picked up on that for sure. But thanks for coming on board. Chevy's got so much exciting product and Martin Chevrolet's been here in the community for such a long time. With this first introductory podcast, we really like to talk from the very beginning without going into too much detail, but the store here, Martin Chevrolet, hasbeen on Hawthorne Boulevard, since I think you said the 60's? Lewis: 1967. Tom: 67' alright. So it's even older than me! Lewis: Yeah, it was pretty amazing. Tom: It's a good thing. You've been here as part of the store for a little bit over a year, I believe, correct? Lewis: Yep. Tom: It sounds like you're growing roots here at Martin Chevrolet in the Torrance area. Lewis: Trying. I moved the family down here, so I guess that's as rooted as you're going to get. Martin Chevrolet is a family and community-focused Chevy dealership that I’m proud to announce as our newest iDriveSoCal partner.

One of the many things I love about Martin Chevy is this; in the store’s 50-plus years of existence, there have been all of two owners!  That represents serious stability while serving the iconic Chevy brand to car buyers in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties – literally for decades.

And yet, Martin Chevrolet has remained innovative even while standing, sentinel-like, on Hawthorne Boulevard in the South Bay for generations.  So, how does a car dealer with so much history, selling a brand with even more history keep ahead of the evolving automotive industry?  In my opinion, it starts with refreshingly brutal honesty.  And I love it.  I’ll bet you will too.

Just listen to this no-holds-barred podcast I recorded with General Manager, Lewis Cook.  Once you get his take on the car buying process, Martin Chevrolet will become your Family’s SoCal Chevy Store too.

Martin Chevrolet's Lewis Cook & Tom Smith pictured as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast Banner 173 Your Family SoCal Chevy Store

April 3, 2019

Open Honesty About the Car Buying Process

Lewis Cook: Everybody hates the process.

It’s fine. Say it. It’s what we deal with every day.

We’ve built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks, right?

Me personally, I think, and I relay to my staff, I mean that’s the thing that we need to change as a dealer.

“Everybody hates the process… We’ve built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks…”

It’s not about selling the car, it’s about servicing the customer.

About taking care of the customer’s needs and just being here for them.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.

Tom Smith here and I’m very excited to be sitting with Lewis Cook here at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California. Lewis and Martin Chevrolet are iDriveSoCal’s… Is it are or is? I’m not sure.

Lewis: Are.

Tom: Are, thank you. Are iDriveSoCal’s-

Lewis: It was quite the intro. Quite the intro.

Tom: Our newest dealer partner. We’re going to be pumping out all kinds of great content about all things Chevy and Lewis, thank you so much for coming on board. Thank you for joining me and it’s a pleasure to have you guys.

Lewis: Yeah, no, it’s my pleasure to be here. Thanks for making me do it. I think it was what, six months of beating down my door to get me to actually respond and now we got taking pictures, hi Ian.

Your Family SoCal Chevy Dealer – Martin Chevrolet

But no, I’m glad to be here. It’s fun. It’s exciting. I haven’t had headphones on since … I can’t remember the last time I had … This is cool.

Tom: Since the AV class in junior high?

Lewis: Yeah, maybe. I was in a helicopter once and I got to wear headphones, but that’s about it.

Tom: I’m just petrified of heights. I’ve never been in one. I don’t think I will.

Lewis: Me Too. I never will do it again. Anyway…

Tom: So, at any rate, obviously we like to keep it light on iDriveSoCal.

Lewis: If you don’t, you got the wrong guy.

Tom: Picked up on that for sure. But thanks for coming on board.

Chevy’s got so much exciting product and Martin Chevrolet’s been here in the community for such a long time.

With this first introductory podcast, we really like to talk from the very beginning without going into too much detail, but the store here, Martin Chevrolet, hasbeen on Hawthorne Boulevard, since I think you said the 60’s?

Lewis: 1967.

Tom: 67′ alright. So it’s even older than me!

Lewis: Yeah, it was pretty amazing.

Tom: It’s a good thing. You’ve been here as part of the store for a little bit over a year, I believe, correct?

Lewis: Yep.

Tom: It sounds like you’re growing roots here at Martin Chevrolet in the Torrance area.

Lewis: Trying. I moved the family down here, so I guess that’s as rooted as you’re going to get. But I’m definitely committed.

A Very Family Oriented Chevy Dealer

It’s a great town, it’s a great store. And it’s been here for a while. Very family orientated. We’ve got a few of the Giacomin’s in the store working it. So Joe’s the owner. It’s good going. I’m enjoying it.

Tom: Technically the name is Joe Giacomin’s Martin Chevrolet.

Lewis: Yeah, Joe Giacomin’s Martin Chevrolet.

Tom: Then a couple of his sons actually work here at the store?

Lewis: Three to be exact.

Tom: Okay. Three?

Lewis: Yeah.

Tom: That’s more than a couple.

Lewis:   Yup.

Tom: That’s a few. So, family-owned and operated business, very involved in the community.

Lewis: Extremely involved in the community.

Tom: I know you guys are part of the various local fire departments and police departments and whatnot.

Martin Chevrolet’s Community Involvement

Lewis: Boy, you gotta be. Just kidding. I drive around this town man, I’ve got to have a get out of jail free card.

No, I’m joking. One of the guys that works here, Kevin, is a retired sheriff from Torrance and we… Joe and myself have always been fans of the police and the sheriff around here.

Joe especially likes to support them and we just did a golf tournament last week. That’s why my face is so red and I’m peeling. I tried to put a little lotion on before.

“Joe and I have always been fans of the police and the sheriff… we just did a golf tournament last week… We got another golf tournament coming up for the Boys and Girls club here real soon.”

Tom: I did notice. You got the little raccoon stripe on the side from the sunglasses.

Lewis: Yeah, I should wear my glasses today so you can’t see the raccoon stripes. But yeah, we just did a golf tournament for them and it was an amazing day.

We got another golf tournament coming up for the Boys and Girls club here real soon.

He’s a big part of Torrance Memorial, the hospital out here. Which is good ’cause if I ever get sick then, you know.

Technology and Car Buying

Tom: Part of the reason I started iDriveSoCal is because of my love of cars and the tech and innovation in cars these days.

I mean these things are rolling computers and the tech that’s going into cars is awesome. I love that.

But some of the tech on the outside of the automotive business, such as this idea of a vending machine.

Lewis: Carvana. Yeah.

Tom: Yeah. Getting your car from a vending machine or something like that. I mean, it just doesn’t compute for me.

Another thing we were talking about just now was going and buying your car. This is the second largest purchase you make next to your home. Most of us.  Unless you buy a luxury yacht of some sort.

“What if the car shows up and it smells bad? The fundamental car dealership process needs to be touch and feel, for sure.”

Second largest purchase of your life. So I want to go look, touch, feel, smell, test drive.

Lewis: Yeah. You couldn’t have said it any better.

It is the second largest purchase people make and I can’t believe there’s so much buzz about automating it and deliveries and whatnot.

At the end of the day, I think it comes back to just the basics of getting in something that you like and that feels good and that you’re going to be comfortable with, right?

What if the car shows up and it smells bad? The fundamental car dealership process needs to be touch and feel, for sure.

We All Love Getting a New Car! But…

Tom: And now that’s another thing that I wanted to touch on, is the car dealer process.

With iDriveSoCal, we partner with innovative dealers, forward-thinking dealers and I’m very proud to be working with you and Martin Chevrolet. That being said, the car buying process has been…

Well everybody loves to get a new car. The process can be-

Lewis: Everybody hates the process.

Tom: Yeah.

Lewis: It’s fine. Say it. It’s what we deal with every day.

We’ve built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks, right?

Me personally, I think, and I relay to my staff, I mean that’s the thing that we need to change as a dealer and as salespeople and that customer relationship.

It needs to be more hands-on, I guess.

“Everybody hates the process.  It’s fine.  Say it.  It’s what we deal with every day.”

Tom: You have your TV commercials or radio commercials or your YouTube commercials or fill in the blank and that’s easy to say. It’s easy to say, “Hey, we’re different. We’re family-owned and operated and whatever else.”

But how do you actually… and we didn’t talk about this off mic before I’m throwing it at you.

How do you actually execute that on a day-to-day basis with your staff and make sure that your customer, when they come in, it’s not that experience that nobody wants? It’s the experience that everybody does.

If the joy of getting a new car, for me personally and I think everybody else, was as joyful as the process, I mean-

Lewis: You’d be broke?

Tom: Yeah, it’s true.

Martin Chevrolet & The Car Buying Process

Lewis: Well, I think it comes down to just realizing that that’s the case. You show up to work every day and it’s the same building, it’s the same desk, it’s the same computer.

It just becomes monotonous. You just start to go through the motions.  But the more that I try to relay to my sales guys.

“The more that we don’t go through the motions and realize that this is the first time a customer has been in the showroom for probably two to three years…”

The more that we don’t go through the motions and realize that this is the first time a customer has been in the showroom for probably two to three years or whatever the case may be.

Whether they’re leasing or purchasing, everything like that and how long that cycle is.

But ultimately, our job is to make it a good experience. Right?

And we do have that… we got a little wall to climb because people come in with this wall that’s already up because now, they’re going to a car dealership and the… Oh my God.

Tom: Yeah, for sure.

Lewis: And what are you going to sell me now? And we talked about this price and now it’s…

The fear of the price getting raised or all the products that we may put on the car that’s not…

“We have nothing to hide at the end of the day.  And the general population thinks that we do. Let me tell you. There’s a lot of car dealerships out there that may have…”

There’s so much behind it and I think the communication first of all. Just the interaction with the customer and just being upfront and forthright and honest.

We have nothing to hide at the end of the day.  And the general population thinks that we do. Let me tell you. There’s a lot of car dealerships out there that may have, right?

Tom: Sure.

Lewis: That’s how we got here. So, changing that perception is important, especially when the customer’s here.

The Martin Chevy Difference

So how do you do it? I don’t have a specific answer for you.

But, just knowing that when a customer comes in here, they don’t do this all the time like we do and to treat them like that really.

I mean, I think it’s an awareness more than anything.

“…just knowing that when a customer comes in here, they don’t do this all the time like we do and to treat them like that really… I think it’s an awareness more than anything.”

Tom: Yeah. Well, again, we didn’t talk about that before we fired up the mics and it’s interesting…

I mean, I guess it’s part of the daily thing that you have to deal with as a leader of a dealership that’s in the community, that’s selling a lot of cars. I mean, it’s interesting.

There’s no right or wrong answer. But thanks for covering that with me.

Lewis: It’s definitely a dynamic that we have to be aware of and that we have to cover. You know?

Tom: Yeah.

Lewis: It’s there. It’s one of the biggest challenges that we face, really.

Tom: You’ve been in the business for a couple of decades? No.

Lewis: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah? I think I’m older than you.

Lewis: A couple of decades plus some is true. Not plus decades, plus years. But yeah. 20 plus, we’ll just leave it at that. I like to keep my-

Tom: I’m not going to cut you open and count the rings or anything, but-

Lewis: Yeah, but I probably should, let’s just say that.

Dealing with too Much Information

Tom: I do. But where I was going with that is, you’ve seen a lot of change.

Lewis: Sure.

Tom: Just big picture. What do you think has changed that’s good?

What do you think that’s changed that will continue to be good moving forward? Just kind of a global perspective.

Lewis: The business is harder and easier at the same time.

I mean, when I was selling cars, we won’t talk about when that exactly was, but I think I was wearing a beeper, right?

Tom: Sure, sure.

Lewis: So, I mean, that just takes you back and I think it’s the technology, right?

It’s this mass portal where everybody can get every bit of information that they want to, right?

“The more information the customer has, the easier it is for us. But that can get convoluted sometimes because there’s just so much of it.”

Tom: Yep.

Lewis: And that never used to be that. People would come on the lot, but back then it was, “Let’s get the customer on the lot.” Now it’s, “Let’s get the customer on the website.”

And that’s our new platform, really. So it’s good and it’s bad. The more information the customer has, the easier it is for us.

But that can get convoluted sometimes because there’s just so much of it.

The Buyers Increasing Knowledge

Tom: Yeah. Well, I think me as a buyer. I mean, I do iDriveSoCal and I work with great car dealer partners, such as yourself.

But, at the same time, I mean, I’m still a buyer every three years my lease is up, you know?

Lewis: Yeah.

Tom: Even with me, I mean-

Lewis: I am too. I have two girls. They’re both driving.

Tom: I mean, you can have…

There’s an analysis paralysis sometimes and so much information and it’s like, “Okay, at some point …”

And me personally, I’ve trained myself like, “Look, I’m going to go with my gut and I’m going to let the inner child have some fun.”

Lewis: Sure.

Tom: Unfortunately, I have a budget that I have to deal with.

“…for instance… The Bolt customer is very educated. That whole electric vehicle thing.”

Lewis: That’s amazing. Never heard that one before.

Tom: But even so, as you say, there’s so much information.

And what I hear from a lot of partners is that, and me as a consumer, I can come into the dealership or the dealership’s website.

And literally have, oftentimes more information than the person that I’m talking with about the car.

Lewis: That’s 90% of it, I would think, honestly. I mean, for instance, our Bolt.

Focus on What You Need from the Car

The Bolt customer is very educated. That whole electric vehicle thing. They come in here and they know more than my sales guys do and it’s actually pretty sad.

But they do and it’s just one of those things, right? Because there is so much information out there.

Tom: How do you instruct your team to handle that?

“Sometimes as we get wrapped up in this price, right?  But if you’re searching for that great price and you find it on that leader car and you get here, it may be yellow.  It may be super basic, it may not fit your needs.”

Lewis: I’m a back to the basics guy. I love dialogue and conversation and I’m all about the touch and the feel.

I mean you can have as much information as you want, right? Usually, the information is priced based and “What are the dealer pay? What am I going to pay? What did the last guy pay?”

That’s all fine, but what about the car?  I just try to get them to get back to what the car’s offer. What the specific needs are for the customer.

Sometimes as we get wrapped up in this price, right? But if you’re searching for that great price and you find it on that leader car and you get here, it may be yellow.  It may be super basic, it may not fit your needs.

So, I just think that, that philosophy of going back to, what is it that we’re looking for and what makes me comfortable.

At Martin Chevrolet – Price is the Easy Part

Then we’ll work out the price from there really. To us, to me anyway, the price is the easy part.

It’s really basic. But is a customer going to enjoy that experience for the next three years?

“…that philosophy of going back to, what is it that we’re looking for and what makes me comfortable.  Then we’ll work out the price from there really. To us, to me anyway, the price is the easy part.”

Or, are they diluting it because they found the best price and that’s what they’re going for because that’s what this whole stigma is, is let’s just get the best price.

Well, it gets in the way sometimes. So, we’ll try to get these guys back to, here’s what the car has to offer.

Here’s what you’re getting. The car that is a little bit more expensive has this, these features probably fit you better. Let’s talk about that.

Tom: I can imagine how this works out because you do all the research.

You find, “Okay, I’m going to get it at this price. It’s going to be this monthly, whatever.”

And then there’s an eight or $10 differential, but it’s that feature that without it, I’m going to be losing my mind for the next three years in traffic. Come on.

Lewis: It’s true and it happens all the time.

In this day and age, what happens then too, is that the customer will come in here and be like, “Okay, well this new feature, I got to have it, but now I’ve got to go research the price again.” It’s like, “Okay.”

Why Martin Chevrolet?

Tom: Which brings me back to, “Hey, there’s 40, 50 Chevrolet dealers in Southern California.”

Lewis: Too many.

Tom: When you go all the way down to San Diego-

Lewis: No, in reality, there are. There’s a lot.

Tom: And you’re all selling the same thing.

“It’s not about selling the car, it’s about servicing the customer.  That’s what it’s about. And it’s about taking care of the customer’s needs and just being here for them.”

Lewis: We are.

Tom: I can tell ‘why here’ just by talking with you as we have, as you point out for a number of months.  But we have the podcast listeners ear right now.

Why Martin Chevrolet? Why come in and say hi to Lewis Cook and the team here at Martin Chevrolet on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California.

Lewis: Well, I mean, I guess I gotta give you a little backstory for that.

So, I’ve been in the business for a while and I keep trying to avoid [crosstalk] and I worked for, I won’t say the name of it, but a pretty big conglomerate before this.

Corporate, very corporate, very by the book, very rule orientated and things just happened. There was nothing really behind it, I guess if that makes any sense?

Coming here, the decision to move my family far, in a position we were very comfortable in, to increase my expenses and living because this is an amazing area, right?

Joe Giacomin’s Martin Chevrolet

Tom: South Bay.

Lewis: South Bay and it’s not cheap, but the core reason I did that is the man behind the curtain, Joe, is amazing.

He’s just a caring person and its family owned and we are a community dealer and we care. I mean, he cares. I care. Right?

“He’s [Joe Giacomin] just a caring person and its family owned and we are a community dealer and we care.”

We really share that same passion, I guess and the staff here was amazing. I talked to everybody, they all care.

So, I think it just comes down to if you want to legit experience. You don’t want the hassle with that car sales guy stigma.

I think if you don’t want all that and you want just a good family experience and just a community of process, this is the place to come.

It’s not about selling the car, it’s about servicing the customer. So, if you live in Torrance or the OC or South Bay or whatever, and you’re buying a Chevy from us, you got to come back and you got to see these guys all the time.

That’s what it’s about. And it’s about taking care of the customer’s needs and just being here for them.

My cell phone numbers all over the website, Google reviews, Yelp reviews, people can get a hold of me directly. It’s pretty rare, really, in a car dealership.

So, I just think it’s just back to that basic caring, family-oriented place, really.

Tom: Easy to say, difficult to execute. But I’ve been here a number of times and I walk into a lot of different stores and you got my buy-in. I’m proud to be working with you.

You Can Feel the Difference @ Martin Chevrolet

Lewis: Yeah. It’s a good vibe, right?

Tom: Absolutely.

Lewis: And we try. I try to spearhead that and keep everything fresh and lively, but you know.

Tom: The corporate stores that you were talking about, right? Not all are bad, but I’ve literally seen some where it’s like, the management’s different every six months.

“…it’s all about the people, basically is what it comes down to. The people you surround yourself with, the people that you have working for you, the people that you work for.”

Lewis: Well, it is because it’s corporate, right? You don’t do something right and you’re done. It’s over.

There is not a handpicked philosophy of hiring people and they’re not hiring people for who they are or what they think are their morals.

They’re hiring people based on a resume and what they’ve done in the past, and they may have been at five or six different dealers. You don’t know what their core beliefs are and that kind of stuff.

I don’t hire just anybody. I mean, you have to care, right? So that’s what happens when you get in these big corporate worlds.

I’ll tell you, go back to, it’s all about the people, basically is what it comes down to. The people you surround yourself with, the people that you have working for you, the people that you work for.

If that’s not a good environment, it’s not going to be conducive to doing any kind of business.

Here’s Where Lewis Didn’t Want the Podcast to End! 🙂

Tom: Mr. Lewis Cook, Martin Chevrolet. Thank you again so much for coming on board with iDriveSoCal.

Lewis: That’s it? We’re done?

Tom: I’m thrilled to be working with you…

***I previously joked w/ Lewis that we had 54-hours of disk space for recording!***

Lewis: 54 hours.

Tom: Well now we only have recording time left 52 hours four minutes and three seconds.

Lewis: Come on man, let’s go. Get so much more.

Tom: I’m going to leave a lot of this in.

Lewis: You should, man. No, thanks for having me. Thanks for being a partner.

I hope you know we can reach out and kind of spread the word a little bit about who we are and what we’re about and people would take that into consideration when they’re looking for their [your] next Chevy.

Tom: Absolutely. Absolutely. We’re going to make sure that. Unless there’s anything else, we’re going to wrap this one up but we got-

And Lewis Wanted to do the Production ‘Clap’ – And I said Sure!

Lewis: Are we going to clap. Can I clap?

Tom: You can clap. So, I don’t know if we’re going to leave this in or not.

But, Mr. And Mrs. Podcast listener, I had Lewis laughing a bit because we’re running video on this as well as doing the podcast and in order to sync up the audio and the video, we clap at the beginning of the recording.

Lewis: Oh, just the beginning?

Tom: Yeah, but I mean, hey for fun, you can clap at the end if you want.

Lewis: Okay. I’m going to do it. Tell me when.

Tom: Okay, well let me do my outro first and then you can do the clap.

Lewis: Okay, is it going to be as good as the intro? Because that’s a big, tall order right there. That was something else.  You got that radio announcer voice and everything. That’s great.

Tom: Well, I run this thing on a very thin budget. We’re working on very small margin, so I have to-

“…is it going to be as good as the intro? Because that’s a big, tall order right there. That was something else.  You got that radio announcer voice and everything.”

Lewis: Is it ’cause I don’t pay enough?

Tom: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Lewis: Savings for the customers, folks.

Tom: Passing the savings from the podcasting all the way down to-

Lewis: For sure, bigger discounts, that pay Tom less. That’s my philosophy.

Tom: Alright, Lewis, thanks again. Martin Chevrolet here at Torrance, California, right on Hawthorne Boulevard. Love these guys.

Looking forward to lots more fun podcasts and educational information on all things Chevy.

For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you so much, as always, for tuning in.

Lewis: See ya. I’m gonna clap now.

Martin Chevrolet is on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and at MartinChevrolet.com.  Chevrolet, Find New Roads!

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Martin Chevrolet is a family and community-focused Chevy dealership that I'm proud to announce as our newest iDriveSoCal partner. - One of the many things I love about Martin Chevy is this; in the store's 50-plus years of existence, Martin Chevrolet is a family and community-focused Chevy dealership that I'm proud to announce as our newest iDriveSoCal partner.<br /> <br /> One of the many things I love about Martin Chevy is this; in the store's 50-plus years of existence, there have been all of two owners!  That represents serious stability while serving the iconic Chevy brand to car buyers in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties - literally for decades.<br /> <br /> And yet, Martin Chevrolet has remained innovative even while standing, sentinel-like, on Hawthorne Boulevard in the South Bay for generations.  So, how does a car dealer with so much history, selling a brand with even more history keep ahead of the evolving automotive industry?  In my opinion, it starts with refreshingly brutal honesty.  And I love it.  I'll bet you will too.<br /> <br /> Just listen to this no-holds-barred podcast I recorded with General Manager, Lewis Cook.  Once you get his take on the car buying process, Martin Chevrolet will become your Family's SoCal Chevy Store too.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> April 3, 2019<br /> <br /> Open Honesty About the Car Buying Process<br /> Lewis Cook: Everybody hates the process.<br /> <br /> It's fine. Say it. It's what we deal with every day.<br /> <br /> We've built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks, right?<br /> <br /> Me personally, I think, and I relay to my staff, I mean that's the thing that we need to change as a dealer.<br /> <br /> "Everybody hates the process... We've built this stigma in the industry that just the process sucks..."<br /> <br /> It's not about selling the car, it's about servicing the customer.<br /> <br /> About taking care of the customer's needs and just being here for them.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith here and I'm very excited to be sitting with Lewis Cook here at Martin Chevrolet in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California. Lewis and Martin Chevrolet are iDriveSoCal's... Is it are or is? I'm not sure.<br /> <br /> Lewis: Are.<br /> <br /> Tom: Are, thank you. Are iDriveSoCal's-<br /> <br /> Lewis: It was quite the intro. Quite the intro.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom: Our newest dealer partner. We're going to be pumping out all kinds of great content about all things Chevy and Lewis, thank you so much for coming on board. Thank you for joining me and it's a pleasure to have you guys.<br /> <br /> Lewis: Yeah, no, it's my pleasure to be here. Thanks for making me do it. I think it was what, six months of beating down my door to get me to actually respond and now we got taking pictures, hi Ian.<br /> Your Family SoCal Chevy Dealer - Martin Chevrolet<br /> But no, I'm glad to be here. It's fun. It's exciting. I haven't had headphones on since ... I can't remember the last time I had ... This is cool.<br /> <br /> Tom: Since the AV class in junior high?<br /> <br /> Lewis: Yeah, maybe. I was in a helicopter once and I got to wear headphones, but that's about it.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom: I'm just petrified of heights. I've never been in one. I don't think I will.<br /> <br /> Lewis: Me Too. I never will do it again. Anyway...<br /> <br /> Tom: So, at any rate, obviously we like to keep it light on iDriveSoCal.<br /> <br /> Lewis: If you don't, you got the wrong guy.<br /> <br /> Tom: Picked up on that for sure. But thanks for coming on board.<br /> <br /> Chevy's got so much exciting product and Martin Chevrolet's been here in the community for such a long time.<br /> <br /> With this first introductory podcast, we really like to talk from the very beginning without going into too much detail, but the store here, Martin Chevrolet, hasbeen on Hawthorne Boulevard, since I think you said the 60's?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith clean 24:19
2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-chevrolet-bolt-ev-review/ Mon, 25 Mar 2019 16:34:21 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=9615 Test driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV for this review was a bit of a transformational experience for me.  It was my first time behind the wheel of a Bolt and I was literally thrown back into my seat from the torque.  I know everyone likes to talk-up the serious torque electric cars have by [...] Test driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV for this review was a bit of a transformational experience for me.  It was my first time behind the wheel of a Bolt EV and I was literally thrown back into my seat from the torque.  I know all journalists like me talk-up the serious torque electric cars have by nature.  But, I hadn’t experienced it first hand for myself – until now and, wow!

Electric vehicles have been increasing in popularity for a number of years and that trend is going to continue.  If you’re thinking EV then the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV has got to be at the top of your list.

I recently picked up a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV from our friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, California.  If you’re thinking of buying a Bolt, or any Chevrolet, you have to hear Martin Chevy’s General Manager, Lewis Cook on the car buying process!

2019 Chevy Bolt EV | Top-3:
1) Power – super-quick!
2) Range – 238 miles.
3) Space – 56.6 cu. ft.

Click play below to hear my podcast or continue reading.  Either way, enjoy the pictures including the crazy fluorescent yellow color that Chevy is appropriately calling ‘Shock!’

Gray 2019 Chevy Bolt EV pictured as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast 172 Review banner

March 25, 2019

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Trim Levels 

When it comes to trim options, Chevy keeps it simple with its 2019 Bolt EV.  You have two trims to choose from but you can still accessorize both nicely.

LT
There’s the base model LT with the manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $37,495.

Premier
And there’s line-topping 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier with a starting MSRP at $41,895.

As always, don’t worry MSRP’s; for a few reasons in this case:

  • First, you need to get your Bolt equipped to your liking and that will impact your price.
  • Second, with the Chevrolet Bolt being an electric vehicle, you have a federal tax credit and state EV incentives that could come into play.
  • Third, and most importantly, our friends at Martin Chevrolet are guaranteed to give you the best deal and overall experience on any vehicle that suits your needs.

 

Email me and I’ll personally connect you Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.  Or just walk into Martin Chevy and say hi to General Manager Lewis Cook and his entire team.

Chevy Bolt EV Engine and Transmission

Whether you go with the LT or Premier trim you’re Bolt will have the same electric drive unit.  And a powerful unit at that as it delivers 200-horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.

And that power is felt 100%.  During my test drive, the first time checked what kind of power the Bolt had to offer, my head snapped back to the headrest instantaneously.  And what’s more remarkable is that I was going uphill at the time.  And, I wasn’t even flooring-it I’d say I was two-thirds throttle at the time.  That’s when the Bolt really got my attention.

Now, my friends at Martin Chevrolet gave me a top-of-the-line Premier 2019 Bolt EV to test drive.  And because it was the top-of-the-line, and I didn’t research heavily prior to my drive, I would have sworn that my test drive model was all-wheel drive.  But it wasn’t.  In fact, Chevrolet only offers the 2019 Bolt in front-wheel drive.

Driving the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV

More on driving the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV; it has a rather upright seating position in relation to the road.  More like a truck or crossover SUV than a typical sedan.

But the Bolt isn’t high off the ground like a truck or crossover SUV.  Making it very comfortable to get in and out of.

Also, the Chevy Bolt EV was super-quick with all that torque.  It was a blast to drive.

During my test drive, the Bolt EV was so responsive that, I wondered what the 0-60 mph was.  And simply researching a little more I see Chevrolet, is likely so proud that they, post it on their website.  The 2019 Chevy Bolt EV is rated to go from 0 to 60 in a highly respectable 6.5-seconds!

Very nimble.  Easy to navigate tight spots.  Both in traffic and parking situations.  And it has a great turning radius.

My guess is that the sure-footed-ness in driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt comes from all of the above.  But also, a big nod of thanks probably needs to go to Chevy engineers.  I’ll bet the picked the perfect spot for the electric vehicle’s heavy battery pack when designing the car.  And that likely balances out everything.

238-Miles on a Full Charge!

There’s no doubt that the most common concern with EV buyers is whether or not they can get far enough without needing to recharge.  And then when you do need to recharge, where does that happen?

But with the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV delivering 238-miles on a full charge, range anxiety is pretty much a non-issue.  That’s basically a battery in an electric vehicle that pretty well matches with an average car on a full tank of gas.  And that’s the benchmark most all EVs have been shooting for.

And in addition to having great charging capacity, the Bolt EV offers three different ways to be charged.

Level 1
There’s Level 1 charging which is the most basic.  It uses a portable 120-volt charging cord and plugs into any 3-prong outlet.  Charing this way will take you a while though as every hour of charging delivers about 4-miles of driving distance.

Level 2
The recommended 240-volt, Level 2 charging is the fastest way to charge at home.  That will give you 25-miles of driving distance for every hour of charging.  In this case, the charging unit does need to be professionally installed at your house.

Level 3
Though it’s only available at public charging stations, DC Fash Charging is the quickest fix for your charging needs.  These intense sessions will give you about 90-miles of driving distance in a mere 30-minutes!  And you can easily locate these charging stations through apps like the My-Chevrolet-Mobile app.

Maximizing Bolt Range

And if the 238-mile range and many convenient options for charging weren’t enough.  Chevrolet has also equipped the 2019 Bolt EV with additional functionality to maximize the battery’s charge and total range.

Monitoring 
You can monitor and control how your Bolt EV’s charge is being used through different in-dash displays that measure driving behavior, climate settings and accessories being used.

By monitoring and adjusting those during use you can extend your range or maximize your battery consumption accordingly.

Regenerative Battery Charging 

The Bolt EV even includes different ways to recharge its own battery through normal vehicle use.

One-Pedal Driving.
By shifting into Low (L) gear that activates what Chevy refers to as One-Pedal Driving.  And that allows the driver to use only the accelerator pedal to both go and stop.  To go, you simply depress the accelerator pedal as normal.  And to stop you lightly come-off the accelerator bring the vehicle to a gradual stop.

Regen on Demand
The Chevrolet Bolt EV can also regenerate it’s battery when you pull and hold a single the gradually slow and stop the vehicle.  The paddle is located on the left back side of the steering wheel.   Chevy calls it Regen on Demand, and like One Pedal Driving, it’s designed to generate electricity which goes back into the battery.

With either One Pedal driving or Regen on Demand, you may still need to use the normal brake pedal if you need to quickly stop.  But Chevy thinks these range extending measures are pretty smart.  And I’d have to agree.

2019 Chevy Bolt EV Exterior

On the outside, the Bolt is sporty and compact.  It looks sharp, with great lines.  I wouldn’t quite call it’s styling futuristic,  But, I would say that it looks pretty technically inclined.  And it ought to as this car is loaded with tech.

All new cars these days are computers on wheels but the Chevy Bolt EV is a club member for sure.  And hats off to Chevy for going there.  They not only did a fully electric vehicle but they did it very well.  They even have that fluorescent yellow color they call Shock that seems to brag about their accomplishment with the bolt.

Combine all that and you might think you’d be left with a vehicle that hardly resembles what we’ve come to know as a Chevrolet but just the opposite.

This is definitely a Chevy – I think most fairly educated car people could make that call from a football field away.

And all that wrapped up in a vehicle that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave a 5-star overall vehicle score too.  Nice.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV Interior

When I touched on the upright seating position earlier I didn’t elaborate on the spaciousness for all passengers and what has to be class-leading cargo capacity.

The Bolt EV is very comfortable inside.  Front seats and back have ample headroom, legroom and are plenty wide for us broad-shoulder fellas.

With the back seats folded down, you’re given a generous 56.6 cu.-ft of nearly flat cargo space.

And speaking of space, the Bolt offers great driver visibility in the front, back, and sides.

Bolt EV Technology & Comfort

If all the electric vehicle technology wasn’t enough the Bolt EV offers a heated steering wheel, heated front, and rear seats, 10.2-inch color touch screen, wireless phone charging USB ports, and more.

Interestingly, I think another smart move, is the Bolt does not offer navigation.  Instead, they focus on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

I think that’s a great reallocation of resources on Chevy’s manufacturing side and savings for the customer.

Who really uses their car’s navigation system anymore?  One of my cars has a real-time (supposed to be anyway – definitely not always accurate) traffic indicator on the navigation screen but other than that, I’m using Waze.  I do use my navigation in the car as a backup – but it’s always secondary.

Bolt EV Safety Tech Features

The 2019 Chevy Bolt offers a number of noteworthy available safety tech features including:

  • Forward Collision Alert – notifies you of potential contact.
  • Front Pedestrian Braking – mitigates or avoids pedestrian contact.
  • Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking – under 50 mph contact mitigation or avoidance.
  • Lane Keep Assist – with lane departure warning.
  • Rear Vision Camera – with guidelines when backing up.

…continued after picture…

…continued before picture…

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert – uses radar sensors to monitor and alert you.
  • Lane Change Alert – w/ blind zone alert for contact mitigation and avoidance.
  • Rear Park Assist – sensors monitor stationary objects.
  • Rear Camera Mirror – video enhanced rearview mirror.
  • Surround Vision – Simulated 360-degree view surrounding the vehicle.

2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV | Top-3

Here are the Top-3 things I like about the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV in detail:

  1. Power – Great torque and 0-60 in 6.5-seconds.

  2. Range – 238-miles on a full charge is very impressive.

  3. Space – Very comfortable, loved the upright seating position 56.6 cu.-ft. for cargo.

Overall, hats off to Chevy on their home run with the 2019 Chevy Bolt EV.  This is a well done electric vehicle for Chevy to continue improving on for years to come.  And even at full MSRP pricing, this vehicle is a tremendous value.  (But again, don’t worry about MSRP, go see my friends at Martin Chevrolet in Torrance, CA!)

My thanks again to my friend Lewis Cook, General Manager at Martin Chevrolet for helping us bring this report to you!

And if you want to hear why I like Lewis and his team at Martin Chevrolet so much – check out our podcast where Lewis talks, no-holds-barred, about the car buying process.  Wow!  Awesome to hear such straight talk!

Martin Chevrolet is on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance, California and at MartinChevrolet.com.  Chevrolet!  Find New Roads!

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Test driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV for this review was a bit of a transformational experience for me.  It was my first time behind the wheel of a Bolt and I was literally thrown back into my seat from the torque. Test driving the 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV for this review was a bit of a transformational experience for me.  It was my first time behind the wheel of a Bolt and I was literally thrown back into my seat from the torque.  I know everyone likes to talk-up the serious torque electric cars have by [...] Tom Smith clean 21:01
2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-vw-golf-gti-rabbit-review/ Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:08:37 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=9409 I wasn’t planning to test drive the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition during a recent visit to Ontario Volkswagen, but the special Rabbit Edition Cornflower Blue color and styling grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. “What do you think about that color?” "I love it!" I replied [...]  I wasn’t planning to test drive the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition during a recent visit to Ontario Volkswagen, but the special Rabbit Edition Cornflower Blue color and styling grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.

“What do you think about that color?” It was my friend and general manager of Ontario VW, Earl Reed, coming down the stairs from his office. “I love it!” I replied. The next thing you know, I’m test driving the Rabbit Edition in another very cool color, Urano Gray.

Click play below to listen to my complete review of the special 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition, or you can read the review below. Either way check out all the pics of this truly special, and very limited availability, enthusiasts’ V-Dub from our friends at Ontario VW.

2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast 171 banner

March 20, 2019

The Year of The Rabbit 

1983 was a good year. “Return of the Jedi” had been released, Mario Brother’s made its debut, and Volkswagen came out with its 1983 Mk1 Rabbit GTI. You may or may not remember its red plaid seats, snowflake wheels and golf ball shift knob, but it was something. This 1983 version had a true cult following and helped create and launch the hot hatch.

“The limited GTI Rabbit Edition is paying tribute to the Rabbit heritage. Its countless enthusiasts are awfully excited, and I don’t blame them.  This Rabbit runs!”

Over the course of 30 years, VW has revealed different GTI editions with a nod to the Rabbit, but none of them carried the Rabbit name… until now.

Jump to 2019, and the limited GTI Rabbit Edition is paying tribute to the Rabbit heritage. Its countless enthusiasts are awfully excited, and I don’t blame them.  This Rabbit runs! 

Engine, Transmission & GTI Trims

Slotted in between the standard S trim and the upgraded SE trim, the Rabbit Edition has a starting manufacturer suggested retail price of $28,895.

2019 VW Golf GTI trims & MSRPs:
S | $27,595 
Rabbit | $28,895 
SE | $31,795 
Autobahn | $35,995

But as always, with our vehicle reviews.  Don’t worry about MSRP because our partners at Ontario Volkswagen are going to give you the best deal in Southern California.  Reach out to my friend Randy Halcomb there or email me and I’ll connect you personally.

Randy Halcomb | Ontario VW
rhalcomb [at] ontariovw [dot] com
Randy’s cell: 909-772-1728

The Rabbit I drove had the 7-Speed Automatic is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, putting out 228-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That powerplant is rated to deliver 25 miles-per-gallon in the city and 31 on the highway for a combined 27 mpg.

“This car is a blast to drive. I love the power and the handling. And the power delivery is incredibly smooth.” 

This car is a blast to drive. I love the power and handling. And the power delivery is incredibly smooth. The turbocharged four-cylinder is one of the best. It’s not too overwhelmingly powerful but will give you instant response and solid acceleration.

There’s an available 6-speed manual transmission, and while the GTI clutches are silky smooth, I might stick to an automatic like my test driver – which also has paddle shifters!

The GTI does come with different driving modes, which changes everything- the steering, the driving, the front differential lock, the adaptive lights, the climate control, and the engine sound.

Exterior & Interior 

The 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit offers head-turning special edition styling and colors. It comes in Deep Black Pearl, Pure White, Urano Gray, and Cornflower Blue – which, as I mentioned, was immediately drawn to.

It comes with LED lights and keyless entry/ignition. The black sport 18” alloy wheels with the black-painted mirror caps look great, and the GTI branded brake calipers look as good as they perform.

“There are subtle Rabbit seat tags and floor mats. They’re subtle yet, in-the-know cool.”

Where you really start to notice the homage to the Rabbit is in the interior. There is subtle Rabbit seat tags and floor mats.  They’re subtle yet, in-the-know cool. Just as in the 1983 edition, you have the Clark Plaid cloth.  And the seats in the 2019 Golf GTI Rabbit Edition are seriously bolstered, making them not only comfortable but functional for when you decide the let your Rabbit stretch its legs!

For infotainment, the Rabbit edition offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

It also comes with nice interior ambient lighting, and red accent stitching throughout the interior which makes the car look sharp.

Overall, it’s a super spacious interior, yet drives like a nimble sports car. Behind the rear seats is 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold them down for 52.7 cu ft.

The 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit, of course, comes with the hot hatch.  And what’s great about this design is the amount of clean raw space you are given even with the back seats up.  Now fold those backseats down and you’re talking serious space.

Safety & Drivers Assistance

This edition comes with the standard safety equipment, including antilock disc brakes, stability/traction control, automatic hill hold, front-side airbags, driver-side knee airbag, and side-curtain airbags.

For driver’s assistance, it offers the handy adaptive front-lighting system, blind spot monitor, front assist with pedestrian monitoring, rear traffic alert, and a rearview camera system.

Because of the vehicle’s seats and slender windshield pillars, the GTI offers excellent forward visibility. The view to the sides and rear are great as well.

“The 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition also got a 5-Star Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

As a parent, I particularly loved the ease of availability and configuration of the child safety seat latches in the back seat.  And there’s ample room for child seats in the back seat.

Whether you have your rear-facing infant seat or your rear (or front) facing toddler seat.  There’s still room for someone in the front seat without squishing their legs!  (If you don’t have kids then just know this – the Golf GTI Rabbit Edition is spacious (very)!

The 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition also got a 5-Star Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which will put a smile on every loved one’s face!

If you don’t have kids then just know this – the Golf GTI Rabbit Edition is spacious – very!

2019 VW Golf GTI Rabit Edition – Top-3

Okay, here’s my Top-3 Favorite Things about the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition!

  1. Exterior Styling: The Cornflower Blue with the red GTI badging, sporty wheels and red brake calipers – it just looks great.
  2. Power & Performance: It’s a Golf GTI Rabbit and it brings it as expected. It’s a fun driver’s car. It rides smooth enough for daily driving and brings ample performance.
  3. Interior Design: Love the subtle Rabbit tagging that in-the-know VW enthusiasts will appreciate for… ever, really.

From its high-quality interior, nimble handling, and perfect seating position, this is a lot of premium-quality vehicle for the price.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is still one of the best performance-oriented compact cars available today, and the distinctive tribute to the Rabbit is seriously cool.  I predict this will be yet another valued collectors car in years to come.

Ontario Volkswagen is your Rabbit Headquarters – but only while they last!  Here’s my friend Randy’s contact info again:

Randy Halcomb | Ontario VW
rhalcomb [at] ontariovw [dot] com
Randy’s cell: 909-772-1728

“Whether you’re a VW enthusiast or just in the market for a great ride, you will not be disappointed by the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition.”

Whether you’re a VW enthusiast or just in the market for a great ride, you will not be disappointed by the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition.

But don’t just take my word for it- pay a visit to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen to take one for a spin, and tell them Tom and iDriveSoCal sent you!

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I wasn’t planning to test drive the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition during a recent visit to Ontario Volkswagen, but the special Rabbit Edition Cornflower Blue color and styling grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. I wasn’t planning to test drive the 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit Edition during a recent visit to Ontario Volkswagen, but the special Rabbit Edition Cornflower Blue color and styling grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.<br /> “What do you think about that color?” "I love it!" I replied [...] Tom Smith clean 15:48
2019 Honda CR-V Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-honda-cr-v-review/ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:00:28 +0000 https://www.idrivesocal.com/?p=9406 The 2019 Honda CR-V carries over its top-selling performance across the United States and especially right here in Southern California.I had our Professor, Clinton Quan, test drive one during a recent visit to Rock Honda.  He came back with [...] The 2019 Honda CR-V carries over its top-selling performance across the United States and especially right here in Southern California.

I had our Professor, Clinton Quan, test drive one during a recent visit to Rock Honda.  He came back with the following Top-3 Favorites for the 2019 Honda CR-V:

2019 Honda CR-V | Top-3
1) Engine – powerful.
2) Space – very roomy.
3) Ride – smooth & sporty.

You can listen to our complete podcast report by clicking play below or continue reading and check out the pictures from our review.2019 Honda CR-V tan pictured as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast Test Drive & Review banner

March 18, 2019

CR-V in Honda’s SUV Lineup

The Honda CR-V is currently one of the top 10 selling vehicles in the US.  That makes it a sparkling gem in the crown of Honda’s recently added-to lineup of Crossover SUVs.

Honda’s lineup of Crossover SUVs includes:

The compact crossover segment has been hot in the automotive industry lately.  And that helps support the large numbers of CR-Vs sold for Honda.

Another big driver of those sales is high volume dealers, keeping buyers happy Honda-after-Honda, like Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, CA.

2019 Honda CR-V Trim Options

For the 2019 Honda CR-V, you have four primary trim options.  Here they are with manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing:

  • LX: $24,250
  • EX: $27,050
  • EX-L: $29,550
  • Touring: $32,750

As we always point out.  Don’t worry about MSRP because you need to get your Honda equipped to your specifications.

A couple of extras we’d suggest adding would be the Honda CR-V branded rear seat covers and the cargo tray.

Whether you’re protecting your seats from sweaty gym bags, snacks being launched from child safety seats or wet dogs – we view these as a ‘must have.’

The other ‘must have’ add-on we suggest is the cargo tray.  Whether its spilled groceries or messy trips to Home Depot – your cargo area needs protection.

Regardless of extras, connect with our friends at Rock Honda in Fontana for the best deal.

Engines, Transmission & Fuel Economy

The 2019 Honda CR-V LX comes with an inline 4-cylinder putting out 184-horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque.

The EX, EX-L, and Touring also come with an inline 4-cylinder but theirs is turbocharged and puts out 190-horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque.

All trim levels come with standard front-wheel drive.  But also, across all trim levels, you have the option to add Honda’s Real Time All-Wheel Drive with Intelligent Control System.

Your fuel economy will depend on your trim, engine and transmission configuration.  The 2019 Honda CR-V will deliver a range of 25-miles-per-gallon in the city and up to 34-mpg on the highway.

2019 Honda CR-V Exterior

The 2019 Honda CRV is a continuation and not a refresh.

It measures about 181 inches in length, so it’s pretty much right there in the compact segment- right where all the other compact vehicles are in this particular segment.

This car is no doubt a Honda CR-V, but it looks like it’s been hitting the gym.

It’s beefed up with a long, wide stance and some aggressive wheel designs. Ground clearance is 7.8 inches for front-wheel-drive (FWD) models and 8.2 inches for all-wheel drive (AWD).

This is a great design if you’re an owner who contends with snow other rough weather.

It brings forth a really clean, modern contemporary look.  But, it’s still mistakenly a Honda.  A great looking vehicle in terms of the exterior design.  The color we test drove was subtle but classy.

2019 Honda CR-V Interior

The CR-V has a very spacious interior.

This was one of our favorite features of the CR-V.  Undoubtedly the Honda CR-Vs space is another reason for its extreme popularity.

The CR-V provides plenty of room inside for both people and all the stuff we carry around.

Even though it is a compact crossover, it’s got plenty of legroom up front and in the back.  The 2019 Honda CR-V can carry four adults very comfortably, even five for a short trip.

And even with five adults in the CR-V you still have 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space.  Break that down to carrying only two adults and, fold the back seats down, for a hefty 75.8 cu-ft of cargo space!

Whether your seats are up or down, the Honda CR-V offers plenty of smart and convenient storage areas to hide the little things thieves tend to look for.

Technology & Safety

Remote engine start comes standard on the EX, EX-L, and Touring – all trims except the LX.

But even the LX, every CR-V, comes with LED daytime running lights.  That’s a safety feature that also happens to look great too!

A minor detail that we truly appreciate in Honda vehicles is their Speed-Sensitive Volume Control. It is, and functions, just as you’d imagine.  And it’s been on Honda vehicles, seemingly forever.  But we love its convenient simplicity.

As always, Rock Honda put us in a top of the line Touring trimmed CR-V so it had all the whistles and bells.

Of course, there was Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  But also included was the Honda Sensing Driver Assist technology.  That includes Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Information System.

And all of that plus a very solidly engineered vehicle helped to make the 2019 Honda CR-V a 2019 Top Safety Pick from The Insurance Institue for Highway Safety.

Performance

Professor Quan’s test drive included the highways and rural roads with a bit of stop-and-go.

And the 2019 Honda CR-V was responsive and smooth throughout.  The turbocharged inline 4-cylinder delivered plenty of power with strong acceleration and composed handling.

As the utility, in SUV (sport utility vehicle) suggests, the 2019 Honda CR-V is fit to serve many purposes.

If you’re driving needs are family oriented then the CR-V has you covered.  If you’re a single guy or gal who wants stylish space, then check-check again, CR-V is a great option.

The 2019 Honda CR-V is another one of those vehicles that begs the question of ‘who is it not for?’ rather than ‘who is it for?’

Top-3 Favorites | 2019 Honda CR-V

  1. Engine: The Touring CR-V we drove comes with that peppy, powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine putting out 190-horsepower and 179-pound-feet of torque.
  2. Space: The CR-V has plenty of it! It probably has just as much space as most midsize sedans. It’ll carry four people very comfortably. Five if needed.  And plenty of room for ‘stuff.’
  3. Ride: This car really is a triple threat. It brings forth a host of high-tech equipment, impressive fuel economy, yet still powerful with and is still fun to drive!

For your 2019 Honda CR-V see our friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, CA.

Or email me and I’ll personally connect you.  Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.

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The 2019 Honda CR-V carries over its top-selling performance across the United States and especially right here in Southern California.I had our Professor, Clinton Quan, test drive one during a recent visit to Rock Honda.  He came back with [...] The 2019 Honda CR-V carries over its top-selling performance across the United States and especially right here in Southern California.I had our Professor, Clinton Quan, test drive one during a recent visit to Rock Honda.  He came back with [...] Tom Smith clean 11:49
2019 Volkswagen Atlas Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-volkswagen-atlas-review/ Mon, 04 Mar 2019 15:26:26 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=9323 My test drive of the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas has left me seriously considering buying one. The 7-passenger VW Atlas is big and functional, especially for families.  It's stylish, delivers great fuel economy and drives great. The Atlas my friends at Ontario Volkswagen gave me to test drive was a top-of-the-line with nearly every option.  Continue reading to learn why my family might soon be rolling in an Atlas or click play below to hear the details in this iDriveSoCal Podcast. March 4, 2019 2019 VW Atlas Size First, let's address the Atlas's size.  Of the two sport utility vehicles that Volkswagen offers, the Tiguan and the Atlas, the Atlas is the biggest.  For the most part, the auto industry is referring to the Atlas as a mid-sized SUV.  But since all vehicles have gotten bigger the Atlas is arguably a full-sized SUV and the Tiguan a mid-sized. "You can put up to 3 child safety seats in the second row!" The Atlas, as I previously stated is a big 7-passenger vehicle.  It has a maximum cargo space of 96.8 cubic feet with both back rows of seats folded down.  You can put up to 3 child safety seats in the second row! That's huge! I currently have a mid-sized SUV from a different manufacturer.  And if I put my son's safety seat in the middle then there's hardly enough room for my wife (who's small) to fit on either side of him.  But in the second row of the Atlas you can have three (3) child safety seats in a row - that's big.  And super-handy for a family on the grow. The 2019 VW Atlas is also highly versatile with the amount of interior space it provides for both people and our stuff.  With the second and third row of seats folded down, you are left with a whopping 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space. "With the second and third row of seats folded down, you are left with a whopping 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space." And Volkswagen engineers really made it easy to change the seat/storage configuration.  Logically placed,  easy to grab levers and straps make it a cinch. VW Atlas Configurations The 2019 VW Atlas that I test drove from Ontario Volkswagen was a V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion all-wheel drive.  And I have to mention that I loved the color scheme - inside and out!  (Pictured throughout this post.) But the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas offers many configurations.  There's undoubtedly one for every purpose and budget.  The configuration options breakdown within three primary trim categories.  Those trim categories, along with their starting manufacturers suggested retail prices include the following for the 2019 VW Atlas: S | $30,895 SE | $35,495 SEL | $41,395 Within those three trim options, Volkswagen offers the 2019 Atlas in 13 different standard trim configurations.  Packages that help to make up the different trim configurations include: 4Motion all-wheel drive. Technology R-Line Premium The 2019 Atlas comes with two different engines.  There's a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder that puts out 235-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.  And there's the 3.6-liter V6 putting out 276-horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. "The V6 will deliver 17-mpg in the city and up to 24-mpg on the highway..." The inline 4-cylinder is only available on the 2019 Atlas S base model, the 276-horsepower V6 comes in every other trim configuration.  Regarding fuel economy, inline 4 will give you 20 miles-per-gallon in the city and 26 on the highway.  The V6 will deliver 17-mpg in the city and up to 24-mpg on the highway depending on your configuration. A great fuel saving feature the 2019 VW Atlas offers is a super-smooth functioning engine start-stop.  It automatically turns your engine off during extended stops.  When you depress the brake pedal the engine quickly turns back on and smoothly accelerates as you transfer your foot to the gas pedal. Volkswagen Atlas Exterior Styling I love the styling of the 2019 VW Atlas my friends at Ontario Volkswagen had... My test drive of the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas has left me seriously considering buying one.

The 7-passenger VW Atlas is big and functional, especially for families.  It’s stylish, delivers great fuel economy and drives great.

The Atlas my friends at Ontario Volkswagen gave me to test drive was a top-of-the-line with nearly every option.  Continue reading to learn why my family might soon be rolling in an Atlas or click play below to hear the details in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.

iDSC169 2019 VW Atlas Review

March 4, 2019

2019 VW Atlas Size

First, let’s address the Atlas’s size.  Of the two sport utility vehicles that Volkswagen offers, the Tiguan and the Atlas, the Atlas is the biggest.  For the most part, the auto industry is referring to the Atlas as a mid-sized SUV.  But since all vehicles have gotten bigger the Atlas is arguably a full-sized SUV and the Tiguan a mid-sized.

“You can put up to 3 child safety seats in the second row!”

The Atlas, as I previously stated is a big 7-passenger vehicle.  It has a maximum cargo space of 96.8 cubic feet with both back rows of seats folded down.  You can put up to 3 child safety seats in the second row! That’s huge!

I currently have a mid-sized SUV from a different manufacturer.  And if I put my son’s safety seat in the middle then there’s hardly enough room for my wife (who’s small) to fit on either side of him.  But in the second row of the Atlas you can have three (3) child safety seats in a row – that’s big.  And super-handy for a family on the grow.

The 2019 VW Atlas is also highly versatile with the amount of interior space it provides for both people and our stuff.  With the second and third row of seats folded down, you are left with a whopping 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

“With the second and third row of seats folded down, you are left with a whopping 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space.”

And Volkswagen engineers really made it easy to change the seat/storage configuration.  Logically placed,  easy to grab levers and straps make it a cinch.

VW Atlas Configurations

The 2019 VW Atlas that I test drove from Ontario Volkswagen was a V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion all-wheel drive.  And I have to mention that I loved the color scheme – inside and out!  (Pictured throughout this post.)

But the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas offers many configurations.  There’s undoubtedly one for every purpose and budget.  The configuration options breakdown within three primary trim categories.  Those trim categories, along with their starting manufacturers suggested retail prices include the following for the 2019 VW Atlas:

  • S | $30,895
  • SE | $35,495
  • SEL | $41,395

Within those three trim options, Volkswagen offers the 2019 Atlas in 13 different standard trim configurations.  Packages that help to make up the different trim configurations include:

  • 4Motion all-wheel drive.
  • Technology
  • R-Line
  • Premium

The 2019 Atlas comes with two different engines.  There’s a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder that puts out 235-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.  And there’s the 3.6-liter V6 putting out 276-horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.

“The V6 will deliver 17-mpg in the city and up to 24-mpg on the highway…”

The inline 4-cylinder is only available on the 2019 Atlas S base model, the 276-horsepower V6 comes in every other trim configuration.  Regarding fuel economy, inline 4 will give you 20 miles-per-gallon in the city and 26 on the highway.  The V6 will deliver 17-mpg in the city and up to 24-mpg on the highway depending on your configuration.

A great fuel saving feature the 2019 VW Atlas offers is a super-smooth functioning engine start-stop.  It automatically turns your engine off during extended stops.  When you depress the brake pedal the engine quickly turns back on and smoothly accelerates as you transfer your foot to the gas pedal.

Volkswagen Atlas Exterior Styling

I love the styling of the 2019 VW Atlas my friends at Ontario Volkswagen had me test drive – outside and inside.  Sure that’s partially due to the fact that I drove the V6 SEL Premium with 4Motion.  But regardless of the top-of-the-line trim, the vehicle looks awesome.  The beautiful and bold exterior lines give it a great balance of athleticism and class.

“The beautiful and bold exterior lines give it a great balance of athleticism and class.”

The ingrained Euro-styling delivers a look that makes even the MSRP seem like a bargain.  But don’t worry about MSRP, just go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen and they’re going to give you the best deal in Southern California.

“…go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen and they’re going to give you the best deal in Southern California.”

They love helping iDriveSoCal’ers. :0)  Just tell Randy Halcomb I sent you.  Or you can always email me and I’ll connect you with Randy personally – Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.  Here’s Randy’s info:

  • RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com.
  • 909-772-1728 mobile.

From front to back the 2019 VW Atlas expresses a powerful boldness that draws clear ties to its luxury sibling brand, Audi.  And the fully-loaded Atlas that I drove delivered all the creature comforts of its luxury brand equivalent – without the huge price tag!

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas looks quite similar to it’s much pricier Audi sibling from many sightlines – especially from the rear.

VW Atlas Interior Styling

The inside of the Atlas is clean and clearly European but definitely punches above its price tag.  I love the two-tone upholstery on the Atlas I drove!  The grayish-orangish seats and door panels look great, very sporty yet still refined and luxurious.

And with styling like this, the Atlas easily bridges the dual purpose of family multi-tasker and executive client hauler without skipping a beat.  And heck, that’s just the on-road analogies!  The Atlas is still very much an SUV ready for wherever nature takes you – whether there’s a road or not.

“The inside of the Atlas is clean and clearly European but definitely punches above its price tag.”

Another element of the Atlas that I love is the huge panoramic sunroof.  Sure it enhances the interior styling but it’s obviously a beautiful and highly functional feature of the SUV as well.  And just think of the stargazing you can do on a clear night away from the city lights!

Aside from the bold and beautiful two-tone upholstery, the Atlas’s cockpit is not only stylish but highly functional and wonderfully ergonomic.

Everything is laid out in a super-intuitive design and easy for the driver to use from the very first time you climb in.  And while Atlas’s styling is ready for anything the SUVs functionality follows that form precisely.

“The Atlas is still very much an SUV ready for wherever nature takes you – whether there’s a road or not.”

Read on to learn how Volkswagen is ahead of the curve with its digital cockpit technology.

Technology & Creature Comforts

The 2019 Atlas offers Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit which replaces traditional instrument clusters with high-resolution digital display.  You can arrange the display in many different configurations.  So many in fact that VW includes the ability to save up to 4 different driver profiles!

With the Atlas’s Digital Cockpit the vehicle is quite literally a computer on wheels.  But VW makes all that tech simple to use with logically laid out switches, knobs, and buttons.  All of it very user-friendly and easy to adopt for the driver new to the vehicle.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto keep the driver’s favorite phone apps displayed on the center stack’s digital touch screen.  Of course, it’s easy to bring all your favorite music and podcasts with you – like the iDriveSoCal Podcast for example. 😉

And speaking of audio, the available Fender Premium sound system is ridiculously clear.  It actually adds an edgy-coolness to the Atlas’s image too!

“Area View takes the safety in backing up to a whole new level.”

3-zone automatic climate control is also available and I can never leave out the dual favorite of mine and my wife’s.  Front seats which are both heated and ventilated.  My wife’s seat is always on heat and mine is always on cool.

Another great available feature for the ’19 Atlas is the overhead view camera.  Area View takes the safety in backing up to a whole new level.  Here again, VW is ahead of the curve with advanced tech we’re sure to be seeing in all vehicles soon.

Driver Assistance Features

And Area View happens to be one of the features in Volkswagen’s suite of Driver Assistance options.  If you’ve driven a newer car in the past few years then you’ve probably experienced some of these features.

“Park Assist will help you steer into those tricky parallel parking spots.  And Park Distance Control with Maneuver Braking helps you get out of them.” 

They include Adaptive Cruise Control which helps maintain the distance between you and the car in front of you when the cruise is active. Blind Spot Monitoring which is self-explanatory.  Light Assist manages your high-beams for you. Lane Assist helps to keep you in your lane.

Park Assist will help you steer into those tricky parallel parking spots.  And Park Distance Control with Maneuver Braking helps you get out of them.  Finally, Front Assist helps monitor and avoid forward collisions.  And Front Assist includes Pedestrian Monitoring for additional accident prevention and overall safety.

Top-3 | 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

As usual, there’s so much I like about the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas it’s tough to narrow it down to just three…

  1. Size – The Atlas is big and functional but it’s still easy to drive.

  2. Styling – I seriously like the Atlas’s looks, especially with the two-tone interior.

  3. Drive – I didn’t elaborate too much but the Atlas delivers sure-footed confidence to the driver.

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is a great ride for you if you’re looking for a family vehicle.  But it’s also a great option for hauling clients and colleagues.  Plus its an obvious choice when you’re looking to haul lots of outdoor adventure gear.

And let’s not forget about the industry-leading People First Warranty.  6-years or 72,000-miles bumper to bumper.  And that warranty is even transferable should you trade-in or sell your Atlas on say… a newer Atlas!

For more information on the Atlas and for all of your Volkswagen needs please go to my good friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Again, Randy Halcomb RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com is the iDriveSoCal go-to and I’m happy to connect you personally.  Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com.

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My test drive of the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas has left me seriously considering buying one. - The 7-passenger VW Atlas is big and functional, especially for families.  It's stylish, delivers great fuel economy and drives great. - My test drive of the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas has left me seriously considering buying one.<br /> <br /> The 7-passenger VW Atlas is big and functional, especially for families.  It's stylish, delivers great fuel economy and drives great.<br /> <br /> The Atlas my friends at Ontario Volkswagen gave me to test drive was a top-of-the-line with nearly every option.  Continue reading to learn why my family might soon be rolling in an Atlas or click play below to hear the details in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> March 4, 2019<br /> <br /> 2019 VW Atlas Size<br /> First, let's address the Atlas's size.  Of the two sport utility vehicles that Volkswagen offers, the Tiguan and the Atlas, the Atlas is the biggest.  For the most part, the auto industry is referring to the Atlas as a mid-sized SUV.  But since all vehicles have gotten bigger the Atlas is arguably a full-sized SUV and the Tiguan a mid-sized.<br /> <br /> "You can put up to 3 child safety seats in the second row!"<br /> <br /> The Atlas, as I previously stated is a big 7-passenger vehicle.  It has a maximum cargo space of 96.8 cubic feet with both back rows of seats folded down.  You can put up to 3 child safety seats in the second row! That's huge!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> I currently have a mid-sized SUV from a different manufacturer.  And if I put my son's safety seat in the middle then there's hardly enough room for my wife (who's small) to fit on either side of him.  But in the second row of the Atlas you can have three (3) child safety seats in a row - that's big.  And super-handy for a family on the grow.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The 2019 VW Atlas is also highly versatile with the amount of interior space it provides for both people and our stuff.  With the second and third row of seats folded down, you are left with a whopping 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space.<br /> <br /> "With the second and third row of seats folded down, you are left with a whopping 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space."<br /> <br /> And Volkswagen engineers really made it easy to change the seat/storage configuration.  Logically placed,  easy to grab levers and straps make it a cinch.<br /> VW Atlas Configurations<br /> The 2019 VW Atlas that I test drove from Ontario Volkswagen was a V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion all-wheel drive.  And I have to mention that I loved the color scheme - inside and out!  (Pictured throughout this post.)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> But the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas offers many configurations.  There's undoubtedly one for every purpose and budget.  The configuration options breakdown within three primary trim categories.  Those trim categories, along with their starting manufacturers suggested retail prices include the following for the 2019 VW Atlas:<br /> <br /> S | $30,895<br /> SE | $35,495<br /> SEL | $41,395<br /> <br /> Within those three trim options, Volkswagen offers the 2019 Atlas in 13 different standard trim configurations.  Packages that help to make up the different trim configurations include:<br /> <br /> 4Motion all-wheel drive.<br /> Technology<br /> R-Line<br /> Premium<br /> <br /> The 2019 Atlas comes with two different engines.  There's a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder that puts out 235-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.  And there's the 3.6-liter V6 putting out 276-horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque.<br /> <br /> "The V6 will deliver 17-mpg in the city and up to 24-mpg on the highway..."<br /> <br /> The inline 4-cylinder is only available on the 2019 Atlas S base model, the 276-horsepower V6 comes in every other trim configuration.  Regarding fuel economy, inline 4 will give you 20 miles-per-gallon in the city and 26 on the highway.  The V6 will deliver 17-mpg in the city and up to 24-mpg on the highway depending on your configuration.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> A great fuel saving feature the 2019 VW Atlas offers is a super-smooth functioning ... Tom Smith clean 17:27
2019 Honda Passport Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-honda-passport-review/ Tue, 26 Feb 2019 17:59:48 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=9203 After driving the all-new 2019 Honda Passport I can confirm that this new/re-entry into Honda's crossover SUV line-up is going to lure loads of new buyers to Honda for sure. Some of those new buyers will be after the off-road capabilities of the Passport, some will be after the size and some will be after the athletic styling. I picked up a top of the line Passport from our partners at Rock Honda for my recent test drive.  You can continue reading or listen to my review of the 2019 Honda Passport below. And if you want to schedule a test drive or get the best deal in SoCal on a Passport or any Honda - just fill-in your info below and I'll connect you with a personal friend at Rock Honda.  And seriously - they'll give you the very best deal.  Hands down. February 26, 2019 2019 Honda Passport - Reintroduction As I mentioned in my preview podcast of the Honda Passport, while 2019 is all-new the model is technically being reintroduced to the lineup after being removed nearly tw0-decades ago. The first two generations of the Passport were produced by Honda from 1993 until 2002.  And if you recall, that was back when an SUV was simply that a sports utility vehicle.  That was before the concept of a crossover/SUV.  So, the former Passports were off-road ready by default design. Fast-forward to 2019 and the all-new Honda Passport, now in its third generation, is being positioned as an off-road ready entry into Honda's crossover/SUV line-up.  The new Passport slots between it's larger sibling, the full-sized Honda Pilot and it's hot-selling smaller sibling the compact Honda CR-V.  And, for the record, Honda also offers the sub-compact Honda HR-V.  So, here's Honda's crossover/SUV line-up, lined up :-): Pilot | full-size Passport | mid-size CR-V | compact HR-V | sub-compact The all-new 2019 Honda Passport was revealed at this past year's LA Auto Show.  And Honda reps told me then that the Passport designed to lure more sporty-type off-road enthusiasts to the Honda line-up rather than take away from the super-hot-sales numbers of the CR-V.  The Passport that Honda revealed at the show definitely looked like it was ready to play that role in the lineup. And that appears to be exactly the same Passport that dealers like our partner Rock Honda have to sell.  (But Rock Honda will give you the best deal - I guarantee it.) Pic above pic I took @ the LA Auto Show.  Below the model I test drove from Rock Honda.   2019 Honda Passport Trim Levels Honda keeps the trim levels of their vehicles pretty straight-forward, for the most part.  That's one of the things I like about the brand when you are talking about one trim level or another, you know, for the most part, what features are included with that trim. Here's your trim options and manufacturer suggested retail prices for the 2019 Honda Passport: Sport $31,990 EX-L $36,410 Touring $39,280 Elite $43,680 Every trim level, except the Elite, front-wheel drive is the standard and all-wheel drive is available.  For the Elite trim level, all-wheel drive is standard. And the engine is the same across the board as well.  Each trim comes with a V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.  And depending on your configuration the Passport is raated to deliver a range of 19 to 25 MPG. As always, I include MSRPs in our coverage... but also as always, Rock Honda is going to give you the best deal in SoCal.  I'm happy to connect you directly.  Also, you need to get yours equipped to your liking.  And with all the off-road versatility in the 2019 Honda Passport, there are lots of fun accessories you can add-on to dance it up for whatever you fancy.  They all help to enhance the sporty/rugged look of the vehicle too! "...the Elite trim that I drove, was packed to the gills with technology features that you'd expect to see in a luxury vehicle." On that note, the 2019 Honda Passport is, by far, After driving the all-new 2019 Honda Passport I can confirm that this new/re-entry into Honda’s crossover SUV line-up is going to lure loads of new buyers to Honda for sure.

Some of those new buyers will be after the off-road capabilities of the Passport, some will be after the size and some will be after the athletic styling.

I picked up a top of the line Passport from our partners at Rock Honda for my recent test drive.  You can continue reading or listen to my review of the 2019 Honda Passport below.

And if you want to schedule a test drive or get the best deal in SoCal on a Passport or any Honda – just fill-in your info below and I’ll connect you with a personal friend at Rock Honda.  And seriously – they’ll give you the very best deal.  Hands down.

White 2019 Honda Passport pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast 168 2019 Honda Passport Review banner

February 26, 2019

2019 Honda Passport – Reintroduction

As I mentioned in my preview podcast of the Honda Passport, while 2019 is all-new the model is technically being reintroduced to the lineup after being removed nearly tw0-decades ago.

The first two generations of the Passport were produced by Honda from 1993 until 2002.  And if you recall, that was back when an SUV was simply that a sports utility vehicle.  That was before the concept of a crossover/SUV.  So, the former Passports were off-road ready by default design.

Fast-forward to 2019 and the all-new Honda Passport, now in its third generation, is being positioned as an off-road ready entry into Honda’s crossover/SUV line-up.  The new Passport slots between it’s larger sibling, the full-sized Honda Pilot and it’s hot-selling smaller sibling the compact Honda CR-V.  And, for the record, Honda also offers the sub-compact Honda HR-V.  So, here’s Honda’s crossover/SUV line-up, lined up :-):

The all-new 2019 Honda Passport was revealed at this past year’s LA Auto Show.  And Honda reps told me then that the Passport designed to lure more sporty-type off-road enthusiasts to the Honda line-up rather than take away from the super-hot-sales numbers of the CR-V.  The Passport that Honda revealed at the show definitely looked like it was ready to play that role in the lineup.

And that appears to be exactly the same Passport that dealers like our partner Rock Honda have to sell.  (But Rock Honda will give you the best deal – I guarantee it.)

Pic above pic I took @ the LA Auto Show.  Below the model I test drove from Rock Honda.

  2019 Honda Passport Trim Levels

Honda keeps the trim levels of their vehicles pretty straight-forward, for the most part.  That’s one of the things I like about the brand when you are talking about one trim level or another, you know, for the most part, what features are included with that trim.

Here’s your trim options and manufacturer suggested retail prices for the 2019 Honda Passport:

  • Sport $31,990
  • EX-L $36,410
  • Touring $39,280
  • Elite $43,680

Every trim level, except the Elite, front-wheel drive is the standard and all-wheel drive is available.  For the Elite trim level, all-wheel drive is standard.

And the engine is the same across the board as well.  Each trim comes with a V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.  And depending on your configuration the Passport is raated to deliver a range of 19 to 25 MPG.

As always, I include MSRPs in our coverage… but also as always, Rock Honda is going to give you the best deal in SoCal.  I’m happy to connect you directly.  Also, you need to get yours equipped to your liking.  And with all the off-road versatility in the 2019 Honda Passport, there are lots of fun accessories you can add-on to dance it up for whatever you fancy.  They all help to enhance the sporty/rugged look of the vehicle too!

“…the Elite trim that I drove, was packed to the gills with technology features that you’d expect to see in a luxury vehicle.”

On that note, the 2019 Honda Passport is, by far, not just an off-road vehicle.  While the vehicle definitely looks rugged and athletic both inside and out it also has a stylish touch of class.  It really brings the ‘utility’ into SUV.  During the week you could be hauling around clients and colleagues in style and, if you like, come the weekend you can easily go off-road for fun or desolate camping trip.

Honda Passport Features

The Elite trim level that I drove, was packed to the gills with technology features that you’d expect to see in a luxury vehicle.

Of course, each trim level is going to include an increasing array of functionality features and creature comforts but again the Elite was packed.  Aspects that most impressed me included the wireless phone charger located in the center console just below the center stack of dashboard controls.  Also, the heated steering wheel was a really nice touch as it was a chilling late morning test drive out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana and it had actually snowed the day before!

And as you know, I seriously love my ventilated seats.  Just as much as my wife loves her heated seats and the 2019 Honda Passport offers both for the driver and passenger!  And the Passports rear seats are heated on both the Elite and Touring models as well.

I was impressed to realize that all trim levels of the 2019 Honda Passport come with tri-zone automatic climate control, humidity control and air filtration. You usually see this across all trim levels for a luxury vehicle but not necessarily non-luxury.  Another nod to Honda Passports prowess in its class.

“…Honda Sensing is standard across all trim levels.  This includes Road Departure Mitigation and Lane Keeping Assist System…”

As for safety and driver-assistive technology Honda Sensing is standard across all trim levels.  This includes Road Departure Mitigation and Lane Keeping Assist System – features such as these are becoming more the norm.

Of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were included in the Elite trim that I drove.  And they come standard across all trim levels except the Sport.  Those features coincide with Passport’s 8-inch touchscreen display that’s beyond crystal clear and easy to use.  SiriusXM radio and Passport’s mobile hotspot capability also come standard in all trims except the Sport.

Passport Spaciousness & Cargo Area

I was very comfortable driving the Passport and, as I always do, hopped in and out of all the seats to see what it would be like to be a passenger as well.  I thought there was ample leg room everywhere and loads of cargo space.

One of the things I loved about the cargo capacity of the Passport is its ability to fold the rear seats down completely flat.  This makes it so much easier to haul whatever you need to get from points ‘A’ to ‘B’ – the getting stuff in and out portion especially.

And leave it to Honda to maximize space throughout their vehicles with handy nooks and crannies to store stuff.  For instance, there’s the completely hidden extra-storage area that’s adjacent to where the spare tire is stored.  But this extra storage area is separated into its own space so that even if you use the spare, and get it dirty, that mess won’t impact your stuff in the nearby storage area.

And while we’re talking about the rear end of the 2019 Honda Passport I have to point out another feature that very much impressed me.  This is another one that you often find on luxury vehicles and that’s the push button rear liftgate that operates its opening and closing functions.

Overall the 2019 Honda Passport has a class-leading maximum cargo volume of 100.7 cubic ft which is difficult to beat for a mid-sized crossover/SUV.  And this leads to yet another versatility element of the Passport – truly putting the ‘utility’ in the ‘sports utility vehicle.’

Driving the 2019 Honda Passport

I drove the Passport I picked up from Rock Honda on my normal test drive route.  When I got on and back off  Interstate 210,  I accelerated rapidly and both getting on and changing lanes and the Passport responded without breaking a sweat.

Driving surface streets to and from the Interstate I experience Honda’s Idle-Stop functionality.  It works like this… I’m at a stop light and digital message appears on the center console instructing me to press the brake harder to activate the function.  And it worked great.  Best of all when it was time to go and I hit the accelerator there was zero delay.

Another feature I noticed, getting in and out of the Passport during my test drive was the key fob’s connectivity to not only the climate control and radio settings but also the driver’s seat settings.  I’m a slow learner so I realized this one after having to reset everything to my specifications the third time! 🙂  Awesome feature once it’s set though.  Especially if you’re like me and my wife where we’re constantly getting in and out of each other’s vehicles.

Another item of note regarding the 2019 Honda Passport is Honda’s proclaiming the vehicle’s off-road readiness.  Now, this was a test drive and I wasn’t about to head to the middle of the desert or the highest peak in Southern California and push the Passport to its limit.  But, as you can see, all the pics I took were on the side of the road and not on the pavement.

Getting on and off the road was a bumpy and off-road-ish experience. In fact, it felt as if I was entering into the element that the Passport wanted to be in… 🙂  I like the Passport – a lot!

Top-3

There’s so much about the all-new 2019 Honda Passport that I like.  It’s hard to narrow it down to just three things but here goes:

1-The Styling

This is the best looking Honda crossover/SUV in their line-up.  What they revealed at the LA Auto Show is what you can buy at dealers like our partner Rock Honda – where you’re guaranteed to get the best price and overall deal.  I promise and again, I’ll introduce you!

2-The Space

Honda is known to engineer smartly.  They maximize space and pay attention to detail.  I love the nooks and crannies to hide stuff out of sight.  My cars have been broken into for various silly items.  The ability to tuck stuff out of sight its key.

3-The Technology

The 2019 Honda Passport leaves very little to luxury alternatives in its class size.  Honda Sensing, push button liftgate, ventilated seats… it’s all there except the price tag of a luxury vehicle!  I’ve said it so many times before, I’m a value buyer.  Maybe if I could afford a fancy badge that would change but I doubt it.  And in the case of the 2019 Honda Passport, the value delivered is without a doubt class leading.

Rock Honda’s Best Deal Guarantee

If you’re ready to test drive and learn more about the 2019 Honda Passport I’m happy to refer you.  There are no games with my friends at Rock Honda.  No car sales games, they’re a huge volume dealership so they’re always delivering the best prices to friends of iDriveSoCal.

“…they’re always delivering the best prices to friends of iDriveSoCal.”

I’m happy to introduce you to General Manager David Latif.  Or, David’s right-hand man Hamid Javid or, Veronica Orozco another manager who’s bilingual (Spanish).  All of them are my personal friends and they’ll all take care of you.  Just email me: Tom [at] iDriveSoCal [dot] com or fill in the below info and I’ll contact you.

]]>
After driving the all-new 2019 Honda Passport I can confirm that this new/re-entry into Honda's crossover SUV line-up is going to lure loads of new buyers to Honda for sure. - Some of those new buyers will be after the off-road capabilities of the Pas... After driving the all-new 2019 Honda Passport I can confirm that this new/re-entry into Honda's crossover SUV line-up is going to lure loads of new buyers to Honda for sure.<br /> <br /> Some of those new buyers will be after the off-road capabilities of the Passport, some will be after the size and some will be after the athletic styling.<br /> <br /> I picked up a top of the line Passport from our partners at Rock Honda for my recent test drive.  You can continue reading or listen to my review of the 2019 Honda Passport below.<br /> <br /> And if you want to schedule a test drive or get the best deal in SoCal on a Passport or any Honda - just fill-in your info below and I'll connect you with a personal friend at Rock Honda.  And seriously - they'll give you the very best deal.  Hands down.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> February 26, 2019<br /> <br /> 2019 Honda Passport - Reintroduction <br /> As I mentioned in my preview podcast of the Honda Passport, while 2019 is all-new the model is technically being reintroduced to the lineup after being removed nearly tw0-decades ago.<br /> <br /> The first two generations of the Passport were produced by Honda from 1993 until 2002.  And if you recall, that was back when an SUV was simply that a sports utility vehicle.  That was before the concept of a crossover/SUV.  So, the former Passports were off-road ready by default design.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Fast-forward to 2019 and the all-new Honda Passport, now in its third generation, is being positioned as an off-road ready entry into Honda's crossover/SUV line-up.  The new Passport slots between it's larger sibling, the full-sized Honda Pilot and it's hot-selling smaller sibling the compact Honda CR-V.  And, for the record, Honda also offers the sub-compact Honda HR-V.  So, here's Honda's crossover/SUV line-up, lined up :-):<br /> <br /> Pilot | full-size<br /> Passport | mid-size<br /> CR-V | compact<br /> HR-V | sub-compact<br /> <br /> The all-new 2019 Honda Passport was revealed at this past year's LA Auto Show.  And Honda reps told me then that the Passport designed to lure more sporty-type off-road enthusiasts to the Honda line-up rather than take away from the super-hot-sales numbers of the CR-V.  The Passport that Honda revealed at the show definitely looked like it was ready to play that role in the lineup.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And that appears to be exactly the same Passport that dealers like our partner Rock Honda have to sell.  (But Rock Honda will give you the best deal - I guarantee it.)<br /> <br /> Pic above pic I took @ the LA Auto Show.  Below the model I test drove from Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> <br />   2019 Honda Passport Trim Levels<br /> Honda keeps the trim levels of their vehicles pretty straight-forward, for the most part.  That's one of the things I like about the brand when you are talking about one trim level or another, you know, for the most part, what features are included with that trim.<br /> <br /> Here's your trim options and manufacturer suggested retail prices for the 2019 Honda Passport:<br /> <br /> Sport $31,990<br /> EX-L $36,410<br /> Touring $39,280<br /> Elite $43,680<br /> <br /> Every trim level, except the Elite, front-wheel drive is the standard and all-wheel drive is available.  For the Elite trim level, all-wheel drive is standard.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And the engine is the same across the board as well.  Each trim comes with a V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque.  And depending on your configuration the Passport is raated to deliver a range of 19 to 25 MPG.<br /> <br /> As always, I include MSRPs in our coverage... but also as always, Rock Honda is going to give you the best deal in SoCal.  I'm happy to connect you directly.  Also, you need to get yours equipped to your liking.  And with all the off-road versatility in the 2019 Honda Passport, Tom Smith clean 18:32
Import Tuner Scene – World’s Car Capital https://www.idrivesocal.com/fast-and-furious-import-tuners/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 04:32:51 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=9123 Southern California is the home of the Import Tuner Scene; yet another reason the region is the car capital of the world! Sorry Detroit, Southern California is the automotive capital of the world for many reasons - and here's another one, SoCal is the home of the Import Tuner Scene. Personally, I didn't grow up in it.  But iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, experienced all of it. From the first tuned Japanese imports to the seemingly neverending blockbuster movie franchise - The Fast and the Furious. Click play below to hear how the Import Tuner Scene developed and evolved here in Southern California and then took on the world. ***Transcription*** Recorded in Los Angeles, CA Home of the Import Tuner Scene Clinton Quan: You're talking about the Japanese cars, which really made the import tuning scene. The Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6.  I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there'd be seven Fast and the Furious movies? Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with our pal, the Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton. Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom. Tom Smith: Hey! Today's podcast is a continuation of our justification of that little saying that I throw out there at the beginning of every podcast, what makes Southern California the automotive capital of not only the United States but also the world. Today's podcast is another justification for that. The Professor was pointing out to me something that makes a lot of sense. It predates my living here in Southern California, but he experienced it, he lived it and that is the import tuning scene, right? Professor, why don't you kind of take it away because I have a bunch of kind of yes and to add, but as I mentioned, I wasn't here for it so I don't have that firsthand experience that you do. "I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there'd be seven Fast and the Furious movies?" Clinton Quan: Yeah. It really started in the early to mid-90s and I remember growing up in... when I went to junior high and high school, if you look back, these were some of the most popular cars back then. The Fast and the Furious - Import Tuners & Drifters You're talking about the Japanese cars, which really made the import tuning scene. Cars such as the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX and they had both a fastback and a coupe version of that. The Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6. Tom Smith: You're talking early 90s, the beginning. Clinton Quan: We're talking, yes. Tom Smith: Does that include the late 80s? Clinton Quan: Yeah, we could include the late 80s as well. Tom Smith: The cars at that time, the Japanese cars anyway, and I guess the other cars too, they were kind of getting smaller. Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: In the Midwest, I had a buddy that had had a Toyota MR2 and man was that fun to drive. A little go-cart. What about the... was it the Honda- Clinton Quan: Civic? Tom Smith: Yeah. The first Civic that... the first, the two-door Civics, remember they had the kind of bubbly blacktops or bubbly- Clinton Quan: Oh, you're talking about Civic hatchback because- Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah. "Cars such as the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX and... The Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6." Clinton Quan: Well, speaking of that, I remember one of my classmates in high school, he had one of those... the Civic hatchbacks. Tom Smith: One of those Civics. Yeah. With that whole genre, right? The late 80s, early 90s, that kind of started the tuning scene here in Southern California and the tuning scene which spawned into what eventually the Fast and Furious movie se... Southern California is the home of the Import Tuner Scene;
yet another reason the region is the car capital of the world!

Sorry Detroit, Southern California is the automotive capital of the world for many reasons – and here’s another one, SoCal is the home of the Import Tuner Scene.

Personally, I didn’t grow up in it.  But iDriveSoCal’s Professor, Clinton Quan, experienced all of it. From the first tuned Japanese imports to the seemingly neverending blockbuster movie franchise – The Fast and the Furious.

Click play below to hear how the Import Tuner Scene developed and evolved here in Southern California and then took on the world.

Blue Toyota 86 looking tuned and race ready as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast 165 banner Import Tuner Scene

***Transcription***

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Home of the Import Tuner Scene

Clinton Quan: You’re talking about the Japanese cars, which really made the import tuning scene. The Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6.  I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there’d be seven Fast and the Furious movies?

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with our pal, the Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hey! Today’s podcast is a continuation of our justification of that little saying that I throw out there at the beginning of every podcast, what makes Southern California the automotive capital of not only the United States but also the world. Today’s podcast is another justification for that.

The Professor was pointing out to me something that makes a lot of sense. It predates my living here in Southern California, but he experienced it, he lived it and that is the import tuning scene, right? Professor, why don’t you kind of take it away because I have a bunch of kind of yes and to add, but as I mentioned, I wasn’t here for it so I don’t have that firsthand experience that you do.

“I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there’d be seven Fast and the Furious movies?”

Clinton Quan: Yeah. It really started in the early to mid-90s and I remember growing up in… when I went to junior high and high school, if you look back, these were some of the most popular cars back then.

The Fast and the Furious – Import Tuners & Drifters

You’re talking about the Japanese cars, which really made the import tuning scene. Cars such as the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX and they had both a fastback and a coupe version of that. The Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6.

Tom Smith: You’re talking early 90s, the beginning.

Clinton Quan: We’re talking, yes.

Tom Smith: Does that include the late 80s?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, we could include the late 80s as well.

Tom Smith: The cars at that time, the Japanese cars anyway, and I guess the other cars too, they were kind of getting smaller.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: In the Midwest, I had a buddy that had had a Toyota MR2 and man was that fun to drive. A little go-cart. What about the… was it the Honda-

Clinton Quan: Civic?

Tom Smith: Yeah. The first Civic that… the first, the two-door Civics, remember they had the kind of bubbly blacktops or bubbly-

Clinton Quan: Oh, you’re talking about Civic hatchback because-

Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

“Cars such as the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX and… The Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6.”

Clinton Quan: Well, speaking of that, I remember one of my classmates in high school, he had one of those… the Civic hatchbacks.

Tom Smith: One of those Civics. Yeah. With that whole genre, right? The late 80s, early 90s, that kind of started the tuning scene here in Southern California and the tuning scene which spawned into what eventually the Fast and Furious movie series, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I don’t think I’ve seen more than-

Clinton Quan: The first one was released in 2001 and now we have what, seven of them?

Tom Smith: Yeah. Well, it’s been-

Clinton Quan: One of the most successful movie series.

SoCal’s Japanese Community

Tom Smith: Very profitable franchise. I think I’ve seen 20-minutes of one or two of the movies, but whatever. I’m not the demo.

But nevertheless, it’s yet another reason why Southern California is the automotive capital, the United States and the world is that our car culture spawns these kinds of things. Right?

Clinton Quan: These were some of the really iconic vehicles of the early to mid-90s and unfortunately nowadays with the popularity of crossover and SUVs, you don’t see vehicles like these anymore.

I remember growing up, these were the cars that everyone wanted. It’s not surprising that the import car tuning scene really started here in Southern California and especially in the South Bay where there’s a big Japanese community in Gardena and nearby in Torrance.

Tom Smith: How did you experience it? How did it start?

Clinton Quan: Well, I didn’t really experience it directly because I didn’t grow up in the South Bay, but… and I didn’t have a car back then.

Tom Smith: You grew up in the valley?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I grew up in the valley, but I was a huge car enthusiast growing up and I would see it just driving, going around in my parents’ car.

“It’s not surprising that the import car tuning scene really started here in Southern California and especially in the South Bay where there’s a big Japanese community in Gardena and nearby in Torrance.”

I remember just wherever they drove I would look out the window and I would see all these really cool cars and that’s why I always wanted a sports coupe.

Just from reading all the different car magazines. In fact, I think the very first car magazine I got, it was a Car and Driver and they had a road test of the Acura Integra.

It was the second-generation Integra and I remember that was such a cool car and I wanted that car.

From Import Tuning to Drifting 

Tom Smith: Now the Integra and then the Nissan, was it the 240 and the M2? Were those rear-wheel drive cars? I know my Prelude Si was front wheel drive.

Clinton Quan: Those were rear wheel drive cars. Yes, that’s correct. Nissan-

Tom Smith: The reason why I ask is because from the tuning scene, correct me if I’m wrong, came the drifting scene.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, and that’s a big … that’s a very popular drift car, the Nissan 240.

Tom Smith: The reason why I bring that up is because when I did the podcast with Harry Kong from Nitto tires and they’re big auto enthusiast day, which we went to down at Los Angeles Angels Stadium of Anaheim, Los Angeles.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. Angel’s Stadium of Anaheim.

Tom Smith: Yeah, they… Harry said, you know, hey the 240 is still a huge drift.

Clinton Quan: It is. Absolutely. Yeah.

Tom Smith: I guess I’m a big rear wheel drive guy. I just love rear-wheel drive.

There’s some awesome product out, especially now that is front wheel drive, but just the ability to slide the back end and feel that.

I just love that. I don’t know, I don’t know that I’ll ever not love it. Even overall wheel drive.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Do you see that coming back? We were just talking in the other podcasts that we did about the Supra coming back.

Do you see that may be coming back as a rear wheel drive vehicle? I miss it. I miss rear wheel drive.

Clinton Quan: Oh, I’m sure that… Yeah. I’m sure the Supra will be rear wheel drive.

Tom Smith: Yeah?

Rear-Wheel Drive to Front-Wheel Drive

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that’ll definitely be rear wheel drive. Maybe they’ll, who knows, maybe they’ll even offer an all-wheel drive, but definitely rear wheel drive for sure.

Tom Smith: I wouldn’t be surprised. Yeah.

Clinton Quan: In terms of rear wheel drive, I see that coming back for enthusiasts’ vehicles.

Whether it’s a sports coupe or a sports car, like the Supra or the Kia Stinger, which is a rear wheel drive car. Whoever thought that Kia would come out with a vehicle like that?

Something… a Gran Turismo styled vehicle, which is becoming really popular now, not just as a sports sedan, but as a family sedan.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: With that sloping back. Even the Honda Accord’s… the current ones has that same type of profile.

Tom Smith: Yup.

Clinton Quan: That’s not a rear-drive that, that’s front-wheel drive, but if other automakers follow, if Kia is successful then maybe they’ll come out with more rear wheel drive cars like that.

Tom Smith: Well, and speaking of Honda, I mean our good friends out at the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, Rock Honda, they have a number of very hard to get Civic Type Rs that they’ve sold and they’re such a big dealer.

They get their hands on these and they’re a very difficult car even for dealers to get much less someone to buy.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: That is a front wheel drive vehicle.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I haven’t driven it yet. It’s such a hot car.

I haven’t been able to drive it yet and I keep on bugging David Latif my buddy out there that’s the general manager, like, come on man, let me drive one!

Southern California is the Car Capital of the World

It’s just such a hot car. Such a difficult car to get. My thing is, man, if that was a rear wheel drive car I would be all over it from a buyer perspective. I mean, even though I’m a new dad, I’d be like, I’d fit my son’s babysit back there somehow.

Clinton Quan: Yes, you could.

Tom Smith: At any rate and enough about a rear-wheel drive, I suppose.

The import tuning scene yet another reason why Southern California is the automotive capital of the United States and automotive capital of the world, import tuning scene started right here.

Another parallel to that is the hot rod scene. We’ll talk about that in a different episode. What else to add about the import tuning scene?

Again, this is your story. In the Midwest, we see these trends in the suburbs of Chicago. We see these trends and I think probably 10 years after they happen out here, if that, maybe 12, 15 years quite honestly.

Clinton Quan: I would just say it’s hard to… I don’t want to… It’s hard to underestimate the importance of the scene.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: I don’t think a lot of people realize how big of an impact it’s had on not only car culture here in Southern California, but all over the world.

Because we really set the trends and these cars, they’re in museums, cars from Fast and the Furious, and you see him at car shows displayed all throughout Southern California.

When people, when we look back in another 10, 20 years, we’re going to look back and say, “Wow, this is just been such a huge impact on the Southern California automotive scene.”

Hollywood Helped Promote the Import Tuner Scene

Tom Smith: Yeah, and it’s crazy too when you think about it, it’s like, okay, that… let’s call it the early 90s.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Some guys start tinkering with their import cars and fast forward 10 years. It’s made it into a motion picture.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there’d be seven Fast and the Furious movies?

Tom Smith: Right?

Clinton Quan: Look at how incredibly successful. It’s without a doubt, one of the most successful movie franchises series ever.

Tom Smith: That car culture that started there in the South Bay, in the Gardena area turns into a worldwide phenomenon and I guess, hey, that could be yet another reason that Southern California is the automotive capital United States and automotive capital of the world is because we have Hollywood here.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize how big of an impact it’s had on not only car culture here in Southern California, but all over the world.”

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: That spreads the word of the stuff we’re doing just by nature of creating the art that they create, the entertainment that they create, which is another interesting point.

Clinton Quan: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: All right. Well, there you have it. Professor, thank you as always for another interesting talk. As always, thank you. I look forward to the next time and for iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you for listening.

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Southern California is the home of the Import Tuner Scene; yet another reason the region is the car capital of the world! Sorry Detroit, Southern California is the automotive capital of the world for many reasons - and here's another one, Southern California is the home of the Import Tuner Scene;<br /> yet another reason the region is the car capital of the world!<br /> Sorry Detroit, Southern California is the automotive capital of the world for many reasons - and here's another one, SoCal is the home of the Import Tuner Scene.<br /> <br /> Personally, I didn't grow up in it.  But iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, experienced all of it. From the first tuned Japanese imports to the seemingly neverending blockbuster movie franchise - The Fast and the Furious.<br /> <br /> Click play below to hear how the Import Tuner Scene developed and evolved here in Southern California and then took on the world.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> Home of the Import Tuner Scene<br /> Clinton Quan: You're talking about the Japanese cars, which really made the import tuning scene. The Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6.  I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there'd be seven Fast and the Furious movies?<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with our pal, the Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hey! Today's podcast is a continuation of our justification of that little saying that I throw out there at the beginning of every podcast, what makes Southern California the automotive capital of not only the United States but also the world. Today's podcast is another justification for that.<br /> <br /> The Professor was pointing out to me something that makes a lot of sense. It predates my living here in Southern California, but he experienced it, he lived it and that is the import tuning scene, right? Professor, why don't you kind of take it away because I have a bunch of kind of yes and to add, but as I mentioned, I wasn't here for it so I don't have that firsthand experience that you do.<br /> <br /> "I mean honestly, who would ever thought that there'd be seven Fast and the Furious movies?"<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yeah. It really started in the early to mid-90s and I remember growing up in... when I went to junior high and high school, if you look back, these were some of the most popular cars back then.<br /> The Fast and the Furious - Import Tuners & Drifters<br /> You're talking about the Japanese cars, which really made the import tuning scene. Cars such as the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX and they had both a fastback and a coupe version of that. The Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: You're talking early 90s, the beginning.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: We're talking, yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Does that include the late 80s?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yeah, we could include the late 80s as well.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: The cars at that time, the Japanese cars anyway, and I guess the other cars too, they were kind of getting smaller.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: In the Midwest, I had a buddy that had had a Toyota MR2 and man was that fun to drive. A little go-cart. What about the... was it the Honda-<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Civic?<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Yeah. The first Civic that... the first, the two-door Civics, remember they had the kind of bubbly blacktops or bubbly-<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Oh, you're talking about Civic hatchback because-<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah, yeah.<br /> <br /> "Cars such as the Toyota Celica, the Toyota MR2, the Honda Prelude, even the Honda Accord Coupe, the Nissan 240SX and... The Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Mazda MX6."<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Well, Tom Smith clean 12:12
Motte Historical Museum – Hidden Automotive Gem https://www.idrivesocal.com/motte-historical-museum/ Sat, 09 Feb 2019 04:35:34 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=8945 Combine the open road and exquisite classic cars with a trip to the Motte Historical Museum in scenic Menifee, CA. The odds are pretty good that you've not heard of the Motte Historical Car Museum in Menifee.  But if you have heard of it, and been there then you'd surely agree it's well worth the trip. The city in Southwestern Riverside County plays host to a cozy museum with a collection of very cool classic cars.  And they're displayed in a building that, while fully restored as well, helps turn back the hands of time just like the vehicles it houses. Who else but our own Professor, Clinton Quan, made the recent trip and shares the complete report in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.  Click play below and take a look at some of the classic beauties he spotted during his trip. ***Transcription*** Recorded in Los Angeles, CA Menifee's Hidden Automotive Gem Clinton "The Professor" Quan: They're like, "Wow, I didn't realize there are so many car shows and I didn't realize that there were so many car museums." Tom Smith: This is the Motte Historical Museum, out in Menifee, California Clinton Quan: There's definitely cars from the 1920s, Tom Smith: Made me think Great Gatsby. Professor: Yes. Tom Smith: Like, that time period, right? Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility, from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton. "Made me think Great Gatsby." Professor: Hi, Tom. Tom Smith: Hello. This podcast, we're talking about another automotive museum, one that the good Professor kind of pulled out of his bag of tricks… I don't know. We've almost come to a year of doing the iDriveSoCal podcast and you're still surprising me with some of these little pocket events in museums and whatnot that you find. So, keep that up. Let's see how long you can keep that up until I'm like, "Oh, this one again?" Professor: I'll try. But I think a lot of people are really surprised at how many car museums and automotive events in Southern California. Tom Smith: There's so much. Professor: Yeah. Tom Smith: There's so much. Professor: Because a lot of my friends, they're like, "Wow, I didn't realize there are so many car shows and I didn't realize that there were so many car museums." Tom Smith: Yeah, all you got to do it look and you can keep yourself busy year-round. Professor: Yes. Tom Smith: And hey, partially that's what iDriveSoCal's gonna help. We're gonna be a... Is the right word "repository?" Professor: You could say that. Southwestern Riverside County Tom Smith: Okay. I'm making myself laugh because I'm thinking about other... And whatever. So as we have been, your go-to place. iDriveSoCal.com. Professor: Resource. Tom Smith: Yeah, your resource. Thank you. But not only automotive but also the future of mobility. And a lot of the future of mobility is... Well, we'll see what it's gonna be, but it's an exciting time, right? Professor: Yes. Tom Smith: But for always and all time, there's going to be a large segment of the population that happens to be in love with cars. Cars that are coming out of manufacturers right now, rolling off the assembly lines right now, and for some time to come. For a long time to come, and certainly, the history. Professor: Yes. Tom Smith: And this is the Motte Historical Museum, out in Menifee, California, which I guess that's considered Inland Empire? Professor: I believe that is considered the Inland Empire. It's a little east of the city of Perris, which is spelled P-E-R-R-I-S. Tom Smith: Right. Professor: Not to be confused with what everyone assumes. "It's a little east of the city of Perris... it's off the 215." Tom Smith: Of course, of course. I've buzzed by there and I know that I've buzzed by Perris, as well as Menifee, Combine the open road and exquisite classic cars
with a trip to the Motte Historical Museum in scenic Menifee, CA.

The odds are pretty good that you’ve not heard of the Motte Historical Car Museum in Menifee.  But if you have heard of it, and been there then you’d surely agree it’s well worth the trip.

The city in Southwestern Riverside County plays host to a cozy museum with a collection of very cool classic cars.  And they’re displayed in a building that, while fully restored as well, helps turn back the hands of time just like the vehicles it houses.

Who else but our own Professor, Clinton Quan, made the recent trip and shares the complete report in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.  Click play below and take a look at some of the classic beauties he spotted during his trip.

Open-cockpit antique race car pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast banner 163

***Transcription***

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Menifee’s Hidden Automotive Gem

Clinton “The Professor” Quan: They’re like, “Wow, I didn’t realize there are so many car shows and I didn’t realize that there were so many car museums.”

Tom Smith: This is the Motte Historical Museum, out in Menifee, California

Clinton Quan: There’s definitely cars from the 1920s,

Tom Smith: Made me think Great Gatsby.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: Like, that time period, right?

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility, from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

“Made me think Great Gatsby.”

Professor: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello. This podcast, we’re talking about another automotive museum, one that the good Professor kind of pulled out of his bag of tricks…

I don’t know. We’ve almost come to a year of doing the iDriveSoCal podcast and you’re still surprising me with some of these little pocket events in museums and whatnot that you find.

So, keep that up. Let’s see how long you can keep that up until I’m like, “Oh, this one again?”

Professor: I’ll try. But I think a lot of people are really surprised at how many car museums and automotive events in Southern California.

Tom Smith: There’s so much.

Professor: Yeah.

Tom Smith: There’s so much.

Professor: Because a lot of my friends, they’re like, “Wow, I didn’t realize there are so many car shows and I didn’t realize that there were so many car museums.”

Tom Smith: Yeah, all you got to do it look and you can keep yourself busy year-round.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: And hey, partially that’s what iDriveSoCal’s gonna help. We’re gonna be a… Is the right word “repository?”

Professor: You could say that.

Southwestern Riverside County

Tom Smith: Okay. I’m making myself laugh because I’m thinking about other… And whatever. So as we have been, your go-to place. iDriveSoCal.com.

Professor: Resource.

Tom Smith: Yeah, your resource. Thank you. But not only automotive but also the future of mobility.

And a lot of the future of mobility is… Well, we’ll see what it’s gonna be, but it’s an exciting time, right?

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: But for always and all time, there’s going to be a large segment of the population that happens to be in love with cars.

Cars that are coming out of manufacturers right now, rolling off the assembly lines right now, and for some time to come.

For a long time to come, and certainly, the history.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: And this is the Motte Historical Museum, out in Menifee, California, which I guess that’s considered Inland Empire?

Professor: I believe that is considered the Inland Empire. It’s a little east of the city of Perris, which is spelled P-E-R-R-I-S.

Tom Smith: Right.

Professor: Not to be confused with what everyone assumes.

“It’s a little east of the city of Perris… it’s off the 215.”

Tom Smith: Of course, of course. I’ve buzzed by there and I know that I’ve buzzed by Perris, as well as Menifee, and I don’t know what else comes to mind for Menifee, but I know I’ve been through both.

Professor: Yeah, it’s off the 215.

Tom Smith: Okay. So, the Motte Historical Museum has… First off, the museum itself is really old and cool looking.

Professor: Yeah, it looks like a barn.

Tom Smith: From the pictures that you shared, yeah. And so that’s really neat, and the collection is really neat, too. Do they define their collection? It seems to be ’20s to ’30s, maybe ’40s?

Professor: I think that’s a good description.

Private Car Collection

Tom Smith: But there’s a Thunderbird that had to be from the ’50s that I saw in the pictures.

Professor: Yeah. It’s probably ’50s, ’60s.

Tom Smith: Anyway, it’s a private collection. Apparently, the Motte brothers-

Professor: Yeah, Motte Classic Cars.

Tom Smith: You know what? I’m stealing your thunder. You tell me about it.

Professor: Well, the Motte brothers, they were in the agriculture business.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Professor: They were farmers. And-

Tom Smith: Oranges or something, out here? Or do you know what?

Professor: That I don’t know, but probably oranges. I know that in Riverside, that’s-

Tom Smith: Lot of orange groves out there?

Professor: There’s a lot of orange groves out there.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Professor: Yeah, in fact, I believe it’s a state park that’s dedicated to the citrus fruit.

Tom Smith: Okay. You grew up here. I did not, so I get a pass on that lack of knowledge.

“…there are about 24 vehicles currently on display in the museum.”

Professor: Yes, you do. Yeah, so going back to the museum, I think they started their collection back in the 1950s.

They purchased an old Chevrolet and that was the start of the collection and there are about 24 vehicles currently on display in the museum.

They do have more vehicles that they store elsewhere, and they’ll rotate the cars from time to time.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Professor: It is used as a special events venue, so they do have a number of other special events, including weddings.

It’s a popular wedding venue. If you check out the website, you’ll see some wedding photos, as well. So, if they take the vehicles out and they leave some of them inside, it’s a great place to host a cocktail reception, as well.

Great Gatsby Era Vehicles

Tom Smith: All right. And the cars that they have, again, going back to… Would you say the oldest is… I mean, those hot rods had to be like 1920s?

Professor: Oh, I think there were some cars. There’s definitely cars from the 1920s, I believe.

Tom Smith: Well, the first one that you showed me was a Packard, and that was a beautiful…

Professor: Oh, yeah, a Packard. I believe that was a V12. I would say that car was-

Tom Smith: I think I saw the placard that-

Professor: Right in the center of the museum.

Tom Smith: And rightfully so. I mean, that thing’s gorgeous.

Professor: Yeah, caught my attention right away.

Tom Smith: I think I saw the placard that said it was a 1937.

Professor: Okay, that sounds right.

Tom Smith: But yeah, so the stuff that you’re going to see at the Motte Historical Museum is-

Professor: Mostly American cars.

Tom Smith: Yeah, it immediately made me think Great Gatsby.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: Like, that time period, right?

Professor: Yeah, it could include that time period, as well.

Tom Smith: And a little bit before, a little bit after.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: On both sides. Excuse me.

“…they started their collection back in the 1950s.”

Professor: They also had some hot rods, as well.

Tom Smith: Oh yeah?

Professor: Yeah, remember the photo? Three hot rods.

Tom Smith: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, gotcha. But that had to be ’20s.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: It wasn’t American Graffiti hot rod kind of thing.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay, so it being called the Motte Historical Museum, were there other pieces of history that were on display, or is it really all automotive?

Professor: It is pretty much an all-automotive museum.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Motte Family History

Professor: Now, there is a second floor to the museum. It doesn’t take up the entire space of the museum, and they do talk about the history of the Motte brothers and their influence in the valley, in that area.

Tom Smith: And of course, you focused on absolutely none of that, because you were completely enthralled with the cars, right?

Professor: It’s interesting you use that word “enthralled,” because that came to mind, as well. I was thinking the exact same thing. Yes, that is 100% correct.

Tom Smith: See, if I had gone there, I would look at the cars. I would take pictures. I would read up on them because I have to read all the placards at a museum.

“…they do talk about the history of the Motte brothers and their influence in the valley…”

But then I would definitely go read about the guys behind the museum, as well. But that’s how you and I are a little bit different.

Professor: Yes.

I just went up to one of the staff members there and asked her about the Motte brothers and she just gave me a one-word answer: They were farmers. She just said, “Farmers.”

Like, “Okay, that summarizes.”

Tom Smith: And then she went back to her game on her mobile device that she was playing.

Professor: Either that or reading or doing something.

Tom Smith: Okay, perfect. Now, the venue, as you said, sure, it can be rented, whatever else.

But it’s one of these museums like the Marconi, where it’s open only certain times during the week, throughout the year, yeah?

Professor: Well, they’re open Wednesday to Sunday, so they’re only closed Monday and Tuesday.

Tom Smith: Oh, okay. So you got the weekends all the time?

Professor: Yeah, you got the weekends all the time and then you got Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

The Big Barn Classic Car Show

Tom Smith: Is there a fee to get in?

Professor: It is complimentary. There is no fee.

Tom Smith: Okay. Not even like a donation box, if you wanted to kick in a couple of bucks or something?

Professor: I’m sure there’s a donation box.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Professor: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Everybody’s got a donation box.

Professor: The hours are ten to four.

Tom Smith: All right.

Professor: Ten to four, Wednesday to Sunday.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Professor: And their one big annual event is The Big Barn Classic Car Show, and that takes place the last weekend in April. I believe it’s a Saturday.

Tom Smith: Big Barn Classic Car Show?

Professor: Yeah. That’s their one big annual event.

Tom Smith: All right. What goes on then?

“…their one big annual event is The Big Barn Classic Car Show, and that takes place the last weekend in April.”

Professor: They have a number of classic cars.

Tom Smith: They show cars.

Professor: They have a number of classic cars from, I’m sure, a lot of people who live in Inland Empire and they want to show off their passion for their classic cars.

Tom Smith: All right, there you have it. Now, you’ve been to this museum before.

Professor: Yes, I’ve been there once before.

Tom Smith: Only one time before?

Professor: Only one other time.

Tom Smith: And this was something that you did while you were on a test drive for one of our partners, right?

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay, and that would be our good friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California, Rock Honda.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: Stay tuned or tune back into another podcast for all the content that we create with our partners at Rock Honda but in this case…

It was a vehicle review for the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe, which is a good-looking redesigned vehicle, right?

Annual Open House

Professor: Yeah.

Tom Smith: And we’ll save the rest of that for another, but what else about the Motte Historical Museum in Menifee, California, if you have anything else to share?

Professor: Oh, one other thing. They do have another event that will be coming up in February. It will be their open house.

“They do have another event that will be coming up in February. It will be their open house.”

Tom Smith: Okay.

Professor: Yeah, and that will be from … I believe that’s the ninth if I remember correctly, and it’s from ten to two.

Tom Smith: Okay, is that on a Saturday or Sunday, most likely?

Professor: Oh yes. That would definitely be on a weekend.

Tom Smith: Okay. And auto shows, auto museums, always good family-friendly fun, and this looks like a really neat one, too.

It looks like one that I’ll have to be stopping by because I love… Going to see the historical vehicles at a Petersen Automotive Museum is cool.

Professor: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Because they have some amazing vehicles. But then the environment is state of the art.

Antique Cars & Barn!

Professor: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Whereas, this is something where you go and…

Is the building just made to look old, or is it actually old? Or do you know?

“…they’re open Wednesday to Sunday, so they’re only closed Monday and Tuesday.”

Professor: I believe it is actually old, yes.

Tom Smith: Because it looks like it’s in an old barn that’s been updated, converted, whatever.

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: And it’s just a neat, neat space. So not to plug you guys, but hey, why not? It’s such a neat space. It would be a cool space for an event, such as a wedding or whatnot.

But honestly, didn’t mean to be a commercial for events at the Motte Historical Museum. But a cool spot, nonetheless.

So, Professor, are you good?

Professor: Yes.

Tom Smith: All right. Thank you, as always, good Professor, for your expert analysis, in this case of a Southern California automotive museum, again, the Motte Historical Museum in Menifee, California.

For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. As always, thank you so much for tuning in.

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Combine the open road and exquisite classic cars with a trip to the Motte Historical Museum in scenic Menifee, CA. The odds are pretty good that you've not heard of the Motte Historical Car Museum in Menifee.  But if you have heard of it, Combine the open road and exquisite classic cars<br /> with a trip to the Motte Historical Museum in scenic Menifee, CA.<br /> The odds are pretty good that you've not heard of the Motte Historical Car Museum in Menifee.  But if you have heard of it, and been there then you'd surely agree it's well worth the trip.<br /> <br /> The city in Southwestern Riverside County plays host to a cozy museum with a collection of very cool classic cars.  And they're displayed in a building that, while fully restored as well, helps turn back the hands of time just like the vehicles it houses.<br /> <br /> Who else but our own Professor, Clinton Quan, made the recent trip and shares the complete report in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.  Click play below and take a look at some of the classic beauties he spotted during his trip.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> Menifee's Hidden Automotive Gem<br /> Clinton "The Professor" Quan: They're like, "Wow, I didn't realize there are so many car shows and I didn't realize that there were so many car museums."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: This is the Motte Historical Museum, out in Menifee, California<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: There's definitely cars from the 1920s,<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Made me think Great Gatsby.<br /> <br /> Professor: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Like, that time period, right?<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility, from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.<br /> <br /> "Made me think Great Gatsby."<br /> <br /> Professor: Hi, Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello. This podcast, we're talking about another automotive museum, one that the good Professor kind of pulled out of his bag of tricks…<br /> <br /> I don't know. We've almost come to a year of doing the iDriveSoCal podcast and you're still surprising me with some of these little pocket events in museums and whatnot that you find.<br /> <br /> So, keep that up. Let's see how long you can keep that up until I'm like, "Oh, this one again?"<br /> <br /> Professor: I'll try. But I think a lot of people are really surprised at how many car museums and automotive events in Southern California.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: There's so much.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Professor: Yeah.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: There's so much.<br /> <br /> Professor: Because a lot of my friends, they're like, "Wow, I didn't realize there are so many car shows and I didn't realize that there were so many car museums."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Yeah, all you got to do it look and you can keep yourself busy year-round.<br /> <br /> Professor: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And hey, partially that's what iDriveSoCal's gonna help. We're gonna be a... Is the right word "repository?"<br /> <br /> Professor: You could say that.<br /> Southwestern Riverside County<br /> Tom Smith: Okay. I'm making myself laugh because I'm thinking about other... And whatever. So as we have been, your go-to place. iDriveSoCal.com.<br /> <br /> Professor: Resource.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Yeah, your resource. Thank you. But not only automotive but also the future of mobility.<br /> <br /> And a lot of the future of mobility is... Well, we'll see what it's gonna be, but it's an exciting time, right?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Professor: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: But for always and all time, there's going to be a large segment of the population that happens to be in love with cars.<br /> <br /> Cars that are coming out of manufacturers right now, rolling off the assembly lines right now, and for some time to come.<br /> <br /> For a long time to come, and certainly, the history.<br /> <br /> Professor: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And this is the Motte Historical Museum, out in Menifee, California, Tom Smith clean 13:23
Best of France and Italy https://www.idrivesocal.com/best-of-france-and-italy-car-show/ Fri, 01 Feb 2019 06:42:28 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=8916 Have a thing for rare cars from France & Italy? Then you'll find this one to be a special treat! True Southern California car buffs know The Best of France and Italy Car Show. One indicator of an auto show's prowess is who shows up. And The Best of France and Italy regularly draws celebrity car connoisseur, Mr. Jay Leno. And between Jay's regular attendance and our own Professor, Clinton Quan, you know his one is legit! Click play below to hear the Prof's report on this annual Euro car shindig and scroll through the gorgeous pics below while you enjoy the commentary! ***Transcription*** Recorded in Los Angeles, CA Best of France and Italy Clinton Quan: They've been putting on this show for quite some time, and it's just a gathering of automotive enthusiasts who are really interested, in French automobiles. It's one of the few car shows that has a real interest in these vehicles. You see a lot of Italian cars. But it's rare that you see these many French automobiles at a car show. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton! Clinton Quan: Hi Tom! Tom Smith: Hello my friend! Today's podcast is an auto show review, Best of France and Italy. This is one of those little obscure ones that the Professor mentions to me and I'm like, "Best of who?" And organizers, awesome show! Fantastic show. Professor sings it's praises. You guys could update the website a little bit, just sayin'. It looks like it's been going on for quite a while because they gallery of the website goes back to- Clinton Quan: 2001. Tom Smith: 2001, okay. Clinton Quan: So at least 2001. Tom Smith: And Best of France and Italy, obviously, indicates that it's all French and Italian automobiles. Clinton Quan: Correct, yes, all French and Italian automobiles. Tom Smith: And now, this takes place in the San Fernando Valley where? "...in the center of the San Fernando Valley in Lake Balboa... close to the 101 and 405, near Van Nuys at Woodley Park." Clinton Quan: It's right in... pretty much in the center of the San Fernando Valley in Lake Balboa. So it's close to the 101 and 405, near Van Nuys at Woodley Park on the west... actually, that's the east side of Woodley Park. Tom Smith: Okay, so it's an outdoor venue. Clinton Quan: It's an outdoor venue. Tom Smith: Through and through. In the San Fernando Valley Clinton Quan: Yes. It's very close to The Japanese Garden, for those of you who are familiar with the Japanese garden there. It's actually considered probably one of the best Japanese gardens in all of Southern California. Tom Smith: Really? Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: Well, my wife being half-Japanese, I've never heard of it, I've never been there. Clinton Quan: Oh, you should definitely check it out. Tom Smith: Yeah, go check out the Japanese garden and at the same time, check out the Best of France and Italy. Clinton Quan: Yeah, you can schedule that for next year, and it's always the first Sunday in November. Tom Smith: Now, this one... you mentioned this one is... usually has some celebs at it, including Leno, right? Clinton Quan: Jay Leno usually stops by. "...right there you have your street credibility...  in addition to the Professor, Leno usually makes an appearance at this one, too." Tom Smith: So, I mean, right there you have your street credibility. Not only a Professor, of course, hey that's all the street cred you need. But in addition to the Professor, Leno usually makes an appearance at this one, too. Clinton Quan: Yeah, I believe it was two years ago he brought his Lamborghini Mira, and my son actually sat in his Lamborghini and took a photo. Tom Smith: Well, that's cool! Clinton Quan: Yeah, very very cool. It's one of the classic Lamborghini's of all time. Have a thing for rare cars from France & Italy?
Then you’ll find this one to be a special treat!

True Southern California car buffs know The Best of France and Italy Car Show.

One indicator of an auto show’s prowess is who shows up. And The Best of France and Italy regularly draws celebrity car connoisseur, Mr. Jay Leno.

And between Jay’s regular attendance and our own Professor, Clinton Quan, you know his one is legit!

Click play below to hear the Prof’s report on this annual Euro car shindig and scroll through the gorgeous pics below while you enjoy the commentary!

Strange yellow station wagon pictured with trophy @ The Best of France and Italy Car Show as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast banner 162

***Transcription***

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Best of France and Italy

Clinton Quan: They’ve been putting on this show for quite some time, and it’s just a gathering of automotive enthusiasts who are really interested, in French automobiles.

It’s one of the few car shows that has a real interest in these vehicles. You see a lot of Italian cars. But it’s rare that you see these many French automobiles at a car show.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton!

Clinton Quan: Hi Tom!

Tom Smith: Hello my friend! Today’s podcast is an auto show review, Best of France and Italy. This is one of those little obscure ones that the Professor mentions to me and I’m like, “Best of who?” And organizers, awesome show! Fantastic show. Professor sings it’s praises.

You guys could update the website a little bit, just sayin’. It looks like it’s been going on for quite a while because they gallery of the website goes back to-

Clinton Quan: 2001.

Tom Smith: 2001, okay.

Clinton Quan: So at least 2001.

Tom Smith: And Best of France and Italy, obviously, indicates that it’s all French and Italian automobiles.

Clinton Quan: Correct, yes, all French and Italian automobiles.

Tom Smith: And now, this takes place in the San Fernando Valley where?

“…in the center of the San Fernando Valley in Lake Balboa… close to the 101 and 405, near Van Nuys at Woodley Park.”

Clinton Quan: It’s right in… pretty much in the center of the San Fernando Valley in Lake Balboa. So it’s close to the 101 and 405, near Van Nuys at Woodley Park on the west… actually, that’s the east side of Woodley Park.

Tom Smith: Okay, so it’s an outdoor venue.

Clinton Quan: It’s an outdoor venue.

Tom Smith: Through and through.

In the San Fernando Valley

Clinton Quan: Yes. It’s very close to The Japanese Garden, for those of you who are familiar with the Japanese garden there. It’s actually considered probably one of the best Japanese gardens in all of Southern California.

Tom Smith: Really?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Well, my wife being half-Japanese, I’ve never heard of it, I’ve never been there.

Clinton Quan: Oh, you should definitely check it out.

Tom Smith: Yeah, go check out the Japanese garden and at the same time, check out the Best of France and Italy.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, you can schedule that for next year, and it’s always the first Sunday in November.

Tom Smith: Now, this one… you mentioned this one is… usually has some celebs at it, including Leno, right?

Clinton Quan: Jay Leno usually stops by.

“…right there you have your street credibility…  in addition to the Professor, Leno usually makes an appearance at this one, too.”

Tom Smith: So, I mean, right there you have your street credibility. Not only a Professor, of course, hey that’s all the street cred you need. But in addition to the Professor, Leno usually makes an appearance at this one, too.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I believe it was two years ago he brought his Lamborghini Mira, and my son actually sat in his Lamborghini and took a photo.

Tom Smith: Well, that’s cool!

Clinton Quan: Yeah, very very cool. It’s one of the classic Lamborghini’s of all time.

Tom Smith: And so, the Best of France and Italy, now… obviously, when we think Italy, we think Ferrari.

Clinton Quan: Yes. Ferrari.

Tom Smith: Now Alfa is back in the mix.

Clinton Quan: Alfa Romeo.

Tom Smith: But all the pics of the Alfa’s that you showed me, or all the pictures that you showed me, I think I only spotted a few Alfa’s, and none of them were new ones, right? They’re all… these are all classics.

Italian Cars in the United States

Clinton Quan: There were actually brand new Alfa Romeos there.

Tom Smith: Oh really?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, they had the 4C, and they also had the Julia. I just didn’t take photos of those.

Tom Smith: Gotcha, okay. Were there any new Maserati’s there?

Clinton Quan: There were… I didn’t see any new Maserati’s.

Tom Smith: So, okay. I’m kinda directing traffic on this one instead of just letting you explain it to me.

But let’s real quick go through, Italian cars and French cars that are new, in production right here in the United States now. Nothing French, right?

Clinton Quan: Oh, you’re talking about new French automobiles? There are no new French automobiles.

Tom Smith: In the United States right now.

“…in production right here in the United States now. Nothing French…”

Clinton Quan: Correct, yes.

Tom Smith: But Italian, we have obviously Ferrari.

Clinton Quan: Ferrari.

Tom Smith: Lambo.

Clinton Quan: Lamborghini.

Tom Smith: Alfa.

Clinton Quan: Alfa Romeo.

Tom Smith: Mas.

Clinton Quan: Maserati.

Clinton Quan: Fiat.

Tom Smith: Fiat. Is that it?

Clinton Quan: I think we’ve covered everything. I’m trying to think of there’s anything we missed.

Tom Smith: Both of us are looking at each other like “Uhhh…” I think that’s it.

Clinton Quan: I believe that’s it.

Tom Smith: Now, were all of those represented at this particular auto show?

Clinton Quan: Yes, all of those makes were represented at this auto show. But the majority of the Italian vehicles, I would say, were Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

Tom Smith: Okay. And then French, we have the Citron.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Is the primary French. What are the other French cars?

Clinton Quan: Renault.

Tom Smith: Renault, of course.

Clinton Quan: And Peugeot.

Tom Smith: And Peugeot, okay.

French Cars in the United States

Clinton Quan: Yeah, those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.

Tom Smith: And both have had their runs as new production vehicles here in the United States.

Clinton Quan: I know Renault and Peugeot, I don’t recall when Citron was last-

Tom Smith: No, I don’t think Citron ever was. It was Renault and Peugeot.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay. Just trying to wrap my head around the past and current.

Clinton Quan: Oh actually…

Tom Smith: Go ahead.

Clinton Quan: Bugatti.

Tom Smith: Bugatti! Oh, how could we miss that one?

“…how can we miss the ultra-exclusive automaker, Bugatti?”

Clinton Quan: Yeah, how can we miss the ultra-exclusive automaker, Bugatti?

Tom Smith: Right. You know Bugatti, and it’s funny, my folks were just in town to help babysit our son during this past weekend which was our First Annual Symposium for Hope for Stomach Cancer the stomach cancer patient advocacy non-profit that my wife and I put together.

Followed up by the 5k’s of Hope run-walk. If you didn’t make it out, please do make it out for future events. The Race Against Stomach Cancer, I think we’re gonna have it every year in November.

Tom Smith: But at any rate, I’m totally digressing. I apologize.

My folks were just out, and I was talking with my step-dad. He was saying “Boy, you know you really…” because they’re from suburbs of Chicago.

And now they live in the deep north woods of Wisconsin, where you hardly see any import vehicles, much less a lot of Benz’s and BMW’s.

He was commenting on how you just see those all the time. He’s like oh yeah, they’re always out here.

Head-Turning Cars in SoCal

But when you just mentioned Bugatti, for some reason it made me think that’s the one… So you mentioned Bugatti, and I was thinking about the conversation that I had with my step-father whereas that’s the one vehicle…

Or one of the few vehicles that even we here in Southern California kind of crank our heads around going “Whoa, hey, did you see that one?”

You see a lot of Ferrari’s, you see a lot of Lamborghini’s. Even a McLaren from time to time. But you see a Bugatti on the road, that’s a pretty memorable experience. I don’t think I’ve seen many.

Clinton Quan: That’s an extremely… that’s on a whole other price level, so that’s why it makes it so incredibly memorable and special.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: You’re talking about a car that easily exceeds one million dollars, so that’s in a whole other-

“You’re talking about a car [Bugatti] that easily exceeds one million dollars…”

Tom Smith: Entry level.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Do they even make-

Clinton Quan: There’s only one model.

Tom Smith: One model of Bugatti that’s out now?

Clinton Quan: Right now, yes.

Tom Smith: Okay. All right, well totally digress.

So it’s the Best of France and Italy, and hey, we’re talking about France and Italy. And the Midwest. And Hope for Stomach Cancer. But I gotta plug that thing, you know!

Clinton Quan: Somehow you’re able to link everything together.

Tom Smith: I try. I try. Thank you, thank you, Professor.

So this show’s been going on for a while, and per their website and the gallery, since 2001.

So quite a number of years, and it’s one of those underground shows that the good Professor, with his finger on the pulse of everything happening in the automotive world here in Southern California, knows about.

Casual Non-Judged Show

And, shared with us. It was posted on the iDriveSoCal Events page.

Tell us about the show. You’ve been going for a number of years, right?

Clinton Quan: Oh, I’ve been going for a number of years. I live in the Valley so I’m very close. I feel like, if there’s one show I gotta go to, this is it, because it’s so close to where I live.

This is a non-judged show, so it’s not like a concours. Very casual show, people roll in at different times of the day. Some people get there really early, before 9:00.

Tom Smith: It’s just a one-day thing?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Saturday or Sunday?

“This is a non-judged show, so it’s not like a concours. Very casual show, people roll in at different times…”

Clinton Quan: It’s Sunday. It’s always the first Sunday in November, and it officially starts at 9:00, and the official time it ends is 4:00, but usually it’s over well before 4:00. Probably 2:30-3:00.

Tom Smith: And this is a free show?

Clinton Quan: It is a free show.

Tom Smith: Come and go as you wish.

Clinton Quan: It’s a family-friendly show. It’s a pet-friendly show as well.

Tom Smith: Perfect.

Clinton Quan: So a lot of the owners, they’ll bring in their cars, as I mentioned, much earlier than when the show starts, and some people, they bring it in much later, 10:30 or 11:00.

Tom Smith: And as far as some of the pics that we’re gonna post, there’s one that is a really goofy looking, kind of classic space-age station wagon taxi. Had a yellow submarine theme.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

“…there’s one that is a really goofy looking, kind of classic space-age station wagon taxi. Had a yellow submarine theme.”

Tom Smith: That was one of the French ones, a Citron, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: And then the… couple of new Ferrari’s, which were wow.

Clinton Quan: Ferrari 488, yeah. That’s one of the current Ferrari’s.

Personal Collections on Display

Tom Smith: Gorgeous. Were those-

Clinton Quan: 660 horsepower.

Tom Smith: Was that someone’s personal ride, or did a manufacturer bring that out, or did a dealer bring that out?

Clinton Quan: That is someone’s personal ride. Almost all the cars are personally owned. I think it’s rare that you’ll see a manufacturer’s vehicle at a show like this.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: What do you know about the show, how this one got together? I mean, obviously, these are hardcore…

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I don’t know if there’s a single person that organizes this event, or if there’s a committee for the Best of France and Italy.

But yeah, they’ve been putting on this show for quite some time, and it’s just a gathering of automotive enthusiasts.

Tom Smith: And it goes-

“…they’ve been putting on this show for quite some time, and it’s just a gathering of automotive enthusiasts.”

Clinton Quan: Who are really… who are really interested, obviously, in French automobiles. It’s one of the few car shows that has real interest in these vehicles.

Tom Smith: Meaning Italy and France?

Clinton Quan: I mean, specifically French automobiles.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: You see a lot of Italian cars, obviously, in concours and the Art Center Car Classic, which is covered. But it’s rare that you see these many French automobiles at a car show.

Tom Smith: Now being at a park, are there any vendors that come out there as far as coffee or lunch or whatever? Is it kind of like bring a picnic?

Clinton Quan: Oh, yeah! There’s actually, usually, they have two… I think two or three food trucks, there’s a coffee shop vendor.

“…it’s rare that you see these many French automobiles at a car show.”

Tom Smith: Okay! So it’s somewhat organized.

Clinton Quan: And there’s also… there’s a number of individuals that bring out parts for French and Italian automobiles.

Swap Meet Element

Tom Smith: Oh, really? Vendors selling parts for… wow. Okay.

Clinton Quan: So, it’s sort of like… almost like a swap meet that they put on.

Tom Smith: Interesting.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Especially when you consider the level of vehicle, because that’s… I mean, some of those cars are museum-worthy. At least their rarity if not their condition, I don’t know.

Clinton Quan: Correct, yeah. I would say the rarity. So this is a great place to go find some parts for your vehicle, where you normally wouldn’t be able to find.

Tom Smith: Now is this the type of show where we’re gonna be able to see vehicles from Peterson or Mullen or any of the museums, or not likely? More just personal rides?

Clinton Quan: It’s possible to see cars from a museum. I think I may have seen some vehicles from some of the museums in prior years.

“…this is a great place to go find some parts for your vehicle, where you normally wouldn’t be able to find.”

Tom Smith: All right.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. There’s a really wide and vast collection of automobiles. A lot to see.

Tom Smith: At this particular show.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Because I was gonna say, overall yeah, obviously. That’s why we do a lot of podcasts.

Clinton Quan: Yes, specifically for this show. This park is … it’s pretty spacious, and they … the cars are really, really spread out.

Tom Smith: How many cars are typically… so, and I didn’t see any stanchions, either. So people just pull up on the grass and it’s kind of like, as you mentioned, spread out, find a spot?

Clinton Quan: When you drive in, there are volunteers that will designate where to park your vehicle.

Tom Smith: Where your spot is.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, they have a section for Ferrari’s, they have a section for Lamborghini’s.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Automotive Brand Separation 

Clinton Quan: The French automobiles, those are all separated as well. They have categories.

Tom Smith: How many vehicles do you usually see at this show?

Clinton Quan: That’s a good question. I would think, at least a couple hundred. 300 or so?

Tom Smith: Really?

“…the fact that they’re just in the parking lot, no stanchions, that kind of casual environment…”

Clinton Quan: Oh yeah, there’s a …

Tom Smith: Wow!

Clinton Quan: There’s quite a few cars at this show, yes.

Tom Smith: So, I mean, you figure two, three hundred cars, each car usually brings a multiple of two, three people, right? Five, six people maybe?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean, are we talking about those kinds of numbers attending the show?

Clinton Quan: I have no idea what the attendance is. Yeah, I don’t have any numbers on that.

Tom Smith: Okay, I’ll let you off the hook on that, Professor.

Clinton Quan: But there’s definitely … there’s quite a collection of automobiles at the show.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: So what else about the Best of France and Italy out there in the San Fernando Valley? I gotta get to this show.

The pics are really… they’re good-looking cars and the fact that they’re just in the parking lot, no stanchions, that kind of casual environment, that excites me.

“Even if you’re not into French cars, but you love Italian cars like Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s…”

Clinton Quan: It’s actually on the… in the park, not in the parking lot.

Tom Smith: Yeah, that’s what I meant. Sorry.

Clinton Quan: Yes. I know what you mean.

Tom Smith: Thank you, appreciate that.

Clinton Quan: Well, I would say if you wanna see some really unique and interesting French automobiles, this is certainly the car show to go to.

French and Italian Cars for Sale

Even if you’re not into French cars, but you love Italian cars like Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s, Fiats, Alfa Romeos, some of the classics, the ones you normally don’t get to see at… such as a concours.

Then this is the show where you’ll be able to see those vehicles.

“…if you’re looking to maybe get an older Alfa Romeo and maybe get a good deal…”

Tom Smith: It’s on the Professor’s list, so you know it’s worthy of checking out.

Clinton Quan: And if you’re looking to maybe get an older Alfa Romeo and maybe get a good deal …

Tom Smith: Was there a lot of good sales going on there, too?

Clinton Quan: They are from .. I wouldn’t say a lot, but there are cars that are for sale.

Tom Smith: All right.

Clinton Quan: So, you might be able to find something really special that you wouldn’t see at another show as well.

Tom Smith: All right, fantastic. Anything else before we wrap?

Clinton Quan: I think that’s it!

Tom Smith: Professor Quan on the Best of France and Italy, 2018 style. Thank you as always.

If there’s anybody out there that is interested in this genre, that also knows how to build a website, I think you knock on the door of these organizers because the show is much much much bigger and better than what’s represented. All due respect, guys, but than what’s represented online.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

“…I may have seen some vehicles from some of the museums in prior years.”

Tom Smith: The website could use some updating. This show is a really really cool one. So with that being said, again all due respect.

Way to put on a great show, guys. If there’s anybody out there that’s interested in helping… sounds like a volunteer gig.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: But you know, a passion project nonetheless. Without further ado. Professor, thank you again. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. Thank you, as always, for tuning in.

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Have a thing for rare cars from France & Italy? Then you'll find this one to be a special treat! True Southern California car buffs know The Best of France and Italy Car Show. - One indicator of an auto show's prowess is who shows up. Have a thing for rare cars from France & Italy?<br /> Then you'll find this one to be a special treat!<br /> True Southern California car buffs know The Best of France and Italy Car Show.<br /> <br /> One indicator of an auto show's prowess is who shows up. And The Best of France and Italy regularly draws celebrity car connoisseur, Mr. Jay Leno.<br /> <br /> And between Jay's regular attendance and our own Professor, Clinton Quan, you know his one is legit!<br /> <br /> Click play below to hear the Prof's report on this annual Euro car shindig and scroll through the gorgeous pics below while you enjoy the commentary!<br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> Best of France and Italy<br /> Clinton Quan: They've been putting on this show for quite some time, and it's just a gathering of automotive enthusiasts who are really interested, in French automobiles.<br /> <br /> It's one of the few car shows that has a real interest in these vehicles. You see a lot of Italian cars. But it's rare that you see these many French automobiles at a car show.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton!<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi Tom!<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello my friend! Today's podcast is an auto show review, Best of France and Italy. This is one of those little obscure ones that the Professor mentions to me and I'm like, "Best of who?" And organizers, awesome show! Fantastic show. Professor sings it's praises.<br /> <br /> You guys could update the website a little bit, just sayin'. It looks like it's been going on for quite a while because they gallery of the website goes back to-<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: 2001.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: 2001, okay.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: So at least 2001.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And Best of France and Italy, obviously, indicates that it's all French and Italian automobiles.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Correct, yes, all French and Italian automobiles.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And now, this takes place in the San Fernando Valley where?<br /> <br /> "...in the center of the San Fernando Valley in Lake Balboa... close to the 101 and 405, near Van Nuys at Woodley Park."<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: It's right in... pretty much in the center of the San Fernando Valley in Lake Balboa. So it's close to the 101 and 405, near Van Nuys at Woodley Park on the west... actually, that's the east side of Woodley Park.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay, so it's an outdoor venue.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: It's an outdoor venue.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Through and through.<br /> In the San Fernando Valley<br /> Clinton Quan: Yes. It's very close to The Japanese Garden, for those of you who are familiar with the Japanese garden there. It's actually considered probably one of the best Japanese gardens in all of Southern California.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Really?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Well, my wife being half-Japanese, I've never heard of it, I've never been there.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Oh, you should definitely check it out.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Yeah, go check out the Japanese garden and at the same time, check out the Best of France and Italy.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yeah, you can schedule that for next year, and it's always the first Sunday in November.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Now, this one... you mentioned this one is... usually has some celebs at it, including Leno, right?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Jay Leno usually stops by.<br /> <br /> "...right there you have your street credibility...  in addition to the Professor, Leno usually makes an appearance at this one, too."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: So, I mean, Tom Smith clean 17:21
Lease vs. Buy – We asked a Volkswagen Expert https://www.idrivesocal.com/lease-or-buy-volkswagen/ Wed, 23 Jan 2019 13:30:40 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=8877 You've always acquired your new cars 'your' way but the question may have gnawed at you, do I lease vs. buy? The answer is truly different for everyone.In this iDriveSoCal Podcast Shant Bashian, from our VW partner, Ontario Volkswagen, weighs in with his expert advice. And the factors you may [...] You’ve always acquired your new cars ‘your’ way but the question may have gnawed at you, do I lease vs. buy? The answer is truly different for everyone.

In this iDriveSoCal Podcast Shant Bashian, from our VW partner, Ontario Volkswagen, weighs in with his expert advice. And the factors you may want to consider when making your decision to buy or lease your next new car.

And it just so happens that Ontario VW has some great options, through Volkswagen Credit, that helps sweeten your lease options…  and your buying options too!  Oh, the decision!

No worries, Shant’s happy to answer your specific questions too.  His direct line is 909-909-230-5611 and his email is SBashian [at] OntarioVW [dot] com.

Lease vs. Buy Expert Advice Volkswagen pictured as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast 161 banner

***Transcription***

Recorded @ Ontario Volkswagen in Ontario, CA

Should You Lease or Buy?

Shant Bashian: The first question’s gonna be, “What are you gonna do with the car? How many miles are you gonna put on it, and then where do you see yourself three years from?”

Then we’ll determine if you should lease or buy, and then we’ll outline both the lease and the purchase. You could see the monthly payments on both scenarios and then you decide which one is more fit for you.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am excited to be at Ontario Volkswagen with my good pal, Shant Bashian, the general sales manager of Ontario Volkswagen.

“What are you gonna do with the car? How many miles are you gonna put on it, and then where do you see yourself three years from?”

The topic du jour today is one that’s on a lot of people’s mind when they go to buy a new car and that is just simply, “Do I buy or do I lease?” I’ve formed some personal opinions on it myself, but we are going to hear from the man here at Ontario Volkswagen.

Mr. Bashian, thank you so much for joining me yet again.

Shant Bashian: Thanks for having me Tom, and that question comes up all the time.

I find that most people know whether they want to buy or lease because they understand it now. There’s a lot of information out there.

For us, we have a different perspective regarding buying versus lease. We’re in the business and we like to get the upgraded product rather quickly, but it really comes down to this.

What are you planning on doing with the vehicle? What’s the purpose of the car? How many miles are you gonna drive it?

And, are you the type of person that likes to have something new rather quickly? Do you get bored of your vehicle?

Warranty Consideration

You have to look into that. Buying a car, it’s more of a long-term commitment, really.

So, most people right now will purchase a vehicle and finance it for 60 to 72 months. Most vehicles will come with three year or four-year warranties backed by the manufacturer.

When it comes to Volkswagens, we have a six-year, 72,000-mile warranty right now-

Tom Smith: Yeah, big one.

“When it comes to Volkswagens, we have a six-year, 72,000-mile warranty…”

Shant Bashian: …that covers bumper to bumper and the powertrain.

So, when it comes to purchasing a Volkswagen throughout your monthly payment term, you are covered.

If anything should go wrong, you have nothing to worry about. There’s no additional expense to look into, but again, that’s if you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time.

Now, if you’re the type of person who likes to get something new every few years, that’s when lease comes into play. Also, some leases may be tax deductible from your income, and I advise you to check with your accountant on that.

Tom Smith: Depends on what you do, right?

Shant Bashian: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Tom Smith: I’ve had some buddies that have been in the sales world and they’re able to write off their entire lease payment.

Shant Bashian: You can write off the miles. I know that. I don’t know if you could write off the entire lease payment. Again, you gotta check with your accountant.

Tom Smith: Yeah, case by case.

Shant Bashian: It’s case by case, but again, so here you have, let’s say, typically a three-year lease.

You make those minimum monthly payments for three years. The monthly payment will be less than a purchase in most cases.

End of Term Options

Most cases, you’re looking at $65, $70, $80 less than a purchase, and after three years, there’s no headache. There’s no, “Oh, I gotta sell my car. Oh, I gotta trade my car in.” You walk into the dealership and you have options.

You can buy out your lease at the residual value which is set the day you sign that contract, so if you have a $21,000 car, you get into a lease of, let’s say, $200 a month and at the end, your residual value on that vehicle is $12,000, after three years your payments are done.

You can walk in, you can turn the vehicle in and get something else. And you don’t have to worry about trying to sell it, trying to trade it, or you could buy that vehicle at the residual value of $12,000 plus tax, and then you own it.

You can finance that dollar amount, you can pay cash for it, you can sell it to someone else, you can trade it into another dealership. There’s so many options at the end of a lease.

Tom Smith: The residual is what my car’s gonna be worth at the end of this lease?

Shant Bashian: That’s correct, so your residual is based on the amount of mileage you’re planning on putting on the car.

There’s so many options at the end of a lease.”

So, if you go into a 30,000-mile lease, obviously, that’s gonna differ than a 36,000-mile lease or a 45,000-mile lease.

That’s what the lender… They say, “Okay, 45,000 miles, three years from now, this vehicle will be worth X dollar amount.” That’s your residual value.

Tom Smith: Going back a little bit further, you had mentioned, in most cases, the lease will be less, and you just touched on miles.

Mileage is a Big Factor

I’m assuming depending on how many miles you’re buying on that lease is going to be that, in most cases, situation. Is that correct?

Shant Bashian: That’s correct. Yeah, sometimes we’ll get a phone call and the gentleman or lady will state, “I need a lease and I want to get 25,000 miles per year.”

At this point, I’m like, “Okay, let me explain something. I’ll give you the numbers no problem, but you might as well buy the car,” because if you’re gonna pay a 25,000 mile per year lease, it’s the same thing as a purchase or close or maybe even more. You see?

Tom Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

“…a 30,000 mile lease, obviously, that’s gonna differ than a 36,000 mile lease or a 45,000 mile lease.”

Shant Bashian: After three years, you’re planning on having 75,000 miles on that car? You’re real close to 100,000. You might as well buy the car.

Tom Smith: That’s a lot of miles?

Shant Bashian: Yeah, some people put that mileage, and those people I advise you buy the car. You don’t lease that car.

Tom Smith: That’s because?

Shant Bashian: That’s because you’re planning on driving it to the ground.

Tom Smith: Okay, and because you’re putting so many miles on it, the value at the end of that lease term or at the end of the purchase term doesn’t matter because you put a ton of miles on it in a short amount of time.

Shant Bashian:  That is correct, so the residual value will suffer. That’s more kind of simplified, you can say. Some people say, “Oh, when I’m leasing the car, I don’t own the vehicle versus if I’m buying the car, I own the vehicle.”

Let me explain something. If you’re financing this car, you don’t own the car.

Excess Wear Waiver

Tom Smith: Yeah, the bank does.

Shant Bashian: The bank owns the car, and if you’re leasing the car, the bank owns the car.

The only difference is this; after a three year or a four-year lease term, you have options on what you can do with that car.

Because, if you’re tired of it and you want to walk away, you’re free to do so versus purchase, you are not liable.

“You scrape the bumpers, you have dings, dents, scratches, torn seats, cracked windshield. This is excessive wear and tear.”

You are tied into that contract until the end of the term, so after three years, if you’re tired of that vehicle… Or if your family grew… You have two kids now and you got a midsize sedan and that double stroller doesn’t fit anymore…

Now, trying to get out of that vehicle because you purchased it is gonna be a little bit tougher, so that’s why you gotta decide where am I gonna be three years from now realistically?

That’s how you gotta look at it.

Tom Smith: Where do people get in trouble when they lease a car and then turn around, “Oh, my God,” get a big surprise bill at the end of it?

Shant Bashian: Two different things. Excessive wear and tear will be if your wheels have been curbed, so you try to park the vehicle, you hit that curb. You scrape the bumpers, you have dings, dents, scratches, torn seats, cracked windshield. This is excessive wear and tear.

The lender will come in and inspect the vehicle and they’ll charge you for those, so most of the time, cars come back in fairly good shape.

I’ve seen some rough cars come back in, but they had excess wear waiver. Excess wear waiver with Volkswagen Credit will waive up to $10,000 in excessive wear and tear. That’s including-

Tom Smith: 10,000?

Vehicle Return Condition

Shant Bashian: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Wow.

Shant Bashian: The only thing you need to understand about excess wear and tear, it covers excessive wear and tear.

That doesn’t mean you can return the car with a door missing or a bumper hanging off, because that’s not excessive wear and tear. That’s collision or you know …

Tom Smith: Sometimes, you need to spell out common sense, right?

“…with Volkswagen Credit will waive up to $10,000 in excessive wear and tear.”

Shant Bashian: Yeah, and I say that these days.

I didn’t say these things earlier in my career because I didn’t foresee it. I wasn’t expecting for people to think, “Oh, I can bring the car with front and rear bumpers missing.” It doesn’t work that way.

That’s not excessive wear and tear. That bumper’s missing. That’s a problem.

The other scenario I ran into, we tell people… They ask, “What if I go over my miles?”

Tom Smith: That’s where I wanted to get to.

And, I figured you’d have something else to point out that I didn’t think of, and that was the excess wear and tear… But, what I was going towards is the miles, because a lot of people that I talk to are like, “Oh, I leased once. It didn’t work out. I had this huge number that I had to pay at the end of the lease.”

It’s like, “Well, wait a minute. Why was that?” It’s like, “Well, I wanted to get my payment as low as possible, so I figured I’d only drive 5,000 miles a year.”

Shant Bashian: That’s impossible.

Tom Smith: It’s like, well, no, you gotta be realistic.

For me, personally, I like leasing for getting something new all the time.  Also, what I recommend to people when they ask me is, hey, buy more miles than you think you’re gonna need.

VW Lease Mileage Flexibility

Because they’re typically way cheaper when you commit to them upfront as opposed to have to go over and then pay for them on the back end.

In the case of Volkswagen, what is that? Is there a standard number that, hey, this is how much it’s gonna cost me when I’m committing to the lease? You already said it’s 20 cents a mile on the back end.

“…once a year, you can call VW credit, and you can buy more miles throughout your lease.”

Shant Bashian: Typically, upfront mileage is 12 cents,

Tom Smith: Big difference there.

Shant Bashian: Right now, actually, once a year, you can call VW credit, and you can buy more miles throughout your lease.

So, I leased an Atlas. I have a 12,000-mile lease. It’s a three-year term, and right now, we’re averaging about 14,000 miles already.

I’ve been in the vehicle for almost two years, so all I do is pick up the phone, call VW credit, and say, “I need to buy another 3,000, or another 4,000 or another 5,000 miles.”

And they’ll calculate that mileage. I believe it was at 15 cents and then they’ll just put that into my payments.

“…all I do is pick up the phone, call VW credit, and say, “I need to buy another 3,000, or another 4,000 or another 5,000 miles.”

Tom Smith: Not all manufacturers do that. As far as being able to adjust your mileage midstream in the least, I know that not everybody does that, so that’s a great thing that Volkswagen offers, and you can do that once a year for each year of the lease or-

Shant Bashian: Yes, you can.

Tom Smith: That’s a great thing.

Shant Bashian: Volkswagen Credit leases are simple. You can return the car anywhere in the country at any Volkswagen dealer.

Tom Smith: Got it. Okay, well, a lot of great information and it sounds like your perspective, case by case basis, the factors you laid out earlier, is there anything else?

Weigh Both Your Options

Hey, I’m a new customer, Shant. Just rolled up to Ontario Volkswagen. I’m really torn between buying and leasing.

Any other suggestions or points that you want to make for me as someone considering going either way?

“How man miles are you gonna put on it, and then where do you see yourself three years from now?”

Shant Bashian: The first question’s gonna be, “What are you gonna do with the car? How many miles are you gonna put on it, and then where do you see yourself three years from now?”

Then we’ll determine if you should lease or buy, and then we’ll outline both the lease and the purchase. You could see the monthly payments on both scenarios and then you decide which one is more fit for you.

Tom Smith: All right. Well, all good information.

Thank you so much, always, Mr. Shant Bashian here at Ontario Volkswagen. You guys are a wealth of information for the iDriveSoCal listeners and surfers if you’re coming across iDriveSoCal.com.

Thank you as always for iDrive… Oh, you know what? I think in the last podcast, we dropped your contact information. Do you want to do that here?

“My direct line will be 909-230-5611… That’ll ring directly to my office. Email is SBashian [@] OntarioVW [dot] com.”

Shant Bashian: My direct line will be 909-230-5611, 909-230-5611. That’ll ring directly to my office. Email is sbashian@ontariovw.com.

Tom Smith: Additional questions for whether or not you should buy or lease, reach out to Mr. Bashian, and again, thank you so much.

Shant Bashian: Thank you for having me.

Tom Smith: Most appreciated. For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you as always for tuning in.

]]>
You've always acquired your new cars 'your' way but the question may have gnawed at you, do I lease vs. buy? The answer is truly different for everyone.In this iDriveSoCal Podcast Shant Bashian, from our VW partner, Ontario Volkswagen, You've always acquired your new cars 'your' way but the question may have gnawed at you, do I lease vs. buy? The answer is truly different for everyone.In this iDriveSoCal Podcast Shant Bashian, from our VW partner, Ontario Volkswagen, weighs in with his expert advice. And the factors you may [...] Tom Smith clean 11:30
Local Car Fest – Annual SoCal Auto Show https://www.idrivesocal.com/local-car-fest/ Tue, 22 Jan 2019 23:53:03 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=8854 The Local Car Fest Auto Show is one of those hidden gems of automotive treasure that Southern California hosts throughout the year. So much so that our resident expert Professor, Clinton Quan, just heard of it himself. Upon checking out the Local Car Fest Professor Quan gave it two thumbs up and deemed it worth of iDriveSoCal coverage. Click play below to listen while you scroll through the pics of all the polished power with aftermarket accents from one local Southern California business. ***Transcription*** Recorded in Los Angeles, CA Local Car Fest  Clinton Quan: These RX-7s, they were just in excellent condition. There was quite a good number of Skylines and that's one of my favorites. Both Chargers and Challengers, there's a number of European cars as well, Audis...  There were about 30 or so different awards for various vehicles and classes. Tom Smith: Welcome to the iDriveSoCal. The podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton. Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom. Tom Smith: Hello, my friend. This podcast is about an auto show. Surprise, surprise. Tom and Clinton talking about an auto show in southern California. It's one that we haven't covered in the past and actually was news to me that we were going to be covering it. I don't think, Professor, correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think we actually posted this one on the iDriveSoCal.com… Clinton Quan: That is correct. We did not post it. It was something that I just planned a spur at the moment. "...everything danced up. Everything had some kind of aftermarket stuff going on." Tom Smith: Okay. Next year you will be able to go to this based on the events page, based on the newsletter for your newsletter recipient. I was looking for a word there. Sign up for the iDriveSoCal newsletter. Just go to iDriveSoCal.com and give us your old email address. We'll be happy to keep you apprised of all the automotive happenings and mobility happenings throughout southern California. But this podcast, the Professor and I are sinking up to discuss an automotive show that goes on ... How many years in a row has it been going on? Clinton Quan: That's a good question. I don't know how many years it's been going on, but I know it's once a year. SoCal Company's Annual Auto Show Tom Smith: Professor, we didn't post it on the site ahead of time, you don't know how many years it's been going on- Clinton Quan: There's not a whole lot of… Tom Smith: Are we really talking about an auto show tonight- Clinton Quan: Yes, we are. Tom Smith: ...or are we just making something out? Clinton Quan: We really are talking about an auto show. Tom Smith: Okay. The auto show took place in Riverside County, in Corona specifically, and the name of it is the Local Car Fest. Now, the Professor is... Excuse me. The Professor is going to tell us all about it, but it actually took place at the sponsor's kind of location, right, and this is ... What's the name of the company? Clinton Quan: Eibach. Tom Smith: Eibach. And Eibach makes- Clinton Quan: Performance parts, shocks, springs, sway bars- Tom Smith: Okay. "...we'll get the Professor out with you for some off-road extravaganza and we'll do a podcast about it." Clinton Quan: Yeah. Tom Smith: So, suspension-related performance parts? Clinton Quan: Yes, correct. Tom Smith: For both off-road as well as on or primarily on road? Clinton Quan: Correct. Tom Smith: Correct? Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: Both on and off? Okay. Clinton Quan: Both on and off. Tom Smith: Okay. So a little plug for the- Clinton Quan: For all types of vehicles. Tom Smith: All types of vehicles? So, a little plug for the Eibach Company. I've actually never heard of these guys but the Professor has because he's a little bit more dialed i... The Local Car Fest Auto Show is one of those hidden gems of automotive treasure that Southern California hosts throughout the year.

So much so that our resident expert Professor, Clinton Quan, just heard of it himself. Upon checking out the Local Car Fest Professor Quan gave it two thumbs up and deemed it worth of iDriveSoCal coverage.

Click play below to listen while you scroll through the pics of all the polished power with aftermarket accents from one local Southern California business.

Dodger Charger Hellcat pictured as part of the Local Car Fest Auto Show iDriveSoCal Podcast

***Transcription***

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Local Car Fest 

Clinton Quan: These RX-7s, they were just in excellent condition. There was quite a good number of Skylines and that’s one of my favorites.

Both Chargers and Challengers, there’s a number of European cars as well, Audis…  There were about 30 or so different awards for various vehicles and classes.

Tom Smith: Welcome to the iDriveSoCal. The podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello, my friend. This podcast is about an auto show. Surprise, surprise. Tom and Clinton talking about an auto show in southern California.

It’s one that we haven’t covered in the past and actually was news to me that we were going to be covering it.

I don’t think, Professor, correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think we actually posted this one on the iDriveSoCal.com…

Clinton Quan: That is correct. We did not post it. It was something that I just planned a spur at the moment.

“…everything danced up. Everything had some kind of aftermarket stuff going on.”

Tom Smith: Okay. Next year you will be able to go to this based on the events page, based on the newsletter for your newsletter recipient.

I was looking for a word there. Sign up for the iDriveSoCal newsletter.

Just go to iDriveSoCal.com and give us your old email address. We’ll be happy to keep you apprised of all the automotive happenings and mobility happenings throughout southern California.

But this podcast, the Professor and I are sinking up to discuss an automotive show that goes on … How many years in a row has it been going on?

Clinton Quan: That’s a good question. I don’t know how many years it’s been going on, but I know it’s once a year.

SoCal Company’s Annual Auto Show

Tom Smith: Professor, we didn’t post it on the site ahead of time, you don’t know how many years it’s been going on-

Clinton Quan: There’s not a whole lot of…

Tom Smith: Are we really talking about an auto show tonight-

Clinton Quan: Yes, we are.

Tom Smith: …or are we just making something out?

Clinton Quan: We really are talking about an auto show.

Tom Smith: Okay. The auto show took place in Riverside County, in Corona specifically, and the name of it is the Local Car Fest. Now, the Professor is… Excuse me.

The Professor is going to tell us all about it, but it actually took place at the sponsor’s kind of location, right, and this is … What’s the name of the company?

Clinton Quan: Eibach.

Tom Smith: Eibach. And Eibach makes-

Clinton Quan: Performance parts, shocks, springs, sway bars-

Tom Smith: Okay.

“…we’ll get the Professor out with you for some off-road extravaganza and we’ll do a podcast about it.”

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: So, suspension-related performance parts?

Clinton Quan: Yes, correct.

Tom Smith: For both off-road as well as on or primarily on road?

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: Correct?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Both on and off? Okay.

Clinton Quan: Both on and off.

Tom Smith: Okay. So a little plug for the-

Clinton Quan: For all types of vehicles.

Tom Smith: All types of vehicles? So, a little plug for the Eibach Company.

I’ve actually never heard of these guys but the Professor has because he’s a little bit more dialed in than I. I’m a little bit more of a generalist. He’s a little bit more of a specific.

Your own enthusiast touches on it just about every… The only thing that I don’t hear you talk a ton about is like extreme off-road stuff. Have you ever done anything in that regard?

SoCal Car Shows are Everywhere!

Clinton Quan: I have not, but that’s something that we could venture off in to. It’s not-

Tom Smith: So, if there are any podcast listeners out there that are part of an off-road club, hit me up and/or the Professor and we’ll get the Professor out with you for some off-road extravaganza and we’ll do a podcast about it.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that’d be great.

Tom Smith: Yeah. All right. So, Eibach, and that’s spelled E-I-B-A-C-H, I guess these guys are manufacturers, distributors, and they’re-

Clinton Quan: Yeah, they’re headquartered in Corona. It’s very close to the 91 and the 15 Freeway.

Tom Smith: Okay. And they have the auto show going on on an annual basis. How long? We don’t know because the Professor hasn’t delivered that homework.

Clinton Quan: I imagine it hasn’t been going on that long.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. If I were to venture to guess, maybe less than 10 years.

“…they’re headquartered in Corona. It’s very close to the 91 and the 15 Freeway.”

Tom Smith: So, you’re dialed into to all these car shows and how did you find out about this one?

Clinton Quan: Just-

Tom Smith: By going to all the others that you go to?

Clinton Quan: Googling, looking for a car show, something to do while I was out doing a test drive.

Tom Smith: No kidding.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: So, is this your first time you’ve been to the show?

Clinton Quan: Oh, yeah, this is my very first time. Otherwise, I would have more info.

Tom Smith: Holy cow. All right.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: All right…

Clinton Quan: That’s why I was planned a spur of the moment.

Custom Cars on Display

Tom Smith: Okay. Well, Eibach folks the free PR. Here you go. Professor came by and the show was pretty cool. I saw some pictures. You got some really nice cars there.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, a little bit of everything for everyone.

Tom Smith: And everything danced up. Everything had some kind of aftermarket stuff going on.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. All of these cars were pretty much customized and have aftermarket parts.

Tom Smith: And as always go to iDriveSoCal.com. We will have all the pics that the good Professor takes, post it on this posted with this podcast and you’ll see all the cars that we’re about to talk about.

But the other thing was I asked the Professor if this was judged at all and he said, “Oh, yeah, it was judged,” and actually we’ll have a picture of the hardware that they were giving out there and an entire tent filled with trophies to be given out at that event. Right?

Clinton Quan: Yes. I believe there were about 30 awards or trophies given out.

Tom Smith: So, lots of categories and it sounds like maybe first, second, third place in each category or something like that.

Clinton Quan: I believe it’s first and second.

“…a little bit of everything for everyone.”

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, and then some specialty awards as well.

Tom Smith: So you were literally… I didn’t know that’s so funny.

You’re going on a test drive and you’re looking for things to do on a test drive and you googled and found the show and that’s how you came across it.

But someone like you who’s educated on this, you went to the show and based on your seeing the show, you just decided, “Hey, Tom, this one is worthy of us doing a podcast on.”?

Track Worthy Rides Abound

Clinton Quan: Yes. After attending the show, taking a number of photos at the event and checking out all the vehicles. I decided, yeah, why don’t we do a podcast on this one?

Tom Smith: All right, there you go. The good Professor. He’s just that good, ladies and gentlemen. So tell us about the show.

Clinton Quan: Well, the first thing I noticed were the Mazda RX-7s as soon as they entered the show and a number of them, they looked quite familiar.

“…that’s about a 30-minute drive from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, which is just north of Corona.”

I think they were the same ones that I saw at the Japanese Classic Car Show. And these RX-7s, they were just in excellent condition. I saw a white one.

There was one that was sort of like… I think it was like a dark green and there was a black one as well… looking RX-7s.

Tom Smith: A lot of those cars look like they’re track worthy.

Clinton Quan: Oh, absolutely.

Tom Smith: Was there any discussion of these guys going to… Because you’re out there, you’re not far from the Auto Club Speedway where you could-

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that’s about a 30-minute drive from Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, which is just north of Corona.

And from talking to some of the owners, it appears that most of them do not track their cars-

Tom Smith: Okay. Just they’re more for show. Just make them look like they could do very well on the track, but when they go off the track they do well.

Clinton Quan: They definitely could go on the track. There’s no question about it.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, with the performance parts.

Tom Smith: So, flipping through the pictures, I saw the RX-7s and then also we have, the GTR is a neat car…

Japanese Cars Well Represented

But for those that know, the GTR in outside of the United States has been around for a long time, much longer than it’s actually been here in the United States, but known as the Skyline. Right?

Clinton Quan: Correct. Yes.

Tom Smith: And there was a number of Skylines at this event?

Clinton Quan: Yes, there was quite a good number of Skylines and that’s one of my favorites. I guess you could call it a classic Japanese car now, the older Skylines.

Tom Smith: But we just covered the Japanese Classic Car Show.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, and there were some Skylines.

“…I think they were the same ones that I saw at the Japanese Classic Car Show.”

Tom Smith: Oh, there were?

Clinton Quan: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: There were. I didn’t-

Tom Smith: Oh, you know what? I remember asking you if there was GTRs and you said, “No, there wasn’t GTRs-

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: …but there was Skylines.”

“…interesting little tidbit about a Nissan and then it’s luxury brand Infiniti in Japan.”

Clinton Quan: Yes, that is correct.

Tom Smith: All right. There you go. For those of you that don’t know that you’re interested, the Nissan Skyline is the Nissan GTR, but it’s the Skyline. It’s still called the Skyline in like Japan and whatever else, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, I believe it is.

Tom Smith: Okay. All right. So there you have it. Another interesting little tidbit about a Nissan and then it’s luxury brand Infiniti in Japan.

Clinton Quan: There is no Infiniti.

Tom Smith: Oh, yeah.

Clinton Quan: Infiniti is only here in the United States. Same thing with Acura. There is no Acura in Japan.

Tom Smith: It’s just Honda? But they still have the vehicles?

Clinton Quan: Yes, they do.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Such as the NSX. Yes.

Tom Smith: There you go. There you go. Okay.

Car Capital of the World

Clinton Quan: Yeah. And then there were also a number of Supras.

Tom Smith: Yeah, I did see the Supras, which brings me to the excitement of the new Supra that’s supposed to be coming out.

Clinton Quan: Yes. That should be unveiled at the North American auto show from what I read.

Tom Smith: Let’s jump to-

Clinton Quan: …of the anticipation.

Tom Smith: Yeah, and the North American auto show is Detroit.

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: And Detroit’s been taken on the chin as far as their auto show goes because many manufacturers has been pulling out of it.

Clinton Quan: Yes. That’s true.

Tom Smith: So, this is a good thing for Detroit.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. This is great for Detroit.

Tom Smith: As I’ve said before, the Detroit mayor and I have been in regular contact.

He’s very upset with iDriveSoCal calling ourselves or calling Southern California, the automotive capital of the United States and the automotive capital of the world, the Mayor of Detroit has big problems with that, a lot of cease and desist.

I’m kidding, of course. Haven’t heard from the Detroit mayor.

Clinton Quan: You might now.

“He’s very upset with iDriveSoCal… calling calling Southern California… the automotive capital of the world…”

Tom Smith: Maybe. Maybe. Okay. You threw me off… You sidetracked them.

Clinton Quan: Well, we talked about Detroit, let’s talk about some of the American automobiles that were there.

Tom Smith: Perfect. Perfect. Oh, lots of Hellcats.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, lots of Chargers Challengers. Yes. And Hellcats.

Tom Smith: And the Hellcat-

Clinton Quan: …a version of the-

Tom Smith: Is it a version of both or is it just the Challenger?

Clinton Quan: Oh, that’s a great question.

Tom Smith: Or is it just the Charger?

Clinton Quan: I believe it’s… I know is-

Tom Smith: You should know this.

iDSC Partner Shoutout

Clinton Quan: I know it’s the Challenger. Yeah, I believe it’s the Challenger.

Tom Smith: Yeah. You sound really certain.

Clinton Quan: 700…

Tom Smith: For sure maybe-

Clinton Quan: That’s the one we saw. That’s the one I saw.

“…you need a Honda, you go to Rock Honda out there in Fontana…”

Tom Smith: For sure maybe. I know where I got sidetracked and we’ll get back to the auto show in just a second but, let’s drop a couple of our sponsors in here.

Tom Smith: First off, you were out them their parts of Southern California to test-drive for our good friends at Rock Honda.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: And you drove the 2019 Civic Coupe-

Clinton Quan: Coupe.

Tom Smith: …which we’re going to be a… Well, by the time this comes out, right around there you’ll be able to listen to that podcast as well, but a beautifully styled car.

So, thanks to our friends at Rock Honda, we love you guys. And our newest auto dealer partner, sponsor, Toyota. Dropping the Toyota name, there was an association though that I just wanted to make.

We’re just talking Toyota, oh, we talked about the Supra.

Clinton Quan: Yes. The Supra.

Tom Smith: So, you need a Honda, you go to Rock Honda out there in Fontana.

Tom Smith: Now, back to our regularly scheduled program on the Local Car Fest, out in Corona, California in Riverside County.

The American vehicles is what we’re just talking about.

Old School Muscle Design Reboot

Clinton Quan: Yeah. So there was a good number of both Chargers and Challengers and I’m seeing a lot of those on the road now. Dodge is constantly refreshing and updating the Charger and Challenger and it keeps it fresh and exciting, for sure.

Tom Smith: It’s interesting, right? Who really brought that back? Was it the… What I mean brought that back, is the old muscle styling, right? You had the Mustang came out with it’s kind of throwback from the ’60s look?

Clinton Quan: Yeah. That’s true. The Mustang-

Tom Smith: Was it the Mustang first and then everybody else?

Clinton Quan: I believe it was Mustang then, yes. And I know-

Tom Smith: You got the Camaro, you got Challenger.

Clinton Quan: …that retro styling of the Camaro and yeah, the Challenger has been out for quite some time but the Charger is the only true, you could say muscle car looking Sedan out there really now.

Tom Smith: Well, yeah, for sure.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Well, yeah.

Clinton Quan: Well, nothing from GM and nothing from Ford.

Tom Smith: No.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: No. Okay.

Clinton Quan: And it’s great looking. Sedan.

“…the Charger is the only true, you could say muscle car looking Sedan out there really now.”

Tom Smith: Oh, yeah. The Charger?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Yeah, for sure. For sure. So what else about the Local Car Fest there at Corona, at the Eibach aftermarket parts manufacturer distributor headquarters there?

Clinton Quan: Well, they had a number of classic vehicles. And you saw from the photos a Mustang, a Camaro, a Mercedes, SL-

Tom Smith: That’s right. They did in there. All right.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. So, there’s a number of European cars as well, Audis, they even had a classic BMW. I didn’t take a photo of that one.

Aftermarket Super-Car Parts?

But yeah, a little bit of everything, European cars, we talked about Japanese cars, we talked about American cars.

I think there was a Viper club that-

Tom Smith: Oh, really?

Clinton Quan: …came out as well. There were no real Vipers there.

Tom Smith: So, a little bit of everything for –

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: You had Vets there too.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, for Vets as well.

Tom Smith: Any exotics?

Clinton Quan: Exotics? I’m trying… Oh, Lotus. Well, you call… Yeah, Lotus.

Tom Smith: Well, you know what the… say? If you get a Ferrari or a Lambo, you don’t really need to do anything aftermarket to it. Right?

Clinton Quan: That’s true.

Tom Smith: Less you’re Kevin Federline and you need to get the member when he was with Britney Spears and he did the brake caliper. He put his name…

Do you remember that news story? I remember seeing that.

“…put some rims on his Ferrari. Sounds like something Federline to do.”

Clinton Quan: I think I remember that.

Tom Smith: He took off, I think it said in the brake caliber and instead it said Ferrari, but he had it customized to say Federline instead of Ferrari. I don’t know. Whatever.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. Usually, I think for most people when you get a Ferrari or Lamborghini, you’re probably not going to want it customized… do it.

Tom Smith: He put some rims on his Ferrari. Sounds like something Federline to do.

Clinton Quan: Probably.

Tom Smith: I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know Kevin Federline. But anyway. Yeah. All right. We’re carrying on. Anything else about the Local Car Fest in Corona at the Eibach aftermarket headquarters?

Free Show Worth Attending

Clinton Quan: Well, as we mentioned earlier, there were about 30 or so different awards for various vehicles and classes that took place later in the show.

I wasn’t at the tail end of the event, but that’s definitely a big part of the event as well as the judging. In fact, while I was checking out some of the cars, I did see some of the judges walking around and scoping out the vehicles as well.

Tom Smith: Okay. And you said there was a couple of hundred cars there?

“…Eibach out there in Corona, thanks for putting on a fun show.”

Clinton Quan: I would say there were probably around 250 if I were to guess surrounding pretty much almost the entire building.

Tom Smith: Was there a fee to get in?

Clinton Quan: Yes. It is complimentary for spectators.

Tom Smith: …a couple of bucks if you want to display your car?

Clinton Quan: Yes, there is a fee if you want to display your vehicle. I think it was around 30 or $40 to display the vehicle.

Tom Smith: All right. Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yup. And the weather was great for the car show this time of year in Corona. It’s a great time to have a car show.

Normally, it’s really hot in the Inland Empire in the summertime or springtime, so November is a great time to host the car show.

Tom Smith: All right. Cool. All right. Well, very good. Well, hey, Eibach out there in Corona, thanks for putting on a fun show.

Hope you enjoyed the coverage. Professor, as always, thank you for your expert analysis. And for all of you iDriveSoCal listeners, we will definitely have the Local Car Fest on our events page on iDriveSoCal.com for future years to come.

Something for Everyone @ Local Car Fest

Tom Smith: It sounds like a good show. It definitely has a Professor’s two thumbs up and always good family-friendly fun, the automotive shows. I’m assuming this is good family-friendly fun, yeah?

Clinton Quan: Oh, yes, this is definitely. I saw a number of kids out there, so-

“It definitely has a Professor’s two thumbs up and always good family-friendly fun…”

Tom Smith: All our shows are pretty much good family-friendly fun, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, for the most part.

Tom Smith: All right. Excellent.

Clinton Quan: I’m not going to say all, but I will say for the most part.

Tom Smith: For the most part. Yeah. I mean, that sounds like it a little racy, that kind of thing, but … Yeah. Anyway. So, very good, Professor. Thank you as always. For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you, as always for tuning in.

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The Local Car Fest Auto Show is one of those hidden gems of automotive treasure that Southern California hosts throughout the year. - So much so that our resident expert Professor, Clinton Quan, just heard of it himself. The Local Car Fest Auto Show is one of those hidden gems of automotive treasure that Southern California hosts throughout the year.<br /> <br /> So much so that our resident expert Professor, Clinton Quan, just heard of it himself. Upon checking out the Local Car Fest Professor Quan gave it two thumbs up and deemed it worth of iDriveSoCal coverage.<br /> <br /> Click play below to listen while you scroll through the pics of all the polished power with aftermarket accents from one local Southern California business.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> Local Car Fest <br /> Clinton Quan: These RX-7s, they were just in excellent condition. There was quite a good number of Skylines and that's one of my favorites.<br /> <br /> Both Chargers and Challengers, there's a number of European cars as well, Audis...  There were about 30 or so different awards for various vehicles and classes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to the iDriveSoCal. The podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello, my friend. This podcast is about an auto show. Surprise, surprise. Tom and Clinton talking about an auto show in southern California.<br /> <br /> It's one that we haven't covered in the past and actually was news to me that we were going to be covering it.<br /> <br /> I don't think, Professor, correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think we actually posted this one on the iDriveSoCal.com…<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: That is correct. We did not post it. It was something that I just planned a spur at the moment.<br /> <br /> "...everything danced up. Everything had some kind of aftermarket stuff going on."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay. Next year you will be able to go to this based on the events page, based on the newsletter for your newsletter recipient.<br /> <br /> I was looking for a word there. Sign up for the iDriveSoCal newsletter.<br /> <br /> Just go to iDriveSoCal.com and give us your old email address. We'll be happy to keep you apprised of all the automotive happenings and mobility happenings throughout southern California.<br /> <br /> But this podcast, the Professor and I are sinking up to discuss an automotive show that goes on ... How many years in a row has it been going on?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: That's a good question. I don't know how many years it's been going on, but I know it's once a year.<br /> SoCal Company's Annual Auto Show<br /> Tom Smith: Professor, we didn't post it on the site ahead of time, you don't know how many years it's been going on-<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: There's not a whole lot of…<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Are we really talking about an auto show tonight-<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes, we are.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: ...or are we just making something out?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: We really are talking about an auto show.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay. The auto show took place in Riverside County, in Corona specifically, and the name of it is the Local Car Fest. Now, the Professor is... Excuse me.<br /> <br /> The Professor is going to tell us all about it, but it actually took place at the sponsor's kind of location, right, and this is ... What's the name of the company?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Eibach.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Eibach. And Eibach makes-<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Performance parts, shocks, springs, sway bars-<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay.<br /> <br /> "...we'll get the Professor out with you for some off-road extravaganza and we'll do a podcast about it."<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yeah.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: So, suspension-related performance parts?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes, correct.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith clean 17:42
What happens during my new car’s first service visit? https://www.idrivesocal.com/new-car-first-service/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 13:30:25 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=8804 Ever wonder what happens to your new car when you take it in for its first trip to the service department?  You're not alone, we were wondering the same thing. So my friend Ruben Serna, the head of Rock Honda's parts and service department, invited me over for a step-by-step rundown of the process. Click play below and scroll through the pictures to see what happens to your new car's first visit to the service department.  We're calling it "Behind the Wrench" with Rock Honda's Ruben Serna - kinda of catchy, don't you think? :) ***Transcription*** Recorded @ Rock Honda in Fontana, CA New Vehicle's First Service Ruben Serna: Usually Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles. The light will come on and it's actually going to have an oil life, so when you get down about 15%. We perform a multi-point inspection with a two-man team, they will inspect everything from top to bottom. It's kind of a parallel process to save time. We know our guests here want to get their car in and out. "Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles." Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am joined by my good buddy Ruben Serna out at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. And we're at Rock Honda right now. Ruben Serna: Yes, we are. Thank you for having me. Tom Smith: Thank you. Ruben Serna: Excited to be here. Tom Smith: Thank you as always for joining the podcast. Love you guys out here at Rock, your fantastic partners of the show. We love working with you. I love the name that you gave today's podcast, Behind the Wrench. Ruben Serna: Behind the Wrench, yeah. Tom Smith: Behind the Wrench. That was Ruben's brainchild. The premise of this podcast is that, you know hey our cars are really smart these days and we've done a couple of podcasts already as far as winterizing your car and summer-izing your car- Ruben Serna: Sure. Tom Smith: And while there's certain things that you can do to winterize or summer-ize your car. The cars are so smart these days if you point it out numerous times, they're going to tell you what they need and when they need it. Ruben Serna: Correct. Tom Smith: And those are called Maintenance Minders. Behind the Wrench Ruben Serna: Yes, the Maintenance Minder. Tom Smith: So, you know, the Maintenance Minder comes on. My car is new, I bought my Rock Honda and we've already gone through this process with taking some pictures. And for those of you that are automotive enthusiasts, you're going to want to check out these pictures because we did the pictures with a, it was either 2018 or 2019 Honda Type R. Ruben Serna: Yes. Tom Smith: The Civic Type R which is a little Honda race car that's in such hot demand. But, so we want to go through the steps of what happens to the car when you bring it in for that first service. Right? I bought my Rock Honda, in this case it was a Civic Type R and you know hey that's a high-performance vehicle. Ruben Serna: Sure is. Tom Smith: Is that... is the maintenance my first maintenance. This Behind the Wrench is going to be our first maintenance. Ruben Serna: Sure. Tom Smith: Is my Civic Type R going to be different from the Honda Odyssey? Ruben Serna: No. Tom Smith: For a first maintenance? "Maintenance Minder will come on and it'll have a letter or a number. Typically your first service is going to be in the A1's service." Ruben Serna: No, not at all. The Maintenance Minder will come on and it'll have a letter or a number. Typically your first service is going to be in the A1's service. Tom Smith: A1. Ruben Serna: Which we call a minor service, so, the A stands for the oil change and the 1 is tire rotation. Tom Smith: Okay. Ruben Serna: And that's all it is. Ever wonder what happens to your new car when you take it in for its first trip to the service department?  You’re not alone, we were wondering the same thing.

So my friend Ruben Serna, the head of Rock Honda’s parts and service department, invited me over for a step-by-step rundown of the process.

Click play below and scroll through the pictures to see what happens to your new car’s first visit to the service department.  We’re calling it “Behind the Wrench” with Rock Honda’s Ruben Serna – kinda of catchy, don’t you think? 🙂

Service Director, Ruben Serna helps a Rock Honda Customer as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast banner 159

***Transcription***

Recorded @ Rock Honda in Fontana, CA

New Vehicle’s First Service

Ruben Serna: Usually Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles. The light will come on and it’s actually going to have an oil life, so when you get down about 15%.

We perform a multi-point inspection with a two-man team, they will inspect everything from top to bottom.

It’s kind of a parallel process to save time. We know our guests here want to get their car in and out.

“Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles.”

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am joined by my good buddy Ruben Serna out at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. And we’re at Rock Honda right now.

Ruben Serna: Yes, we are. Thank you for having me.

Tom Smith: Thank you.

Ruben Serna: Excited to be here.

Tom Smith: Thank you as always for joining the podcast. Love you guys out here at Rock, your fantastic partners of the show.

We love working with you. I love the name that you gave today’s podcast, Behind the Wrench.

Ruben Serna: Behind the Wrench, yeah.

Tom Smith: Behind the Wrench. That was Ruben’s brainchild.

The premise of this podcast is that, you know hey our cars are really smart these days and we’ve done a couple of podcasts already as far as winterizing your car and summer-izing your car-

Ruben Serna: Sure.

Tom Smith: And while there’s certain things that you can do to winterize or summer-ize your car.

The cars are so smart these days if you point it out numerous times, they’re going to tell you what they need and when they need it.

Ruben Serna: Correct.

Tom Smith: And those are called Maintenance Minders.

Behind the Wrench

Ruben Serna: Yes, the Maintenance Minder.

Tom Smith: So, you know, the Maintenance Minder comes on.

My car is new, I bought my Rock Honda and we’ve already gone through this process with taking some pictures.

And for those of you that are automotive enthusiasts, you’re going to want to check out these pictures because we did the pictures with a, it was either 2018 or 2019 Honda Type R.

Ruben Serna: Yes.

Tom Smith: The Civic Type R which is a little Honda race car that’s in such hot demand.

But, so we want to go through the steps of what happens to the car when you bring it in for that first service. Right?

I bought my Rock Honda, in this case it was a Civic Type R and you know hey that’s a high-performance vehicle.

Ruben Serna: Sure is.

Tom Smith: Is that… is the maintenance my first maintenance. This Behind the Wrench is going to be our first maintenance.

Ruben Serna: Sure.

Tom Smith: Is my Civic Type R going to be different from the Honda Odyssey?

Ruben Serna: No.

Tom Smith: For a first maintenance?

“Maintenance Minder will come on and it’ll have a letter or a number. Typically your first service is going to be in the A1’s service.”

Ruben Serna: No, not at all. The Maintenance Minder will come on and it’ll have a letter or a number. Typically your first service is going to be in the A1’s service.

Tom Smith: A1.

Ruben Serna: Which we call a minor service, so, the A stands for the oil change and the 1 is tire rotation.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Ruben Serna: And that’s all it is.

Typically will come on, depending on the driving if you drive through the city, stop and go traffic, usually Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles.

Rock’s Immaculate Service Department 

If you’re doing a lot of freeway driving, it’s probably going to last between five and ten thousand miles. The light will come on and it’s actually going to have an oil life, so when you get down about 15% that’s when the lights will come back on.

Tom Smith: 15% of-

Ruben Serna: Oil life remaining.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Ruben Serna: So, basically 85% of the oils been consumed or at least used, not completely but yeah.

Tom Smith: And that percentage refers to the viscosity, right?

Ruben Serna: Correct, yeah.

Tom Smith: Which is basically to dumb it way down is the thickness of the oil.

Ruben Serna: Yes. Yeah and basically saying that 15% of your oil is still good.

Tom Smith: Right but it’s time because you don’t want to be hovering around 15%.

Ruben Serna: Correct.

“It’s a fine-tuned machine. We run a tight ship.”

Tom Smith: It’s not going back up until you get it into the-

Ruben Serna: Yeah and some cars it’ll come on at 30%, so just kind of give you a forewarning, “Hey look you got to… lights are one, your car needs service.”

Cause we have busy lives, right?

Tom Smith: Yup.

Ruben Serna: Especially right now during the holiday season-

Tom Smith: Sure.

Ruben Serna: You know we’ve got better things to do than bring our car in for service but luckily here at Rock Honda we have one of the best express departments in the world, I like to say.

Tom Smith: I got to tell you, again, for this behind the scenes, A.K.A.

Behind the Wrench, I went back there and it is… I mean it’s a very neat, tidy, industrial workspace that reminded me of a very clean factory. Like an assembly line.

Ruben Serna: It’s a fine-tuned machine. We run a tight ship.

A1 [Honda] Maintenance Minder

So we like to think of it as the process that we put in place or also our tidiness. We got to make sure that the area’s clean. We work in a great environment, both emotionally and culturally.

Tom Smith: Personally, I need a tidy desk. So I get it.

I get it. But no and me as a consumer too, I pull up and I see I can’t go back there as a consumer, as a general consumer, but I can see through the windows and if it looks like a wreck back there, well I’m going to think twice.

Ruben Serna: Yeah, if we’re going to treat our own home badly, imagine what we’re going to do with our guests.

Tom Smith: Right. So, Ruben runs a tight ship here at Rock Honda and definitely want to bring your Honda here for service.

So that first Maintenance Minder that comes up is more than likely 99% chance going to be an A1.

Ruben Serna: Correct.

Tom Smith: And that means oil change and tire rotation.

Ruben Serna: And that’s all it means because the two is a cabin filter and air filter. That usually comes on about 15,000.

Tom Smith: Okay. The interesting thing though is that the cars, it used to be okay at 3,000 miles is when I change my oil or maybe a certain number of months.

“…basically saying that 15% of your oil is still good.”

And then I had somebody that would do it at like 1,500 miles because they were just like ridiculously overcompensating for their car taking the best care of it. Which is fine.

But now, the cars are so smart it’s not even a standard 5,000 or 10,000. It’s hey it’s going to come on between this and this based on your driving.

Ruben Serna: Correct.

Two-Man Express Team

Tom Smith: And that’s a really cool thing not only because it represents the technology that we’re driving around in which are really the cars are really computers these days.

But also, the cost savings and efficiency of maintaining your vehicle. So we went back there and we did it.

We already staged this with pictures and the pictures are going to be on iDriveSoCal.com on this post page. But we get the car back, the hood comes up.

Does anything happen before the car gets lifted in the air?

Ruben Serna: Well we perform a multi-point inspection and we do, we have a two-man team in the express department and they will inspect everything from top to bottom.

From the belts, the battery, the air filter, everything on top of the engine.

Of course the engine oil level. Hoses and belts. So the tires. That all happens. And cabin filter which is inside the car.

“…come experience the Rock Honda difference.”

Tom Smith: Although the cabin filter you said it’s not.

Ruben Serna: No.

Tom Smith: But you’re just checking it.

Ruben Serna: We check it because sometimes some people live in the mountains. The light might not come on, but if we inspect it and say hey look this is pretty dirty.

“…We know our guests here want to get their car in and out.”

And we’ll give our guest the choice. This is what a new one looks like. This is what yours looks like. And let them obviously let them make the decision whether or not they want to do the repair.

Then that gets done before the car gets lifted. So, part of the multi-point inspection, it’s about 27-point-inspection that we do, we’ll get everything on the exterior we’ll get done.

And then it goes up in the air.

Tom Smith: Okay. And when it goes up in the air what happens?

Multi-point Inspection

Ruben Serna: So then basically our team moves down into the engine compartment underneath the vehicle, the brakes, the tires, we’re going to rotate them.

Tom Smith: Continue the inspection and then rotate the tires.

Ruben Serna: And that’s where we’re checking for leaks, any nails in the tires.

We also, one of the things that’s really common is a lot of times when you take your car into a dealership some of our cars if not most of our cars that we sell come with wheel locks.

So, it’s a factory Honda wheel lock, we have our own master set. We never go in to take our guests’ wheel lock key to take the key to rotate the tires.

We have our own master set that we use. So that way we don’t get blamed for.

Tom Smith: Right, when I’m on the side of the road and I need to change a tire and my wheel locks MIA.

Ruben Serna: Chances are somebody else got your key and it wasn’t us. But regardless of the fact that we definitely have our own master set.

Tom Smith: Got it. So, one of the interesting things as I was back there observing the process and again we were using a Civic Type R which is basically a race car.

I don’t know if you were aware of this, but motor trend actually named the Civic Type R as one of its finalists for ‘Driver of the Year.’

Ruben Serna: No, I didn’t know that.

Tom Smith: So, the driver of the year is like no category, just any car that their highly qualified guys say hey this is a car that I want to just drive.

Honda Aerodynamics and Protection

And I mean some of the other finalists were like Lambos and stuff like that. So I mean it was in some rarefied air. And the Civic Type R was up there.

Ruben Serna: Wow. So when you say Drivers of the Year I’m thinking my wife. She’s the driver. Hope she doesn’t hear this.

Tom Smith: Right. You’re going to play this for her.

Ruben Serna: Yeah exactly.

Tom Smith: See baby.

Ruben Serna: Put you in there.

Tom Smith: No same thing for my wife too.

But yeah, so what was interesting is that when the Civic Type R got up in the air I’m looking underneath and again, that’s a high-performance vehicle and underneath of the Civic Type R is very enclosed.

It’s very aerodynamic looking. And I questioned if that was the case because it was a Civic Type R or if that’s really how cars are these days.

Ruben Serna: It’s kind of a rule of thumb. You’ve got undercarriage. You’ve got… underneath that make it aerodynamic.

Tom Smith: And that’s what surprised me because your service technician that was showing me around pointed to the Honda Accord that was up in the air right next to it and it looked very similar.

Ruben Serna: Sure.

Tom Smith: I was like wow.

Ruben Serna: And a lot of that stuff underneath is also there for a reason.

It’s got bits of function. And so some of that undercarriage, the splash shields and under trays will also protect the bottom part of the radiator, the hoses, radiator hoses, so I keep seeing stuff coming up inside there.

So, they’re not all exposed like they used to be. That’s a little difficult sometimes because you’ve got to take all that stuff off just to do an oil change.

Rock Honda Express Service

But we’re still pretty good at it.

Tom Smith: Which is why it can be a pricey proposition to have your car worked on especially if it’s a big job. Okay, so then when the car’s up in the air I believe we… I didn’t do anything.

Ruben Serna: Sounds good though.

Tom Smith: Yeah. A shield of some sort was removed in order to get to the oil.

Ruben Serna: It’s the splash shield.

Tom Smith: The splash shield okay. So that was removed. The changing of the oil then and then the splash shield was replaced and what’s next. Are we pretty much done at that point?

Ruben Serna: So, we’re also simultaneously rotating the tires.

Tom Smith: Right.

Ruben Serna: To make sure that we got a guy draining the oil. Got someone else rotating the tires. It’s kind of a parallel process to save time. We know our guests here want to get their car in and out.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Ruben Serna: Because like I said before we’ve got busy lives so want to make sure the process is very efficient.

We don’t waste not only our technicians time but especially the most important our guests time.

Yeah, I mean the multi-point inspection is at that point completely filled out in which we will print it out and share with the guest at the time or share with the advisor and they can share with the guest.

And we make it part of our process so that way they understand that hey not only am I getting an oil change. I’m going to get a free multi-point inspection.

Focus on Safety

Our job is to make sure your car is put back safely on the road. So and that’s our main focus. Safety. I mean people want to make sure that… I get it their cars are new but these roads out there today, they don’t care how new your car is.

Tom Smith: No.

Ruben Serna: They don’t discriminate.

Tom Smith: And the other drivers that see me they don’t… a lot of other drivers out there that I experience it seems like they missed some school somewhere along the way.

Ruben Serna: Missing classes.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

“Our job is to make sure your car is put back safely on the road.”

Ruben Serna: Driver’s ed class.

Tom Smith: All right. Well, fantastic. Ruben, thank you as always. Is there anything before we wrap this one up? Is there anything else that you want to point out about that first maintenance after your car is new after you buy a new Rock Honda from Rock Honda in Fontana?

The Rock Honda Difference

Ruben Serna: Pretty simple process.

Tom Smith: And you come back and you get that first service and that’s it. It’s just that simple.

Ruben Serna: That’s it. The only thing I say is come experience the Rock Honda difference.

Tom Smith: Come experience it.

Ruben Serna: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Ruben, I’ve seen him in work. I’ve seen him at work with customers and you do a great job, man.

Ruben Serna: Thanks.

Tom Smith: You guys have a huge operation here.

Ruben Serna: We have a great culture here.

Tom Smith: As well. For sure. For sure.

“If you’re not tap dancing out of bed to get to work, then go do something else. I love what I do.”

Ruben Serna: If you’re not tap dancing out of bed to get to work, then go do something else. I love what I do.

Tom Smith: And it shows. And it shows. All right. Ruben Serna. Service director. Parts and service director for Rock Honda.

Ruben Serna: Thank you.

Tom Smith: The giant Rock Honda out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. Thank you guys as always.

Thank you for joining me for the podcast yet again. Thank you guys for being fantastic partners. We absolutely love you. I absolutely love you guys.

Ruben Serna: Feelings are mutual. Thank you, Tom.

Tom Smith: Thank you. All right. For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you as always for tuning in.

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Ever wonder what happens to your new car when you take it in for its first trip to the service department?  You're not alone, we were wondering the same thing. - So my friend Ruben Serna, the head of Rock Honda's parts and service department, Ever wonder what happens to your new car when you take it in for its first trip to the service department?  You're not alone, we were wondering the same thing.<br /> <br /> So my friend Ruben Serna, the head of Rock Honda's parts and service department, invited me over for a step-by-step rundown of the process.<br /> <br /> Click play below and scroll through the pictures to see what happens to your new car's first visit to the service department.  We're calling it "Behind the Wrench" with Rock Honda's Ruben Serna - kinda of catchy, don't you think? :)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded @ Rock Honda in Fontana, CA<br /> <br /> New Vehicle's First Service<br /> Ruben Serna: Usually Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles. The light will come on and it's actually going to have an oil life, so when you get down about 15%.<br /> <br /> We perform a multi-point inspection with a two-man team, they will inspect everything from top to bottom.<br /> <br /> It's kind of a parallel process to save time. We know our guests here want to get their car in and out.<br /> <br /> "Maintenance Minder is going to come on between four and seven thousand miles."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am joined by my good buddy Ruben Serna out at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. And we're at Rock Honda right now.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Yes, we are. Thank you for having me.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Thank you.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Excited to be here.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Thank you as always for joining the podcast. Love you guys out here at Rock, your fantastic partners of the show.<br /> <br /> We love working with you. I love the name that you gave today's podcast, Behind the Wrench.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Behind the Wrench, yeah.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Behind the Wrench. That was Ruben's brainchild.<br /> <br /> The premise of this podcast is that, you know hey our cars are really smart these days and we've done a couple of podcasts already as far as winterizing your car and summer-izing your car-<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Sure.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And while there's certain things that you can do to winterize or summer-ize your car.<br /> <br /> The cars are so smart these days if you point it out numerous times, they're going to tell you what they need and when they need it.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Correct.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And those are called Maintenance Minders.<br /> Behind the Wrench<br /> Ruben Serna: Yes, the Maintenance Minder.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: So, you know, the Maintenance Minder comes on.<br /> <br /> My car is new, I bought my Rock Honda and we've already gone through this process with taking some pictures.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> And for those of you that are automotive enthusiasts, you're going to want to check out these pictures because we did the pictures with a, it was either 2018 or 2019 Honda Type R.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: The Civic Type R which is a little Honda race car that's in such hot demand.<br /> <br /> But, so we want to go through the steps of what happens to the car when you bring it in for that first service. Right?<br /> <br /> I bought my Rock Honda, in this case it was a Civic Type R and you know hey that's a high-performance vehicle.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Sure is.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Is that... is the maintenance my first maintenance. This Behind the Wrench is going to be our first maintenance.<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: Sure.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Is my Civic Type R going to be different from the Honda Odyssey?<br /> <br /> Ruben Serna: No.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: For a first maintenance?<br /> <br /> Tom Smith clean 13:02
What’s in the Future for Public Transportation? https://www.idrivesocal.com/future-of-public-transportation/ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 16:22:28 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=8792 We, citizens of planet earth, hope or assume that our government leaders have the future of public transportation clearly planned and ready to roll out in a timely, orderly fashion... yeah. The reality is that the future of private transportation may be more definitely predicted at this point.  As public transportation ridership dwindles the only thing that seems certain is that electric buses will be available in the near future. But electric buses will still have the same issues existing buses have - questionable safety and cleanliness. In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, Professor Quan reports on a recent public transportation conference he attended. Meanwhile, he and I dance-around and dive into various forms of transportation as our future of mobility evolves. Click play below for insider info and occasionally boisterous commentary! ***Transcription*** Recorded in Los Angeles, CA Public & Private Transport is Changing Clinton Quan: Autonomous vehicles and what the future would hold for a world where we wouldn't have to drive a vehicle. For example, may we wouldn't need a garage if everyone's using autonomous vehicles At this point, really, it's all talk. No one really, really knows because there are so many factors that you have to look at. On the flip side, we do see a lot of auto manufacturers spending a lot of money on autonomous vehicles. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton. Clinton Quan: Hi Tom. Tom Smith: Hello my friend. When you usually hear me introduce Clinton, and it's usually a vehicle review, or it's an auto show, or an automotive museum and we do a lot of talking about that stuff. But then, you hear at the beginning of all my podcasts, that we talk about mobility. And, in this case, actually the good Professor is doing a piece on mobility, and actually, it's gonna be a two-part piece. The topic is Public Transportation and this is gonna be a two-part piece on public transportation because the way we're getting around is changing. Now, iDriveSoCal podcast number 100 I did a little piece, it was a little solo piece and I did the Future of Mobility, What's Hype and What's Real? There's so much going on and it captures the imagination, right? I mean, from underground highways to hyperloops to flying cars to driverless cars, so the Professor went to... What event did you go to? Clinton Quan: This was the California Transit Association's 53rd Annual Fall Conference and Expo at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. California Transit Association Tom Smith: The California Transit Association, so that's all about public transportation in the State of California? Right? Clinton Quan: Pretty much, yeah. And they advocate transit-friendly policies, protecting and increasing funding for transit. Tom Smith: Okay. And this is the group is statewide, so who's going to this? City leaders from all the cities across California, as well as counties, I'm assuming? Clinton Quan: Leaders from cities throughout the State of California and other government entities as well, including counties. Tom Smith: Okay. Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: And this is where they go and are decisions being made here? Or is it more like a trade show kind of thing where they're seeing what the options are for them to invest public funds in, or what is this all about? Clinton Quan: Well, this is an opportunity for leaders to share ideas and to see what new technologies are out there, some of the new buses that are available, new technologies. I think they said there was about 800 people in attendance for the show. It's probably their one big show of the year, their one big event of the year. Tom Smith: Okay. There's a couple of days and we're gonna break this into two different podcast... We, citizens of planet earth, hope or assume that our government leaders have the future of public transportation clearly planned and ready to roll out in a timely, orderly fashion… yeah.

The reality is that the future of private transportation may be more definitely predicted at this point.  As public transportation ridership dwindles the only thing that seems certain is that electric buses will be available in the near future.

But electric buses will still have the same issues existing buses have – questionable safety and cleanliness.

In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, Professor Quan reports on a recent public transportation conference he attended. Meanwhile, he and I dance-around and dive into various forms of transportation as our future of mobility evolves. Click play below for insider info and occasionally boisterous commentary!

Byd Electric Bus pictured as part of iDriveSoCal Podcast 158 banner

***Transcription***

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA

Public & Private Transport is Changing

Clinton Quan: Autonomous vehicles and what the future would hold for a world where we wouldn’t have to drive a vehicle. For example, may we wouldn’t need a garage if everyone’s using autonomous vehicles

At this point, really, it’s all talk. No one really, really knows because there are so many factors that you have to look at.

On the flip side, we do see a lot of auto manufacturers spending a lot of money on autonomous vehicles.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello my friend.

When you usually hear me introduce Clinton, and it’s usually a vehicle review, or it’s an auto show, or an automotive museum and we do a lot of talking about that stuff.

But then, you hear at the beginning of all my podcasts, that we talk about mobility. And, in this case, actually the good Professor is doing a piece on mobility, and actually, it’s gonna be a two-part piece.

The topic is Public Transportation and this is gonna be a two-part piece on public transportation because the way we’re getting around is changing. Now, iDriveSoCal podcast number 100 I did a little piece, it was a little solo piece and I did the Future of Mobility, What’s Hype and What’s Real?

There’s so much going on and it captures the imagination, right? I mean, from underground highways to hyperloops to flying cars to driverless cars, so the Professor went to… What event did you go to?

Clinton Quan: This was the California Transit Association’s 53rd Annual Fall Conference and Expo at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

California Transit Association

Tom Smith: The California Transit Association, so that’s all about public transportation in the State of California? Right?

Clinton Quan: Pretty much, yeah. And they advocate transit-friendly policies, protecting and increasing funding for transit.

Tom Smith: Okay. And this is the group is statewide, so who’s going to this? City leaders from all the cities across California, as well as counties, I’m assuming?

Clinton Quan: Leaders from cities throughout the State of California and other government entities as well, including counties.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: And this is where they go and are decisions being made here? Or is it more like a trade show kind of thing where they’re seeing what the options are for them to invest public funds in, or what is this all about?

Clinton Quan: Well, this is an opportunity for leaders to share ideas and to see what new technologies are out there, some of the new buses that are available, new technologies.

I think they said there was about 800 people in attendance for the show. It’s probably their one big show of the year, their one big event of the year.

Tom Smith: Okay. There’s a couple of days and we’re gonna break this into two different podcasts, and this one is about day one. We’ll get to day two in the next podcast.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: But what happened in day one? What did you learn?

Clinton Quan: The first day, there was a keynote presentation by Jennifer Granholm. She was the former Governor of Michigan and she talked about autonomous vehicles-

Tom Smith: Wait a minute. The former Governor of Michigan is doing a keynote for the California Transit Association Fall Conference & Expo?

A Garage Free World?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, for those of you that don’t know, she’s frequently on, I believe, both CNN and MSNBC.

Tom Smith: Oh, really?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: For those of us that don’t know, I would be one of those of us.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay, and her name again?

Clinton Quan: Jennifer Granholm.

Tom Smith: Jennifer?

Clinton Quan: Granholm.

Tom Smith: Granholm.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: And she talked about autonomous vehicles and what the future would hold for a world where we wouldn’t have to drive a vehicle.

A lot of people think that with advanced technologies maybe we’re gonna lose a lot of jobs, and she talked about well, there could be opportunities for that as well, including maybe pop-up shops where you have vehicles that drive up to other business.

Or, say, to urban areas such as downtown and they could be selling a number of different products.

Tom Smith: How long has it been since she was actually Governor of Michigan?

Speaker on stage @ the California Transit Association Conference

Clinton Quan: I believe it was… I think she was Governor for about eight years, but I’m trying to remember how long it’s been. It’s probably been, I think, six or seven years.

Tom Smith: Okay. Was her keynote pie in the sky stuff or is this stuff that we’re gonna start seeing deployed in the next 36 months, 60 months?

Clinton Quan: I don’t think it’s gonna be in the next few years, but I would think at least five years. But this is stuff that I’ve heard and seen at a number of other transportation conferences as well. Yeah, she talked about, for example, may we wouldn’t need a garage if everyone’s using autonomous vehicles.

Tom Smith: Okay, do you buy that?

LA’s Bike Lane Affair 

Clinton Quan: I find that hard to believe any time in the near future-

Tom Smith: As much as you like to drive, I think you would pay a premium to have a car in a garage, a place to put your car. And I think a lot of other people, ’cause… Here’s what I’m getting at. A lot of these things… I mean, I go back to that podcast, not to promote it, but what is real and what’s hype?

Clinton Quan: That’s true, yes.

Tom Smith: I mean, even right here in Southern California, what was it? The one city leader that they wanted to recall because he implemented bike lanes in the Venice area and it caused all kinds of backup, and it’s-

Clinton Quan: Oh, you’re talking about-

Tom Smith: Bonin?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, Mike Bonin.

Tom Smith: It’s like, “Hey man, great intentions.”

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: And maybe it was good execution, with the exception of informing the public that it was gonna happen ’cause they changed it back, I think, I’m not sure.

Clinton Quan: On Venice or you’re talking about the other…

Tom Smith: Both, right?

Clinton Quan: There was one that-

Tom Smith: It caused all kinds of backups. I had a friend in Marina del Rey saying-

Clinton Quan: You’re talking about the road that’s right along the beach. That is the one where they reverted it. Now there’s another one-

Tom Smith: They changed it, they changed it back.

Clinton Quan: Correct yes, they did do that.

Tom Smith: They added bike lanes, took away-

Clinton Quan: Oh well, they added-

Tom Smith: They took away a lane-

Clinton Quan: A vehicle lane, and then-

Tom Smith: …and added parking and bike lanes-

Clinton Quan: …and then they brought-

Cars & Roads Communicating?

Tom Smith: …and people freaked out-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: …and then they brought it back.

Clinton Quan: Correct, yes.

Tom Smith: I’m digressing a little bit, but that’s something that we need to get into too, but that is … What is really real and what is really hype?

When are gonna have… You got Waymo and the testing going on. Testing is going on in San Diego, testing is going on in Arizona, testing is back on in the State of California up north-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: …but when are we gonna start really seeing this deployed on-

Clinton Quan: I think that is a great question.

Tom Smith: Did they address this at this thing?

Clinton Quan: Well, the thing is, no one really, really knows. At this point, really, it’s all talk.

No one really, really knows because there’s so many factors that you have to look at. For example, a lot of the cities and counties, without the proper maintenance in the roads, the proper striping, the autonomous vehicle will not work.

I mean, that’s a huge-

Tom Smith: I gotta stop you right there. We’ll get right back to that. But we can’t even keep potholes out of LA County, much less-

Clinton Quan: That’s true.

Tom Smith: …we’re gonna … Really?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: We’re gonna be autonomously driven around by cars that are communicating with the road? We can’t keep our roads in good enough shape to not ruin people’s cars that are being driven by humans.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. I just saw a recent video of a Tesla vehicle, and I guess it miscalculated. It thought it was an off-ramp but it was more like an emergency pull-off, so the vehicle had to quickly veer back into the right lane before realizing that-

The Autonomous Question(s)

Tom Smith: Was that real … somebody’s dashcam or something that-

Clinton Quan: I believe somebody had a dashcam.

Tom Smith: Oh wow.

Clinton Quan: Yes, so that is true. But, on the flip side, we do see a lot of auto manufacturers spending a lot of money on autonomous vehicles.

Tom Smith: Oh no doubt, and we’re gonna learn more about that next week when we go to AutoMobility LA, which is the press event before the LA Auto Show.

Clinton Quan: There’s gonna be a lot of talk about that as well, about autonomous vehicles.

We have these driverless vehicles and we’ll have ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft that will take everyone from one place to another.

But yeah, I think it’s a great question. I mean, is it gonna be 10 years? Is it gonna be 30 years? Is it gonna be 100 years? Who knows how long it’s actually gonna be?

Tom Smith: We’re off topic, and that’s my fault, as always. This event was about public transportation.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it’s more about transit, yes.

Tom Smith: Let’s get back on topic because, I guess, we can talk about autonomous… But was there any discussion of autonomous at this conference, at day one?

Clinton Quan: Well, they have all these different sessions and that’s not something that I attended.

Tom Smith: Okay… Sorry. Day one.

Clinton Quan: Well, okay that’s the keynote session, and then for the structure of this program they have sessions in the morning as well, so that’s the session one, and then they also have a session in the afternoon.

Public Transporation Ridership

There’s a couple of tours that take place in the afternoon, a water transit tour, also a tour of electric buses so you can ride on one of these Long Beach electric buses, and then there’s an Expo later in the evening. Go ahead.

Tom Smith: Yeah, sorry. I gotta… The Professor sees me with a big question mark expression on my face. This was public transportation conference and it was water transit as well as ground transit?

Proterra Bus

Clinton Quan: That was just something that they had as a tour.

Tom Smith: It was just a fun thing for you to do as an attendee?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, a fun thing to do. Yes. It wasn’t something that they covered, but it was something that a lot of people…

Tom Smith: We want something we can share with the iDriveSoCal audience, not necessarily the fun stuff that you got to do as an iDriveSoCal reporter.

Clinton Quan: I want to give people a feel of what the conference was like.

Tom Smith: Yeah, I want to give everybody a feel for how much fun I had. What else about the actual event that iDriveSoCal listeners are going to possibly experience in the future of their-

Clinton Quan: The session I attended was Marketing Strategies for Building Ridership.

That was the first session I attended and one of the things they talked about was really… one of the speakers was building a campaign, something that’s very memorable.

One of the speakers, she talked about the slogan was, Set Yourself Free, set yourself free from having to own a car, set yourself free from having to deal with the high cost of parking.

Tom Smith: Is this what we, as Southern California drivers, are going to be solicited messaging of local public transportation soon?

Steady Decline in California Riders

That we’re gonna be seeing these kinds of ads to tell us to get out of our cars and get into buses and trains and anything else?

Clinton Quan: This is one campaign slogan that’s being used by one particular transit agency, but transit agencies not only in California, but I believe throughout the country, are having a hard time getting more people to ride transit.

There’s been a steady decline in transit ridership.

Tom Smith: Oh, really?

Clinton Quan: Yes. Yeah, if you’ve read any of the articles in LA Times or on any other newspaper or publication, that’s been a problem that we’ve been dealing with throughout California and nationwide.

That’s why it’s so important that transit agencies are looking for new and innovative ways to market, and to get people to ride transit.

Tom Smith: Okay, I’m gonna go off-topic again for a second, because people… I think one of the reasons…

There are lots of reasons you don’t want to ride public transportation, but I think one of them is just being amongst other people and other people’s stuff.

What I mean by that is, the off-topic part is the idea of just renting a car on demand, right? I don’t own a car.

The idea of not owning a car and either exclusively doing Uber, or exclusively doing Lyft, or using the Uber app to walk up to a car and just rent it at will and just live that lifestyle.

I don’t think that’s ever gonna happen for lots of people, including families, and including me, including my wife.

The reason being, you think about all the stuff that you have in your car right now.

Can you fathom not having your car? Not having all your stuff in your car?

The Carsharing Solution?

And just living a life of walking up to a car and waving an app over whatever Q code or whatever, and hopping in and going?

I don’t see that happening, and I think that’s one of the things with public transportation that some of these on-demand companies can learn from public transportation, people don’t want to do that.

Clinton Quan: Yes, that’s true, especially when you have a family and you’ve got kids, and you’ve got the car seat, and you have all these other things with you. It just makes it almost impossible.

It’s simply not convenient, even for someone who’s single. Let’s say, for example, you’re going to the gym or you’re, say, going to a car show and then later at night you’re going to a nicer event and you want to change your outfit.

Where are you carry that stuff? You can’t carry that with you to the car show.

Tom Smith: I don’t know.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, so that’s why it makes it very, very difficult.

I think maybe it’s great for people who live in urban areas and they’re going on very, very short rides.

And, you’re going from one part of downtown, or you’re going to the Music Center for a show and that’s it. But if you’re out for the day and you’re living in the suburbs, that’s a whole different lifestyle.

Tom Smith: I apologize to take it off-topic. What else about this day?

Let me ask you this ’cause this is burning. I was driving and we’re recording this podcast in an undisclosed location, downtown Los Angeles.

I drove past I want to say it was Little Tokyo or right around there, here was a row of the bikes that you could rent that I think the City has under contract.

Public Bike Program Flop

I forget what they’re called, the Metro Bikes or whatever blah, blah, blah, it’s not the shared or sharing bikes.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it’s Metro Bike-

Tom Smith: Metro Bikes?

Clinton Quan: …Share Program. Correct.

Tom Smith: Almost every one of the spots was filled with a bike, meaning nobody’s renting the darn things. That’s part of public transit, right?

Clinton Quan: It’s definitely part of public transit and there’s another big push to get more people to ride bikes.

In fact, there was an article that recently come out in the City of Pasadena, they actually discontinued that program after only a year-

Tom Smith: Not surprised.

Clinton Quan: There was, I think, a $1.2 million program and they found out that there’s just so few people who use it so there was no point in continuing on with that after a one-year test pilot program.

And even in a small city such as Pasadena, where you have all these neighborhoods which are easily connected and you can ride from one to another on a bike, from Old Pasadena to the Playhouse District, to South Lake, that didn’t work.

Tom Smith: Part of the reason I love my cell phone is that it’s mine and I don’t ever have to touch a public payphone ever again.

Clinton Quan: Yes, and that’s the same with so many other things, right?

Tom Smith: Right? I don’t want to touch the handlebars on some random bicycle…

Clinton Quan: It’s interesting you mention that because a friend of mine said the same thing, and he mentioned, “I don’t think a lot of girls would want to do that just for the hygiene thing.”

Tom Smith: No, yeah. I mean, compare it to-

Key Public Transit Issues

Clinton Quan: And we have to be honest about this. If we’re not honest about this, we’re not gonna get more people to ride transit.

There’s two things that we really need to talk about that no one really wants to talk about. One is safety and the other is cleanliness.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: My son is 13-months-old, almost 14-months old. We just took him to Disney for the first time and, even there…

I’m looking around and I mean it’s Disney, so they keep… What is it? 100 bucks a day or something like that? We bought the season pass-

Clinton Quan: It’s definitely around $100 a day.

Tom Smith: We bought the season pass and they really get you for the season pass, but I mean it’s Disney so they’re keeping it as clean as possible. They want to create that environment and it’s good.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, well interesting-

Tom Smith: But it’s Disney, it’s for-profit, and they’re-

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Go ahead.

Clinton Quan: It’s interesting you brought that up because I also attended the California Transit Association’s Fall Conference last year, which took place in Riverside.

One of the… I’m trying to remember if it was the keynote speaker if not the keynote speaker definitely one of the main speakers for the main event worked at Disney.

And, he was saying, “Well, the reason we can get so many people going to Disneyland every single day…” It was either Disneyland or one of the Disney parks-

Tom Smith: Because we sell $57 hot dogs.

Safety & Cleanliness 

Clinton Quan: No… well, he said, “Because we actually keep the park safe and clean.” That’s the same thing that can be applied to transit, right? If we want to get more people to ride transit, we gotta keep it safe and clean.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Was it you telling me that somebody recently rode the bus, or train, or something and their day was ruined because they sat down in… It wasn’t a plastic seat, but it had some kind of cloth on it-

Kart Bus

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: …and there was urine, it was a puddle of urine.

Clinton Quan: That was in the LA Times, I read that.

Tom Smith: Oh, was it in the LA Times?

Clinton Quan: It was in the Los Angeles Times, yeah.

Tom Smith: I thought somebody was telling me this story as if … I didn’t read it in the LA Times, somebody was telling me this story as if-

Clinton Quan: That’s where I read it. It was in the Los Angeles Times.

Tom Smith: Okay, were you telling me that?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: All right.

Clinton Quan: I told you about that.

Tom Smith: I mean …

Clinton Quan: Yeah, and the guy had said, “After that experience, no going again.”

Tom Smith: Okay, but you hit the nail on the head. Those are the two things that we don’t want to talk about. Were those things talked about? Were those issues addressed?

Clinton Quan: Yes. They have an Expo there and one of the vendors had these new type of seats which are much easier to keep clean. It’s not cloth seats.

Do Robocars Clean Themselves?

I think it’s made of some sort of plastic so it can easily be wiped down. Now, the question is, how often does it get cleaned?

‘Cause there’s people going in and out constantly, right? Unless someone’s cleaning it constantly, that’s the other issue.

And the same thing we’re gonna have with autonomous vehicles. If you’ve got these cars that are running 24/7 and every 10 minutes you get new people coming in there and you don’t have restrictions on who can bring food and drink in the vehicle, that could get very dirty too right?

Tom Smith: You know, look. That’s autonomous… And so Uber and Lyft are working on autonomous stuff. I don’t know if Lyft is, but I know Uber is for sure.

And I recently did a podcast with Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy, and he has this big following of Uber and Lyft drivers, people that drive for the food delivery services like Postmates.

And, he said the way that he got into that was by doing some driving on his own and then blogging about it, or talking about it in Facebook groups.

One of the most elementary things is what to do when the drunk person, the drunk passenger vomits in your car.

It’s like, okay, well now how… If you take the driver out of the equation, then a computer knows that a drunk person got in the back of the car and that the car needs to go into the shop for cleaning? I don’t know.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean, there’s a lot of things like that that need to be figured out, and obviously they’re working on them, but I think we’re sliding all over the topic.

Wildly Overhyped Scooters?

This wasn’t the plan for this podcast. What else did you have in mind for this one, and do we even need to do a second one at this point in time? I mean, did we cover everything on this whole event?

Clinton Quan: I think the other thing that was really talked about during the conference was that we need to be able to make it easier for transit users to connect to other modes of transportation.

Because when you’re riding transit it’s not gonna take you to that final destination. That’s why there’s all this talk about Bike Share, riding scooters-

Tom Smith: And the scooters.

Clinton Quan: …walking.

Tom Smith: But yeah, okay. This is where I think we’re overthinking it, all right?

Clinton Quan: Exactly, yeah.

Tom Smith: The final mile. What are we gonna do about the final mile? Oh my God, scooters! Scooters are the final mile. What about walking?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I mean come on, just walk.

Clinton Quan: Yes, just walk.

Tom Smith: We don’t need technology for that. We had it for a long time. It’s called shoes.

Clinton Quan: Yes, we’ve had this for all this time, that is so true.

Yeah, I was talking to a friend and she’s like, “I don’t understand it. What’s the point of scooters? Why not just walk?” She told me the exact same …Yeah. I don’t see what the advantage is. You’ve got these scooters-

Tom Smith: They’re fun. It’s a fun novelty. Look, if you’re a tourist coming to LA and you’ve just heard about the Marina del Rey area, or the quote-unquote, Venice/Silicon Beach and you go there and have a drink down by the ocean and enjoy the sunset and whatever, hop on a scooter.

Bird & Lime = Groupon & LivingSocial?

Okay. But I’m thinking out loud right now. I was at an event a couple of months back at UCLA and there was scooters all over there, both Bird and the Lime bike scooters.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, it’s really popular on the Westside, and especially in the…

Tom Smith: Okay, so for tourists and for college kids.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: For the college kids it’s replacing the Honda Spree that people were riding when I was in college.

Clinton Quan: I don’t really see it here in downtown, quite honestly.

Tom Smith: I see it occasionally-

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: …but not…

Clinton Quan: Not the way that people are talking about it.

Tom Smith: But these companies are growing like crazy. Is it real growth?

Clinton Quan: That’s a good question and I don’t-

Tom Smith: Is it real growth or is it VC hype that’s going to collapse like Groupon stock? Or is it Groupon or LivingSocial, or both of them?

Clinton Quan: LivingSocial.

Tom Smith: LivingSocial?

Clinton Quan: Yes. At this point, it appears to be a lot of hype. When I was down in Long Beach for the conference I did see a number of scooters, and some of them, they’re just laying on the sidewalk, so-

Tom Smith: A lot of them.

Clinton Quan: …it’s the same thing that we talked about bikes, right? The cleanliness of the … applies to the scooters, ’cause they’re literally on the street.

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: And they’re orphaned. The whole concept of whatever they call, the nesters, right?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

The Final Mile Solution

Tom Smith: The people that go and pick them up in the middle of the night to bring them back and charge them up or whatever, however that works. I don’t get… I get it, but I don’t get it and time will tell.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I think a lot of people, they’re trying to figure out new ways to connect people.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, at this point it’s-

Tom Smith: My Bird scooter’s gonna help me connect with somebody?

Clinton Quan: Connect you to that final mile after you-

Tom Smith: To that final mile.

Clinton Quan: …after you get off your-

Tom Smith: After I wore a hole in my shoe.

Clinton Quan: …but, or you get off the blue line.

Tom Smith: Okay, all right. Okay. I think we tore the concept of this podcast being one of two into … that doesn’t work. We didn’t tear it, we put it together into one so it’s just one podcast, right?

Clinton Quan: I guess, yes.

Tom Smith: Did we or did we not?

Clinton Quan: We did.

Tom Smith: Okay. Is there anything else that we need to cover the California Transit Association Fall Conference?

Clinton Quan: The other thing is using apps to make it easier for people.

A lot of times if you’re riding a bus, or using a rail line you may not know what the times are. Hopefully with technology and using the apps, then it makes it easier to connect to all these different modes of transportation. That and using car sharing services.

Tom Smith: Yeah, okay.

Clinton Quan: There was definitely a lot of talk about that.

Electric Buses are Real and Coming Soon!

Tom Smith: If I’m taking public transportation, look. The bus is gonna be late sometimes because the garbage truck is gonna cut it off, or the delivery truck for the US Mail-

Clinton Quan: They’re dealing with the same issues that anyone else would be using a private automobile.

Tom Smith: Then the public transportation company should give me an app that shows when the bus is showing up, just like my Uber driver does?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Right?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I think that’s something that a lot of the agencies are… we don’t have it.

Tom Smith: One other thing about is electric buses. We got a little bit of electric bus activity-

Clinton Quan: Yeah, battery electric buses. Yes.

Tom Smith: …right here in Southern California. I know we have at least one electric bus company here in LA, right?

Clinton Quan: Well, Proterra. There’s a number of them. There’s BYD, there’s a number … Yeah. Off the top of my head, those are the two big companies.

Tom Smith: And I know they were participants of this show.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Is there a rollout plan for electric buses in LA, in California anywhere? Was that talked about?

Clinton Quan: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think that’s what all the cities are moving towards, electric buses, for sure.

Tom Smith: How soon are we gonna see those?

Clinton Quan: I think we’re gonna be seeing those very soon, in the next five years.

Tom Smith: Okay. No electric buses on the ground right now?

Clinton Quan: No, I believe there’s a number of agencies that have electric buses right now, yes.

Tom Smith: Locally here? LA City, LA County? Anywhere in Southern California?

88 Cities in Los Angeles County

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I don’t know specifically which ones but yes, we do.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: There are places that have electric buses, yes.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: We’ve got what? 88 cities in the County of Los Angeles, just alone in the county, and most people don’t realize that we have that many cities in LA County.

Tom Smith: I didn’t realize that myself.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, and that’s just LA County, but then you look at … we also have, what? Riverside County, San Bernardino, Orange County, Ventura County-

Tom Smith: All right, and we have a handful of electric bus companies that are working right out of Southern California, so they’re working to equip the Southern California companies.

You know what? I emailed back and forth one of the CEOs of the electric bus companies. We need to story on them, either me or you. We need to get iDriveSoCal talking to some electric bus companies and see what’s going on from their perspective.

But all right, Professor. At the top of this podcast we promised it was going to be one of two but, at the bottom of this podcast, I think we’re going to officially state that it’s not one of two, it’s one of one.

Clinton Quan: Okay.

Tom Smith: Does that make sense?

Clinton Quan: That makes sense.

Tom Smith: Okay. This is live, everybody. We’re deciding this as we speak. Professor, thank you as always. Unless there’s anything else, are you good?

Clinton Quan: I’m good.

Tom Smith: All right, excellent. For iDriveSoCal I am Tom Smith. Thank you as always for tuning in.

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We, citizens of planet earth, hope or assume that our government leaders have the future of public transportation clearly planned and ready to roll out in a timely, orderly fashion... yeah. - The reality is that the future of private transportation ma... We, citizens of planet earth, hope or assume that our government leaders have the future of public transportation clearly planned and ready to roll out in a timely, orderly fashion... yeah.<br /> <br /> The reality is that the future of private transportation may be more definitely predicted at this point.  As public transportation ridership dwindles the only thing that seems certain is that electric buses will be available in the near future.<br /> <br /> But electric buses will still have the same issues existing buses have - questionable safety and cleanliness.<br /> <br /> In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, Professor Quan reports on a recent public transportation conference he attended. Meanwhile, he and I dance-around and dive into various forms of transportation as our future of mobility evolves. Click play below for insider info and occasionally boisterous commentary!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> Public & Private Transport is Changing<br /> Clinton Quan: Autonomous vehicles and what the future would hold for a world where we wouldn't have to drive a vehicle. For example, may we wouldn't need a garage if everyone's using autonomous vehicles<br /> <br /> At this point, really, it's all talk. No one really, really knows because there are so many factors that you have to look at.<br /> <br /> On the flip side, we do see a lot of auto manufacturers spending a lot of money on autonomous vehicles.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello my friend.<br /> <br /> When you usually hear me introduce Clinton, and it's usually a vehicle review, or it's an auto show, or an automotive museum and we do a lot of talking about that stuff.<br /> <br /> But then, you hear at the beginning of all my podcasts, that we talk about mobility. And, in this case, actually the good Professor is doing a piece on mobility, and actually, it's gonna be a two-part piece.<br /> <br /> The topic is Public Transportation and this is gonna be a two-part piece on public transportation because the way we're getting around is changing. Now, iDriveSoCal podcast number 100 I did a little piece, it was a little solo piece and I did the Future of Mobility, What's Hype and What's Real?<br /> <br /> There's so much going on and it captures the imagination, right? I mean, from underground highways to hyperloops to flying cars to driverless cars, so the Professor went to... What event did you go to?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: This was the California Transit Association's 53rd Annual Fall Conference and Expo at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.<br /> California Transit Association<br /> Tom Smith: The California Transit Association, so that's all about public transportation in the State of California? Right?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Pretty much, yeah. And they advocate transit-friendly policies, protecting and increasing funding for transit.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay. And this is the group is statewide, so who's going to this? City leaders from all the cities across California, as well as counties, I'm assuming?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Leaders from cities throughout the State of California and other government entities as well, including counties.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And this is where they go and are decisions being made here? Or is it more like a trade show kind of thing where they're seeing what the options are for them to invest public funds in, or what is this all about?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Well, this is an opportunity for leaders to share ideas and to see what new technologies are out th... Tom Smith clean 28:26
Car Buying as a Service – Changing the Car Buying Game https://www.idrivesocal.com/car-buying-service/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 19:55:52 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4402 As of 2018, there are nearly 17,000 new car franchise dealerships across the United States - so car buying as a service should be commonplace. But we all know that all car dealerships, just like all car salespeople, are not created equal.  In Southern California, there are 43 Honda car dealerships.  And that doesn't include San Diego County!  That's only Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire - Riverside and San Bernadino Counties. And with all the information available to us buyers these days, we can walk into any dealership with an incredible amount of knowledge including the vehicle and price - everything. So if cars are commodities then why choose one dealership over another?  Service - and honesty, of course.  A simple concept but easier stated than executed. In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, I'm joined by David Latif of Rock Honda. Click play below to hear how his team treats car buying as a service rather than sales.  And, as part of National Salesperson Day, we acknowledge one of his top 'service people' who happens to help a lot of Southern Californians buy cars. ***Transcription*** Recorded in Fontana, CA Service & Honesty David Latif: People know everything before they get into a dealership, they can buy this car anywhere, so the only thing we're really selling is service and honesty. We're trying to make the process as seamless as we can. You're only going to them if this customer is happy 100%. Not a fake happy, a happy, happy! Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am excited to be out at our good friends, our wonderful partners in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana California, Rock Honda. Joining me is Rock Honda's general manager, Mr David Latif. David, thank you so much for joining me yet again. "...the only thing we're really selling is service and honesty." David Latif: Thanks again for having me. Tom Smith: Today's podcast is... Really, it's two-fold. One, it's philosophical. We're coming up on a little known day, most people don't know this holiday. I don't think it's soon to be a national holiday by any stretch, but nevertheless, it's a day where we recognize certain professions. December 14th, 2018 is National Salesperson Day. David Latif: I'm excited to find out what it is. Tom Smith: People love getting new cars but the car buying process can be contentious. It's been that way for many, many years. But some car dealerships handle that situation far better than hours, even know. Even though it's a known fact, whatever. You guys at Rock Honda do a phenomenal job, you do a great business. You do a great business because you have a lot of repeat business, as well as you have a large staff that has very loyal followings. So we are going to announce, someone here at Rock Honda for National Salesperson Day. You Can Buy Anywhere But first, let's talk a little bit about just kind of the philosophy that you share with your team here at Rock Honda as far as the sales cycle goes, the sales process goes. David Latif: So obviously, I mean, the culture we build here the last seven, eight years is we sell one of the best products in the country. People know everything before they get into a dealership. So the only thing we're really selling is service. They can buy this car anywhere, so the only thing we're really selling is service and honesty. We have customers that bought 20, 25 cars here the last 15, 16 years. So the culture here, if you're going to break the laws, and take shortcuts, and mistreat the customer, this is not a place for you to work. We're going to be here for a long time, we've been here already in Fontana I believe over 35, 40 years, and we're not planning on going anywhere. "...the only way this business and today's market will survive is with your previous customers and word of mouth." As of 2018, there are nearly 17,000 new car franchise dealerships across the United States – so car buying as a service should be commonplace.

But we all know that all car dealerships, just like all car salespeople, are not created equal.  In Southern California, there are 43 Honda car dealerships.  And that doesn’t include San Diego County!  That’s only Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire – Riverside and San Bernadino Counties.

And with all the information available to us buyers these days, we can walk into any dealership with an incredible amount of knowledge including the vehicle and price – everything.

So if cars are commodities then why choose one dealership over another?  Service – and honesty, of course.  A simple concept but easier stated than executed.

In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, I’m joined by David Latif of Rock Honda. Click play below to hear how his team treats car buying as a service rather than sales.  And, as part of National Salesperson Day, we acknowledge one of his top ‘service people’ who happens to help a lot of Southern Californians buy cars.

Rock Honda's Albert Suarez and iDSC's Tom Smith pictured as part iDriveSoCal Podcast 153 Car Buying as a Service

***Transcription***

Recorded in Fontana, CA

Service & Honesty

David Latif: People know everything before they get into a dealership, they can buy this car anywhere, so the only thing we’re really selling is service and honesty.

We’re trying to make the process as seamless as we can. You’re only going to them if this customer is happy 100%. Not a fake happy, a happy, happy!

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am excited to be out at our good friends, our wonderful partners in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana California, Rock Honda.

Joining me is Rock Honda’s general manager, Mr David Latif. David, thank you so much for joining me yet again.

“…the only thing we’re really selling is service and honesty.”

David Latif: Thanks again for having me.

Tom Smith: Today’s podcast is… Really, it’s two-fold. One, it’s philosophical.

We’re coming up on a little known day, most people don’t know this holiday. I don’t think it’s soon to be a national holiday by any stretch, but nevertheless, it’s a day where we recognize certain professions. December 14th, 2018 is National Salesperson Day.

David Latif: I’m excited to find out what it is.

Tom Smith: People love getting new cars but the car buying process can be contentious. It’s been that way for many, many years.

But some car dealerships handle that situation far better than hours, even know. Even though it’s a known fact, whatever. You guys at Rock Honda do a phenomenal job, you do a great business.

You do a great business because you have a lot of repeat business, as well as you have a large staff that has very loyal followings. So we are going to announce, someone here at Rock Honda for National Salesperson Day.

You Can Buy Anywhere

But first, let’s talk a little bit about just kind of the philosophy that you share with your team here at Rock Honda as far as the sales cycle goes, the sales process goes.

David Latif: So obviously, I mean, the culture we build here the last seven, eight years is we sell one of the best products in the country.

People know everything before they get into a dealership. So the only thing we’re really selling is service. They can buy this car anywhere, so the only thing we’re really selling is service and honesty.

We have customers that bought 20, 25 cars here the last 15, 16 years. So the culture here, if you’re going to break the laws, and take shortcuts, and mistreat the customer, this is not a place for you to work.

We’re going to be here for a long time, we’ve been here already in Fontana I believe over 35, 40 years, and we’re not planning on going anywhere.

“…the only way this business and today’s market will survive is with your previous customers and word of mouth.”

So the only way this business and today’s market will survive is with your previous customers and word of mouth. That really working out for us. I mean, we got the store from selling 250 cars to 500 to 600 cars [monthly].

Five years in a row we won President Awards, Elite Awards, Masters Circle. All of that, it’s just not me, it’s the team, it’s the whole store. It takes a while to get the whole store to have the same vision and the same culture, and I’ve been lucky enough that we have that going into place.

Tom Smith: We’ve worked together for a long time, and I know people that work here that just like coming here. They put in exponentially more hours than necessary.

Environment of Honesty

I don’t even know if you’re paying them for that time that they’re here, but they like to be here. I mean, it’s a nice environment to come to, if a fun… Honestly, it’s a fun place for me to come and do work.

David Latif: It’s funny you said that the owners say the same thing. We own six stores and this is the store they love to come because the energy and everybody is in a good mood. That’s the energy we like to have in here.

I always joke around with my staff. I say, “This is a Vegas. When people come in, we want them to be excited and be happy.”  If your salespeople are happy, your customer is going to be happy.

Tom Smith: That’s so true.

David Latif: So if you come in, and the atmosphere is all dull, and everybody is down, and you know, we all have problems.

“When people come in, we want them to be excited and be happy.”

But you can’t bring it to work. If you do, now the customer feels it. As it is, they’re under pressure, new payment, new car. The last thing they want to run into is a guy with bad attitude and smell like cigarette.

Tom Smith: It’s so true, it so true.

David Latif: Just like you said, a lot of these guys have fun coming in here, it’s very true. I got guys driving from Orange County, it’s an hour and a half.

You know, they can get jobs close by, it’s not like they got the biggest jobs here, they’re salespeople. But just the fact that they feel like a family and we do treat them that way.

When they need something, I’m there for them. Even if it’s wrong, I’m there for them and they do the same thing.

Open Accountability

Tom Smith: One of the things that you mentioned was the awards. If you ever come to Rock Honda, be sure to say hi to David and see if you can pop in his office which is right off the showroom and I hope that’s okay. I say that to…

David Latif: I keep my office locked at all times.

Tom Smith: His office, and it is locked. I mean, but you have to…

David Latif: But I’m in it always.

Tom Smith: You have so many awards and trophies in there and you mentioned the Excellence Presidents…

David Latif: Circle Master. So it’s funny you said that just a month ago we were at Honda meeting in San Francisco, they revealed a new Passport.

“…customers love him, the employees love him, everybody loves him.”

We’re talking, I was joking with a guy. He says, “Oh, this guy, this year you guys got it again. You’re going to win the President’s awards.” I said, “I don’t want it anymore because we don’t have any more shelves to put these things on.”

Tom Smith: It’s true, it is true David.

David Latif: But we love doing it, we love getting it every year. The guys get a kick out of it. You know Honda kicks in some gifts and stuff for their employees, and we make sure we make a big, old deal enough about it that they know that it’s important to us.

Tom Smith: It is a big deal. The average customer or most customers aren’t even going to realize it. They see something on the wall that says, “Award, whatever, blah, blah, blah.” But it is a very big deal because out of the thousands of Honda stores in the United States, you guys are selected as tops in not only sales but customer satisfaction.

Streamlined Car Buying

David Latif: Sales and service customer satisfaction. It’s very hard in a way because the perception of customers is always it takes three, four hours to buy a car. I say that’s in the past.

A lot of the times, out of three, four hours, half of that is the customer that takes the time as far as choosing a car, a different color, a different this. Yes, we take a while because we want to make sure everything is proper and we don’t want to call the customer back and say, “We made a mistake and come back and redo it.”

But we’re trying to make the process as seamless as we can. We hired more staff as far as delivery and washing stuff, so you don’t have to wait extra. Believe me, if there’s a problem, I know about it. I’m here six days a week and I’m always on the floor. The reason I do that, because I want to touch all the customers. Yes, I trust my guys but if you leave them long enough, I don’t know what happens. So I’m on them.

“…we’re trying to make the process as seamless as we can.”

Tom Smith: But you’re on them in the nicest way. You have the best relationships with all of your guys.

David Latif: You have to make it fun because if they fear you and don’t respect you, then you got a bigger problem on your hand.

When I was a salesman, I always hated that. I was like, “Why these guys don’t get it. If I’m in a bad mood, I can’t sell a car, you got to get me in a good mood.” So the mistakes that the past GMs and managers made, I learn from them and I don’t do that.

A Team of MVPs

There’s an old saying, they say, “Treat everyone like you like to be treated.” That’s my philosophy here.

Tom Smith: So National Salesperson Day, December 14th, 2018. Salesperson that you would like to highlight here at Rock Honda and before saying who it is, what criteria do you want to consider or have you considered in selecting that person?

David Latif: Absolutely. So it has to be an all around, just like a professional, the hockey player, or football player. They got to be able to do everything.

I always joke around with them, I’m like, “There’s like juggling four or five balls at the same time and if you can’t, you’re not the guy for the job.” These guys are all capable of doing that. You know, it’s hard for me to pick one guy because I have a handful of guys that…

“Treat everyone like you like to be treated.”

Tom Smith: Great problem to have.

David Latif: Exactly. That really fit in on those top salesman of the year and stuff. But I got a couple of guys that you know like you said, they like being in here but these guys like it way too much I think. Very soon I’m going to start charging them rent, they don’t go home.

I got a guy, his name is Albert Suarez, been with me for a long time. This guy has been a top salesman the last four, five years. He might miss a month here and there but the customers love him, the employees love him, everybody loves him.

Tom Smith: The most successful car salespeople that I’ve experienced have always driven their business on referrals because people are so happy…

David Latif: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: With having worked with that person that business just comes to them.

Happy Buyers

David Latif: It’s just common sense. When somebody buys a new or a pre-owned car, they tell everybody, their friends, their co-worker, their family.

All these people you talk to, there’s one or two that’s always looking for a car. So it’s very important that that customer that leaves here is happy. It’s just like the pyramid deal in old days. You get one guy and the guy gets two guys, and four guys.

Tom Smith: That’s right. Right.

David Latif: So that’s what I try to explain to them. That one customer that you just sold the car to, you just opened the relationship with him. It didn’t just end because you sold him a car, you just started another branch. You know, how many customers does this person know that’s in the market?

“…only… if this customer is happy 100%. Not a fake happy, a happy, happy.”

But you’re only going to them if this customer is happy 100%. Not a fake happy, a happy, happy.

We have a lot of them. Once in a while, if I have a bad one, believe me, I’m all over it. We’ll get the customer in, I’ll handle it myself personally and we’ll take care of the issue.

Tom Smith: Folks, that is no joke. David is very accessible, he’s always available to meet, greet, get involved, and he’s happy to meet people.

True story, I’ve been here waiting for David to be available to record this podcast for a number of hours because he as so busy attending to everything that he does as a very hands-on manager. But that hands-on is such a wonderful, velvet touch that everybody loves here.

Not only customers but sales and all of our employees alike. Because sales is just a small part, you guys have a ton of service people.

Happy Team Members

David Latif: We have over 200 employees and I don’t think you’ll find one unhappy one.

Tom Smith: No, you won’t. You won’t.

David Latif: Because I won’t let them be unhappy.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

David Latif: So call them in my office, we’ll talk about it, and I’ll make when they leave my office they’re a different person. So if you need therapy, come and see me.

Tom Smith: I do from time to time everybody, I do. I call up David, “Hey man, so this is going on.” No. But so, we’ve danced around the topic of National Salesperson Day, your National Salesperson Day appointee again is…

David Latif: Albert Suarez.

Tom Smith: Albert Suarez. So what we’re going to do… And Albert is actually busy with customers right now.

David Latif: Yes, three times we went to get the guy. We wanted to get another guy and he said he’s busy also.

Tom Smith: So what we’re going to do is we’re going to post Albert’s contact information on iDriveSoCal.com on this post.

Abert Suarez
cell: 951-966-4322
asuarez [at] rockhonda.com

If you, Mister and Missus podcast listener are interested in Honda, you obviously, of course, have to go to Rock Honda. Come to Rock Honda where I am right now, where David and I are recording this. You can contact Albert directly.

David Latif: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: His contact information will be right on this post. So David, thank you so much. Unless you have anything else you’d like to add?

David Latif: The only thing I was going to add, the only reason you’re hanging around because you like this place also.

We Like Being There Too

Tom Smith: I do, I do.

David Latif: No, thank you. I enjoy talking to you. Thanks for coming and thanks for waiting. Like you said, you’ve been waiting a while, and hopefully, we’ll see some customers.

Tom Smith: Absolutely. All right. David, thank you again, thank you for Rock Honda partnership. We love you guys.

David Latif: Thank you, Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Tom Smith: Happy holidays, Merry Christmas to you as well my friend. Thank you very much for listening. For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. We will talk to you very soon.

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As of 2018, there are nearly 17,000 new car franchise dealerships across the United States - so car buying as a service should be commonplace. - But we all know that all car dealerships, just like all car salespeople, are not created equal. As of 2018, there are nearly 17,000 new car franchise dealerships across the United States - so car buying as a service should be commonplace.<br /> <br /> But we all know that all car dealerships, just like all car salespeople, are not created equal.  In Southern California, there are 43 Honda car dealerships.  And that doesn't include San Diego County!  That's only Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire - Riverside and San Bernadino Counties.<br /> <br /> And with all the information available to us buyers these days, we can walk into any dealership with an incredible amount of knowledge including the vehicle and price - everything.<br /> <br /> So if cars are commodities then why choose one dealership over another?  Service - and honesty, of course.  A simple concept but easier stated than executed.<br /> <br /> In this iDriveSoCal Podcast, I'm joined by David Latif of Rock Honda. Click play below to hear how his team treats car buying as a service rather than sales.  And, as part of National Salesperson Day, we acknowledge one of his top 'service people' who happens to help a lot of Southern Californians buy cars.<br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in Fontana, CA<br /> <br /> Service & Honesty<br /> David Latif: People know everything before they get into a dealership, they can buy this car anywhere, so the only thing we're really selling is service and honesty.<br /> <br /> We're trying to make the process as seamless as we can. You're only going to them if this customer is happy 100%. Not a fake happy, a happy, happy!<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast. All about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and I am excited to be out at our good friends, our wonderful partners in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana California, Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> Joining me is Rock Honda's general manager, Mr David Latif. David, thank you so much for joining me yet again.<br /> <br /> "...the only thing we're really selling is service and honesty."<br /> <br /> David Latif: Thanks again for having me.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Today's podcast is... Really, it's two-fold. One, it's philosophical.<br /> <br /> We're coming up on a little known day, most people don't know this holiday. I don't think it's soon to be a national holiday by any stretch, but nevertheless, it's a day where we recognize certain professions. December 14th, 2018 is National Salesperson Day.<br /> <br /> David Latif: I'm excited to find out what it is.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: People love getting new cars but the car buying process can be contentious. It's been that way for many, many years.<br /> <br /> But some car dealerships handle that situation far better than hours, even know. Even though it's a known fact, whatever. You guys at Rock Honda do a phenomenal job, you do a great business.<br /> <br /> You do a great business because you have a lot of repeat business, as well as you have a large staff that has very loyal followings. So we are going to announce, someone here at Rock Honda for National Salesperson Day.<br /> You Can Buy Anywhere<br /> But first, let's talk a little bit about just kind of the philosophy that you share with your team here at Rock Honda as far as the sales cycle goes, the sales process goes.<br /> <br /> David Latif: So obviously, I mean, the culture we build here the last seven, eight years is we sell one of the best products in the country.<br /> <br /> People know everything before they get into a dealership. So the only thing we're really selling is service. They can buy this car anywhere, so the only thing we're really selling is service and honesty.<br /> <br /> We have customers that bought 20, 25 cars here the last 15, 16 years. So the culture here, if you're going to break the laws, and take shortcuts, and mistreat the customer, this is not a place for you to work. Tom Smith clean 12:26
San Diego International Auto Show https://www.idrivesocal.com/san-diego-auto-show/ Fri, 14 Dec 2018 06:32:03 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4389 With more than 100 test drive opportunities from 13 top automakers, the San Diego International Auto Show is a must-attend event for all car-lovers. And that's especially true if you're in the market for a new car now or planning to be anytime this year.  With over 600 new cars on display and the opportunity to look, touch, feel and ask questions all without the pressure to buy - you simply can't go wrong. Perhaps best of all there's no better opportunity to bond with your kids, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or even colleagues and clients than a family-friendly auto show. And for us, SoCal residents the LA Auto Show and OC Auto Shows are in the rear-view mirror until next year.  So you don't want to miss this!  Click play below for the details and make a date to start an auto show tradition in San Diego-style! ***Transcription*** Recorded in San Diego, CA 2018 San Diego Auto Show Kevin Leap: There's probably well over a hundred different models and makes that you could actually test drive. You know when you get in and you turn it on and you feel how it drives and you experience the technology. It's the only place where you can go and see pretty much every manufacturer, all of the new things that they have, in one place. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am excited to be in San Diego County. This is the furthest south that iDriveSoCal podcast has been recorded. San Diego County in, where are we exactly again? Kevin Leap: Sorento Valley. Tom Smith: Sorento Valley. And joining me is Kevin Leap. Mr. Kevin Leap of the San Diego International Auto Show and the San Diego New Car Dealers Association. Thank you so much for joining me. "...December 27th thru 30th... San Diego Convention Center, downtown San Diego right on the water on Harbor Drive." Kevin Leap: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Tom Smith: iDriveSoCal, we're rounding our first year here, and this is the first podcast that we're doing with you that we hope to be doing a year after year in association with the San Diego International Auto Show that's coming up here in, let's see, we're recording this in, what is it, November 20th and the show in December... Kevin Leap: December 27th through the 30th. So we're about 35 days away. Tom Smith: All right. And the show takes place in... Kevin Leap: The San Diego Convention Center, downtown San Diego right on the water on Harbor Drive. Tom Smith: We were talking off mic a little bit. The San Diego International Auto Show has been going on for quite some time. History of the San Diego Auto Show Kevin Leap: 1928. The first year was in Balboa Park in the Esplanade. I think they had seven or eight cars. It was just a huge social socialite event, very, very high-end San Diegans dressed to the nines coming to see the horseless carriage if you will. Tom Smith: The horseless carriage. Kevin Leap: The horseless carriage. Back when you could trade in a horse for a car. Tom Smith: You know, I find that interesting actually these days as we read stories about autonomous driving and the inevitable accidents that happen with autonomous driving. Kevin Leap: Which are mostly caused by humans. Tom Smith: Right. Exactly. But it makes me think, hey, on the one hand, we think, hey, this is something that we're experiencing as a first time. But it's really not, right? "It was just a huge social socialite event, very, very high-end San Diegans dressed to the nines coming to see the horseless carriage..." There was a massive shift when cars came about, and I'm sure there was lots of issues with horses and buggies and cars replacing them on the roads and that transition, right. Kevin Leap: Absolutely. Absolutely. I wasn't there for it, but I can imagine. Tom Smith: You weren't? I remember it like it was yesterday, With more than 100 test drive opportunities from 13 top automakers, the San Diego International Auto Show is a must-attend event for all car-lovers.

And that’s especially true if you’re in the market for a new car now or planning to be anytime this year.  With over 600 new cars on display and the opportunity to look, touch, feel and ask questions all without the pressure to buy – you simply can’t go wrong.

Perhaps best of all there’s no better opportunity to bond with your kids, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or even colleagues and clients than a family-friendly auto show.

And for us, SoCal residents the LA Auto Show and OC Auto Shows are in the rear-view mirror until next year.  So you don’t want to miss this!  Click play below for the details and make a date to start an auto show tradition in San Diego-style!

***Transcription***

Recorded in San Diego, CA

2018 San Diego Auto Show

Kevin Leap: There’s probably well over a hundred different models and makes that you could actually test drive.

You know when you get in and you turn it on and you feel how it drives and you experience the technology.

It’s the only place where you can go and see pretty much every manufacturer, all of the new things that they have, in one place.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am excited to be in San Diego County. This is the furthest south that iDriveSoCal podcast has been recorded. San Diego County in, where are we exactly again?

Kevin Leap: Sorento Valley.

Tom Smith: Sorento Valley. And joining me is Kevin Leap. Mr. Kevin Leap of the San Diego International Auto Show and the San Diego New Car Dealers Association. Thank you so much for joining me.

“…December 27th thru 30th… San Diego Convention Center, downtown San Diego right on the water on Harbor Drive.”

Kevin Leap: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Tom Smith: iDriveSoCal, we’re rounding our first year here, and this is the first podcast that we’re doing with you that we hope to be doing a year after year in association with the San Diego International Auto Show that’s coming up here in, let’s see, we’re recording this in, what is it, November 20th and the show in December…

Kevin Leap: December 27th through the 30th. So we’re about 35 days away.

Tom Smith: All right. And the show takes place in…

Kevin Leap: The San Diego Convention Center, downtown San Diego right on the water on Harbor Drive.

Tom Smith: We were talking off mic a little bit. The San Diego International Auto Show has been going on for quite some time.

History of the San Diego Auto Show

Kevin Leap: 1928. The first year was in Balboa Park in the Esplanade. I think they had seven or eight cars. It was just a huge social socialite event, very, very high-end San Diegans dressed to the nines coming to see the horseless carriage if you will.

Tom Smith: The horseless carriage.

Kevin Leap: The horseless carriage. Back when you could trade in a horse for a car.

Tom Smith: You know, I find that interesting actually these days as we read stories about autonomous driving and the inevitable accidents that happen with autonomous driving.

Kevin Leap: Which are mostly caused by humans.

Tom Smith: Right. Exactly. But it makes me think, hey, on the one hand, we think, hey, this is something that we’re experiencing as a first time. But it’s really not, right?

“It was just a huge social socialite event, very, very high-end San Diegans dressed to the nines coming to see the horseless carriage…”

There was a massive shift when cars came about, and I’m sure there was lots of issues with horses and buggies and cars replacing them on the roads and that transition, right.

Kevin Leap: Absolutely. Absolutely. I wasn’t there for it, but I can imagine.

Tom Smith: You weren’t? I remember it like it was yesterday, actually.

Kevin Leap: Watch Little House on the Prairie or Bonanza or something.

Tom Smith: Something like that, right? Okay, so 1928. You guys have been around for a long, long time. I know you’ve only been here at the show for 12 years. Let’s talk a little bit about the history of the show.

Kevin Leap: Okay. It was basically in Balboa Park for a very long time. In the seventies and eighties to show moved into Golden Hall, which is in downtown San Diego right next to the city hall. And that was when it pretty much had about probably 50 cars there and any given time.

600+ New Cars on Display 

So, it was relatively… It was not a large show at that point. But 26 years ago, when 1992, when the new convention center opened, we took over all 525,000 square feet of the floor in addition to, some years, 100,000 square feet in the tent sale area.

Plus, we have 130,000 square feet of outside test drive courses. So we have a pretty big footprint and about, all said and done over 600 vehicles, and we have, I think it’s 13 test drives this year, which is, we’re really excited about.

Kevin Leap: Alfa Romeo is coming this year, which is great. We’re going to be doing something with Ram trucks and Ford Ranger, and our usual folks. Toyota and Chevy has two ride and drives. FCA is doing all of their brands in one as well as Mazda, Subaru, Nissan. So we’ve got a lot of folks joining us.

Tom Smith: Will all the ride and drives be outside?

Kevin Leap: There are… Yes. All of them are outside with the exception of Camp Jeep, which is inside, which is 35,000 square foot off-road track inside.

Tom Smith: Excellent.

Kevin Leap: Which is super Fun. Total Disney e-ticket, if they still do the e-tickets, yeah, right.

“…over 600 vehicles, and we have… 13 test drives this year… we’re really excited about.”

Tom Smith: Speaking of which, Disney, a lot cheaper than Disney for sure.

Kevin Leap: That’s right.

Tom Smith: But the show isn’t free, right? There is a small cost for tickets?

Kevin Leap: Yeah, it’s $15 for an adult and $12 for kids and seniors and military. And it’s pretty hard to not find a $2 off coupon at a local dealership or 7-11. And online at SDAutoShow.com.

100+ Ride and Drives Offered

Tom Smith: So SDAutoShow.com is where you can go to get a discount for tickets. And again, while we’re on the stats there, it is the 27th through the 30th, right?

Kevin Leap: 27th through the 30th of December.

Tom Smith: Of December. What days do those fall on? Is that Thursday through Sunday?

Kevin Leap: Thursday through Sunday.

Tom Smith: Okay, perfect. Now the ride and drives, you mentioned 13. Now is that 13 different manufacturers or 13 different vehicles that will be ride and drives?

Kevin Leap: There’s 13 unique ride and drives. The only one that’s a double up is Chevy has two, but it’s just because they want to make sure that every single one of their vehicles, makes and models is available to drive. The rest of them are unique.

“…well over a hundred different models and makes that you could actually test drive.”

Tom Smith: Okay. And now, will those be taking place, the ride and drives be taken place Thursday through Sunday each day of the show, or the ride and drives only going to be on specific days?

Kevin Leap: No, they’re all four days. The only thing is they do close a little bit early just due to the darkness falling on us.

Tom Smith: Sure, sure.

Kevin Leap: And in each one of those actually represents multiple different models, makes and models, the models of the vehicles.

So if you look at the of the FCA, the Fiat Chrysler America ride and drive, it’s gonna have Dodge represented and Jeep represented and pretty much everything, every other brand that they make.

But they do have a unique Camp Jeep that we spoke of before, and a unique Alfa Romeo and the unique Ram. So there’s probably well over a hundred different models and makes that you could actually test drive.

No Pressure Test Drive Experience

Tom Smith: Got it, got it. Okay. So basically you could come to the show all four days in order to drive everything that is being offered to drive.

Kevin Leap: And probably still not do it.

Tom Smith: The ride and drives I know have become a really big part of all auto shows, new car auto shows, and that’s an awesome thing, right? It’s a way for consumers to go and kick the tires, quite literally, drive something and get all the information without any of the pressure.

“…you get in and you turn it on and you feel how it drives and you experience the technology.”

Kevin Leap: Right. And it’s just a really… I mean there’s a big difference between going and sitting in a stationary vehicle, and experiencing the comfort and the styling and all of those different things.

But you know when you get in and you turn it on and you feel how it drives and you experience the technology.

And the beauty of it is is that you’re driving with a highly trained specialist who can answer any of your questions, and he provides you with any information that you need. There’s no selling at the auto show. So basically if you find something that you like, you basically just go to a dealership at that point.

One of the things that we found fascinating is that there are a huge amount of people that actually change their mind on what they’re going to buy being at the auto show.

Just because of the fact it’s the only place where you can go and see pretty much every manufacturer, all of the new things that they have, in one place. And you’re talking to like I said, highly trained product specialists, and there’s no sales pressure.

Learn from the Experts In-Person

So you go there, the average stay of our guests is about three hours. They are more educated in that three hours about everything that’s available than they could possibly be if they spend it on the web or went to… I mean, it’s not physically possible to go to that many dealerships.

Tom Smith: And I mean, that’s the key thing is being able to go from one to the other to the other all in one sitting, in one setting. And you can do so on a family-friendly environment.

I want to talk about any special family activities that are going on. But before doing so, I have to comment that, you know, we’re podcasting, so obviously we’re leveraging technology. And you mentioned the internet, obviously.

Everybody’s leveraging technology in their vehicle purchases. But the concept to me with some of the vehicles, and you see the television commercials, like hey, the app…

“They are more educated in that three hours about everything that’s available… [online]…”

And there’s so many of them that are coming out and trying. But the concept of using an app to buy a car end to end and the car’s is just gonna drop at my doorstep. I get it, and it’s kind of like a nice novelty, but personally, never, in a million years.

Kevin Leap: Yeah, I’ll do it with Grub Hub, but… And then sometimes that’s not even good. Right?

Tom Smith: Yeah. That’s not a big commitment. Well, I don’t have to eat it all, I didn’t spend much money.

Kevin Leap: That’s not a five-year thing, sitting in your… That’s a one and done.

Tom Smith: I like that analogy. That’s a good one. But yeah, our vehicles are, in almost all cases, the second most expensive purchase that we make in our lifetime.

Car Buying Process

And the concept of doing one without actually interacting with a person, without actually sitting in the thing. I’ve said before I want to sit in it when it’s parked, I want to sit in it when I’m at a stoplight, I want to sit in it…

Kevin Leap: When it’s in traffic.

Tom Smith: Yeah. All of that is a factor, especially here in southern California because we spend exponentially more time in our cars than… I don’t know if you’re familiar with the company Inrix.

Kevin Leap: I’m not.

Tom Smith: I-N-R-I-X. They’ve been doing studies and southern California… LA. We’re down in San Diego, but LA has earned the mantle of the most traffic congestion on the planet for the last six years running.

Kevin Leap: I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised, and San Diego’s not too far behind, and we’re really growing a lot here.

But one of the things to is that people are keeping their cars for a very long time these days. As you reference, a commitment, that’s a commitment. And you don’t want something sitting in your driveway for seven or 10 years that you just are not fond of.

“…you don’t want something sitting in your driveway… that you just are not fond of.”

Tom Smith: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know… Okay. On that note, I want to throw out one other personal thing, and podcast listeners know this. I started leasing a few years back, and I love leasing because I’m always under warranty.

I’m not so concerned about where I park it as far as at Costco if some knucklehead’s gonna run a grocery cart into it and it gets a ding. It’s like, well it’s a lease, it’s going back.

Buy or Lease?

And the coolest thing is that I get, every two to three years, whatever my lease term is, I get to go out and shop and get the latest, greatest technology that the manufacturers, all manufacturers are putting out these days.

Tom Smith: And I mean, these things are technological marvels on wheels. They’re computers on wheels, really.

Kevin Leap: Oh man. I just bought a Lexus 450 hybrid, and I still can’t figure it out. I had to pull over the other day just to look in the phone book sized manual, owner’s manual to figure out how to turn off something that was blinking. I’m like, okay.

“…I get to go out and shop and get the latest, greatest technology that… all manufacturers are putting out these days.”

Tom Smith: So back to the show. Family friendliness goes hand in hand with automotive shows everywhere. What do you guys have on tap, first family event wise, and then maybe anything else that’s perhaps unique other than the ride and drives.

Kevin Leap: We actually, the thing that we really focus on for families, there’s families there every day. In fact, one of the things that I found super interesting is that I can’t tell you what a history families have of auto shows. It’s tradition.

Tom Smith: Yeah, absolutely.

Kevin Leap: The grandfather started taking the father who’s now taking the son who’s now taking the grandson, and things along those lines.

Tom Smith: It’s a great way to bond.

Kevin Leap: It is, it’s a super way just to go and they have a great time. They get to look at the engines and talk with a product specialist. But we have family…

Tom Smith: I don’t agree with your haircut. I don’t agree with the music you listen to. I don’t agree with the clothes you wear. But isn’t that a nice Corvette?

Auto Show Family Tradition

Kevin Leap: And put that dang phone down. But no, it’s actually, it’s really fun, and you can just see the joy. I mean it’s just all…

There’s a few criers every once in a while, but you can’t avoid that when you got a half a mile floor filled with people. But we have family day, which is our special day, and that’s actually on Sunday. And that’s when all kids 12 and under are free.

Tom Smith: Nice.

“The grandfather started taking the father who’s now taking the son who’s now taking the grandson…”

Kevin Leap: And then we have all sorts of stuff. Like we’ll have Black Panther there. Last year we had Spider-Man and Captain America, and we’ve had Supergirl, and we have the clowns with balloons and face painters and spinning for prizes. You know, fun stuff.

Tom Smith: Sure. Keep it fun for the kids of course.

Kevin Leap: Absolutely. Keep them entertained.

Tom Smith: What do you see in the future? Now you have a unique perspective being the head of the New Car Dealers Association for San Diego, San Diego County.

Kevin Leap: Actually, I’m just the head of the auto show.

Tom Smith: Oh, just the head of the auto show. Okay. I’m sorry.

Kevin Leap: That’s okay.

Tom Smith: So, then what do you see for the future in that unique position? For the future of auto shows?

Kevin Leap: You know, there’s a lot of disruptions happening out there right now with the ridesharing, and downtown San Diego has more bikes and scooters, Birds and Green Bikes than it does cars, it seems like sometimes.

Tom Smith: Really?

Kevin Leap: Yeah. And millennials are really taking their time to decide whether or not to buy one. Plus some things in the dealer franchise system are being challenged.

Autonomous Driving Evolution

And autonomous vehicles is a whole new thing. San Diego’s a hotbed for it. I mean we could throw a rock outside the front door and hit Qualcomm. And they’re one of the top players in that area. Plus we’ve got a lot of testing going on down here.

It’s super interesting to see the difference in what people are focusing on in exhibits. There’s a lot more focus on technology, less so than there is styling. There’s a lot more focus on safety and comfort.

But it’s going to be interesting… And it’s not going to be a long time, I don’t think. It’s happening now. I think it’s going to be a very interesting five years to see how everything goes.

As we were talking about autonomous vehicles before, I went to an all-day seminar or conference on autonomous vehicles, and they were talking about the number of accidents that were caused by them.

And actually, they’re really not caused by them. They’re caused by the humans because the humans run stop lights and they don’t stop… They do the California stop, right? And autonomous vehicles do the full-on stop.

“It’s happening now. I think it’s going to be a very interesting five years to see how everything goes.”

So they’re getting… Most of the autonomous vehicles are getting rear-ended because they’re minding the rules of the road precisely, while I think they referred to us as the hams behind the wheel are not doing that. So anyway.

Tom Smith: One of the things that I fell in love with it or just marveled at, the first Popular Mechanics cover that I saw with a mockup of a flying car.

Kevin Leap: Yeah.

Flying Car Ride & Drives?

Tom Smith: And it was a suburban, it was an aerial view of a suburban kind of house, and I think it was a red flying car had just come out of the garage, and the husband and wife or whatever were in the flying car and happily jetting away from their house.

Any prediction… You mentioned five years will be interesting, but any prediction on flying cars? And I know that’s… I know it sounds fairy tale. Maybe it is a fairy tale. I don’t know. It seems like it might be a little bit more real. Certainly, it’s more realistic than it’s ever been.

Kevin Leap: I don’t think it’s an unrealistic thing. I think our infrastructure couldn’t handle it. I mean, you know, we’re having a hard enough time with drones, and I think that drones are going to be the precursor to something like that.

“…that’s just putting a gigantic slab of ice down and letting everybody go wild.”

And when you see all of the different things that are happening with potential delivery service and surveillance and law enforcement using it to get to the scene of the crime more quickly and things like that. But that’s just putting a gigantic slab of ice down and letting everybody go wild. Because there’s no…

Tom Smith: I like that analogy.

Kevin Leap: There are no lines on the road, there’s no place to stop you’re sliding around. So I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something in the works, but I just am not sure how that would, how the infrastructure would handle the dynamics of traffic.

Cities Planning for Flying Cars

Tom Smith: Yep. Yep. And I agree that the slab of ice, I liked that one. But the one thing that I posed in various conversations is look with autonomous driving, there’s a lot of stuff on the ground to hit. Whereas in the air, there’s less to hit. So in theory, I don’t know, I don’t know, but it’s fascinating. It’s fascinating.

Kevin Leap: Well, it depends on how many flying cars there are I guess, right?

Tom Smith: Right? Well, and I was in, I sat through a presentation, it was actually at the Petersen Automotive Museum, and it was on reimagining mobility.

And Seleta Reynolds, the head of LA’s City Department of Transportation, did a presentation, and it was interesting that the city has already thought through how they will monetize traffic in their airspace.

And basically they’re saying, “Look, we’re going to charge per altitude. It will cost more the higher you fly. But of course the higher you fly will be less congested.” So those of us that aren’t on the higher tax brackets will be flying at lower levels and still be dealing with traffic congestion.

Kevin Leap: Right. Who knows.

Tom Smith: Right. Interesting.

“I think it’s going to take that long for the autonomous vehicles to work through their kinks…”

Kevin Leap: It’s fascinating to think about, though.

Tom Smith: So maybe five to 10 years we see flying car ride and drives at the San Diego International Auto Show?

Kevin Leap: I doubt in five years the flying cars. I think it’s going to take that long for the autonomous vehicles to work through their kinks and things along those lines. Because it’s, again, it’s an infrastructure issue and the human factor.

Free Admission for Military 

Tom Smith: Yep. Okay. Well, Mr. Kevin Leap, thank you so much for joining me for the iDriveSoCal podcast. Before we wrap it up, is there anything else that you’d like to add about the San Diego International Auto Show that I missed?

Kevin Leap: It’s gonna be a great year, and San Diego is a military town, and Nissan is giving thousands of free tickets away to military folks, all their dealerships, which is great.

So you go to any Nissan dealership if you have active or retired military ID and get free tickets to the auto show. It’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of activity. It’s not just going in and looking at cars and carpet.

There’s a lot of interactive pieces that the manufacturers are bringing. And like we talked about before, you could be there for all four days and not drive every car that’s there.

“…both active and retired, can go into a Nissan dealership and grab free tickets.”

Tom Smith: Always a good time. And I’m going to reiterate that. That’s a pretty interesting point. And a good point. Thank you to all of our service men and women, both active and retired, can go into a Nissan dealership and grab free tickets.

Kevin Leap: Yes, absolutely. Starting about a December 17th.

Tom Smith: That’s fantastic. That’s fantastic. And well deserved.

Kevin Leap: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: Mr. Kevin Leap, the director of the San Diego International Auto Show. Thank you so much for joining me. And for iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith. Thank you, as always, for tuning in.

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With more than 100 test drive opportunities from 13 top automakers, the San Diego International Auto Show is a must-attend event for all car-lovers. - And that's especially true if you're in the market for a new car now or planning to be anytime this ... With more than 100 test drive opportunities from 13 top automakers, the San Diego International Auto Show is a must-attend event for all car-lovers.<br /> <br /> And that's especially true if you're in the market for a new car now or planning to be anytime this year.  With over 600 new cars on display and the opportunity to look, touch, feel and ask questions all without the pressure to buy - you simply can't go wrong.<br /> <br /> Perhaps best of all there's no better opportunity to bond with your kids, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or even colleagues and clients than a family-friendly auto show.<br /> <br /> And for us, SoCal residents the LA Auto Show and OC Auto Shows are in the rear-view mirror until next year.  So you don't want to miss this!  Click play below for the details and make a date to start an auto show tradition in San Diego-style!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded in San Diego, CA<br /> <br /> 2018 San Diego Auto Show<br /> Kevin Leap: There's probably well over a hundred different models and makes that you could actually test drive.<br /> <br /> You know when you get in and you turn it on and you feel how it drives and you experience the technology.<br /> <br /> It's the only place where you can go and see pretty much every manufacturer, all of the new things that they have, in one place.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am excited to be in San Diego County. This is the furthest south that iDriveSoCal podcast has been recorded. San Diego County in, where are we exactly again?<br /> <br /> Kevin Leap: Sorento Valley.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Sorento Valley. And joining me is Kevin Leap. Mr. Kevin Leap of the San Diego International Auto Show and the San Diego New Car Dealers Association. Thank you so much for joining me.<br /> <br /> "...December 27th thru 30th... San Diego Convention Center, downtown San Diego right on the water on Harbor Drive."<br /> <br /> Kevin Leap: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: iDriveSoCal, we're rounding our first year here, and this is the first podcast that we're doing with you that we hope to be doing a year after year in association with the San Diego International Auto Show that's coming up here in, let's see, we're recording this in, what is it, November 20th and the show in December...<br /> <br /> Kevin Leap: December 27th through the 30th. So we're about 35 days away.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: All right. And the show takes place in...<br /> <br /> Kevin Leap: The San Diego Convention Center, downtown San Diego right on the water on Harbor Drive.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: We were talking off mic a little bit. The San Diego International Auto Show has been going on for quite some time.<br /> History of the San Diego Auto Show<br /> Kevin Leap: 1928. The first year was in Balboa Park in the Esplanade. I think they had seven or eight cars. It was just a huge social socialite event, very, very high-end San Diegans dressed to the nines coming to see the horseless carriage if you will.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: The horseless carriage.<br /> <br /> Kevin Leap: The horseless carriage. Back when you could trade in a horse for a car.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: You know, I find that interesting actually these days as we read stories about autonomous driving and the inevitable accidents that happen with autonomous driving.<br /> <br /> Kevin Leap: Which are mostly caused by humans.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Right. Exactly. But it makes me think, hey, on the one hand, we think, hey, this is something that we're experiencing as a first time. But it's really not, right?<br /> <br /> "It was just a huge social socialite event, very, very high-end San Diegans dressed to the nines coming to see the horseless carriage..."<br /> Tom Smith clean 24:02
History of the Volkswagen Beetle – The People’s Car https://www.idrivesocal.com/history-of-volkswagen-beetle/ Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:32:34 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4324 The fascinating history of Volkswagen's Beetle could take up far more than a 30-minute podcast.  It's one of the most-built, best-selling, most-modified, loved and nicknamed cars on the planet. What other vehicle has a childhood game named after it?  I can't think of one... if you can please let me know!  All incredible things must come to an end.  Yes, 2019 marks the end of the road for the Slugbug, the Bug, the original Volkswagen, the Type 1 - the Beetle.  The last of the new Volkswagen Beetles are already hard to come by but if you can get your hands on one my bet is they are worth way more than whatever you pay for one in just a handful of years. Click play below and check out the massive number of Beetle pics while you listen to this vehicle's long and storied history.  Originals, restores, modifies, off-road, racers... even a see-through wrought iron Beetle for weddings! And if you want to buy one of the last of the new Beetles just contact our friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  This special podcast is brought to you - commercial free as always - by them! ***Transcription*** Recorded November 27, 2018, during Press Days @ the LA Auto Show The People's Car - Type 1 Mark Gillies: Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned by the German government in the 30s to build a vehicle that would be usable by families on the new network of Autobahn. The government actually took deposits for these cars and built very, very few of them before the war. The first actual Volkswagens themselves were made in 1946. Volkswagen stands for "people's car". Originally it wasn't called the Beetle, it was the Type 1. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here and I am excited to be joined by Mark Gillies. Am I getting the name right? Mark Gillies: You are indeed, yes. Tom Smith: Mark Gillies, as you can hear by the accent, he's not from southern California. Mark is D.C. based now but from England. We are at Automobility LA, which is the press days of the LA Automotive Show. Mark is the Senior Manager of Product Communications for Volkswagen of America. I got that right as well, right? Mark Gillies: You did, yes you did. Tom Smith: Fantastic. The topic that we're talking about here is the history of the Volkswagen Beetle, the iconic, the legendary, the special place in everybody's heart whether slug bug, beetle bug, what have you. Mark, thanks for joining me. I know you got a very busy schedule. We're on the LA Auto Show floor and it's being set up right now, so we're literally in Volkswagen's inner sanctum thing of their booth and there's construction all around us getting ready for the LA Auto Show. It's an exciting place to be right now. Getting Ready to Say Goodbye Mark Gillies: Yeah, it's cool. It's always fun when you're doing the setup. Although, you're a bit worried you're going to get run over by a forklift truck or trip over a piece of wood and break your neck. Tom Smith: Well thanks again for joining me. Let's talk about... By the way, I like to bring you behind the scenes with all things media as it pertains to mobility as well automotive, and tomorrow for the press Volkswagen is putting on a breakfast with the Beetle. Is that something that you're coordinating Mark, by chance, or you're going to be participating in I'm sure? Mark Gillies: I've been involved in a bit of it. Every year they do a kickoff for the automotive media and people are actually at the show. It's a bunch of food trucks and a theme display. This year we took it over and we've got about 40 vintage and modern Beetles with some owners coming along. We've got some pretty cool cars of our own dating back to 1946. We'll have those on the show. Tom Smith: That is going to be something… that's something just for the press or will the public be able to see that at any point ... The fascinating history of Volkswagen’s Beetle could take up far more than a 30-minute podcast.  It’s one of the most-built, best-selling, most-modified, loved and nicknamed cars on the planet.

What other vehicle has a childhood game named after it?  I can’t think of one… if you can please let me know! 

All incredible things must come to an end.  Yes, 2019 marks the end of the road for the Slugbug, the Bug, the original Volkswagen, the Type 1 – the Beetle.  The last of the new Volkswagen Beetles are already hard to come by but if you can get your hands on one my bet is they are worth way more than whatever you pay for one in just a handful of years.

Click play below and check out the massive number of Beetle pics while you listen to this vehicle’s long and storied history.  Originals, restores, modifies, off-road, racers… even a see-through wrought iron Beetle for weddings!

And if you want to buy one of the last of the new Beetles just contact our friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  This special podcast is brought to you – commercial free as always – by them!

Black classic Volkswagen Beetle parked on stage being prepared for the LA Auto Show as part of the iDriveSoCal 151 Podcast banner sponsored by Ontario VW

***Transcription***

Recorded November 27, 2018, during Press Days @ the LA Auto Show

The People’s Car – Type 1

Mark Gillies: Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned by the German government in the 30s to build a vehicle that would be usable by families on the new network of Autobahn.

The government actually took deposits for these cars and built very, very few of them before the war. The first actual Volkswagens themselves were made in 1946. Volkswagen stands for “people’s car”.

Originally it wasn’t called the Beetle, it was the Type 1.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here and I am excited to be joined by Mark Gillies.

Am I getting the name right?

Mark Gillies: You are indeed, yes.

Tom Smith: Mark Gillies, as you can hear by the accent, he’s not from southern California. Mark is D.C. based now but from England. We are at Automobility LA, which is the press days of the LA Automotive Show. Mark is the Senior Manager of Product Communications for Volkswagen of America. I got that right as well, right?

Mark Gillies: You did, yes you did.

Tom Smith: Fantastic. The topic that we’re talking about here is the history of the Volkswagen Beetle, the iconic, the legendary, the special place in everybody’s heart whether slug bug, beetle bug, what have you.

Mark, thanks for joining me. I know you got a very busy schedule. We’re on the LA Auto Show floor and it’s being set up right now, so we’re literally in Volkswagen’s inner sanctum thing of their booth and there’s construction all around us getting ready for the LA Auto Show. It’s an exciting place to be right now.

Getting Ready to Say Goodbye

Mark Gillies: Yeah, it’s cool. It’s always fun when you’re doing the setup. Although, you’re a bit worried you’re going to get run over by a forklift truck or trip over a piece of wood and break your neck.

Tom Smith: Well thanks again for joining me. Let’s talk about… By the way, I like to bring you behind the scenes with all things media as it pertains to mobility as well automotive, and tomorrow for the press Volkswagen is putting on a breakfast with the Beetle.

Is that something that you’re coordinating Mark, by chance, or you’re going to be participating in I’m sure?

Mark Gillies: I’ve been involved in a bit of it. Every year they do a kickoff for the automotive media and people are actually at the show. It’s a bunch of food trucks and a theme display.

This year we took it over and we’ve got about 40 vintage and modern Beetles with some owners coming along. We’ve got some pretty cool cars of our own dating back to 1946. We’ll have those on the show.

Tom Smith: That is going to be something… that’s something just for the press or will the public be able to see that at any point during the show?

Mark Gillies: No, the public won’t be able to see that. All they’ll be able to see on the stand is we’ll have a couple of old vehicles on the show stand.

Tom Smith: Well if you’re listening to this iDriveSoCal podcast, as always, be sure to go to iDriveSoCal.com, check out the post on the podcast.

We will be sure to post pictures of all those awesome Beetles that are going to be on display for the press exclusively tomorrow. The history of the Beetle from the drawing board.

Porsche Behind the VW Beetle

Mark Gillies: The drawing board, basically Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned by the German government in the 30s to build a vehicle that would be usable by families on the new network of Autobahn, which were the high-speed autoroutes that they were building at the time. It was originally called the KdF-Wagen.

KDF stands for Kraft durch Freude or strength through joy. The government actually took deposits for these cars and built very, very few of them before the war. Essentially, the factory was in place in a town called KdF Stadt. The allies basically bombed it pretty heavily in World War II because it’s in northern Germany in the industrial heartland.

After the war, one of the great ironies is that after the war the British army led by a Major Hirst rebuild the factory because it has been bombed. There were holes in the ceiling and all that kind of stuff.

The first actual Volkswagens themselves were made in 1946. Volkswagen stands for “people’s car”. Actually, the town of Volksberg was actually only called Volksberg after World War II. It’s named after a castle in the town. The car was only called Volkswagen after World War II.

Tom Smith: So, the car is named after a town and a castle or…

Mark Gillies: No, no.

Tom Smith: …which came first?

Mark Gillies: The town is named after the castle, which is Volksberg and the car is just named Volkswagen, the “people’s car”.

Tom Smith: Okay, but one could draw the name of the car all the way back to the castle…

Mark Gillies: Not really, no.

Tom Smith: …the Volks part. No?

Mark Gillies: No. The thing is when you look at Volksberg addition or even early Beetles you’ll see the Volksberg crest on the steering wheel…

Bulletproof Reliability 

Tom Smith: I’ve seen that.

Mark Gillies: …for instance.

Tom Smith: Yeah, very cool. Sorry to interrupt, carry on.

Mark Gillies: That was the basic genesis behind the Beetle as it’s now called. Originally it wasn’t called the Beetle, it was the Type 1.

The Type 1 that Ferdinand Porsche designed was relatively simple. It’s got like a backbone chassis or semi-backbone chassis with a flat-four air-cooled engine.

It’s got a swing axle rear suspension and a semi-trailing arm front suspension. Actually, if you look at the front suspension it’s the same as we used on the Auto Union Grand Prix. It’s like Ferdinand Porsche Type IFS.

Tom Smith: Wow.

Mark Gillies: The car was very, very simple. It was designed to be cheap to maintain, cheap to build, cheap to run. Bulletproof liability was part of the deal.

Tom Smith: ’46 was the first production but it was on plan before that, right?

Mark Gillies: Correct, yeah.

Tom Smith: Then how long was it produced in Europe before it maybe even made its way to the U.K. before it made its way to North America and the United States specifically?

Mark Gillies: Well the first two made their way to the States in 1949. A Dutch guy called Ben Pon brought the cars over. Allegedly, he sold them to pay his bills basically. Ben Pon’s very interesting because he’s the guy who supposedly sketched the first microbus. The first microbus basically took Beetle running gear and, as we all know, you’ve got that lovable van on wheels.

The Original Platform Design

One of the funny things that we’ve discovered is that basically if you think about it everybody talks about platform design nowadays, Volkswagen was doing that back in the ’50s with the Beetle, which was the Type 1. Then you had the Type 2, which is a microbus.

You had the Type 3, which is the 1500, the notchback, and the coupe, and the fastback. You also had the common gear and they’re all based on the same running gear basically. That’s one interesting aspect.

The first ones came to the States in ’49 and then Max Hoffman who’s a…

Tom Smith: Sorry, real quick. You said literally what was his name again? Pon?

Mark Gillies: Pon, P-O-N, Ben Pon.

Tom Smith: Ben Pon, he brought two to the United States?

Mark Gillies: Yes he did.

Tom Smith: How does one just bring two vehicles to the… Was he just a guy that went to Europe, bought a couple of cars, brought them here and sold them?

Mark Gillies: No, he was a Dutch importer, but he was actually, funnily enough, before this show I did a little bit of research with our history department…

Tom Smith: Thank you.

Mark Gillies: Well no, it transpires that he was actually if not in the pay of Volkswagen AG in Germany, but they definitely knew what he was up to and they were helping him with some of the costs of bringing the cars to the States.

He kind of failed, but then Max Hoffman who was a very well-known business, an importer in New York, started bringing them in. Then Volkswagen looked at this whole scheme in 1955 and decided well actually we’ll set up a national sales company. Volkswagen, the national sales company, has been around for more than 60 years now.

Coming to America

Tom Smith: So that’s VW of…

Mark Gillies: Of America.

Tom Smith: …of America who you work for currently?

Mark Gillies: Exactly, yeah.

Tom Smith: Ben and then Max, that was clearly a business scheme, business plan in the works. They were trying to penetrate the United States market, right? Or was it more organic and kind of accidental?

Mark Gillies: No, no, they were trying to see if there was demand there. Obviously, by 1955 the parent company had seen there was demand there.

One of the amazing things about the Beetle is I can’t remember off the top of my head how many countries it was built in, but it was one of the most assembled vehicles everywhere in the world.

Even if they didn’t have a factory building them in places there were these CKD or knock down kits that were put together in places like Ireland. I think even in places like Iran.

Tom Smith: I work very closely with one particular Volkswagen dealer, Ontario Volkswagen here in Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, they have some super hardcore Volkswagen guys that work both on the sales and service side of things that have multiple VWs.

The service guy, Jimmy Willhide, was telling me that for a short… because Volkswagen has been available as a new production car here in the United States on and off for many, many years.

Jimmy was telling me that for a while when Volkswagen Beetles weren’t here, and Beetle specifically, I don’t know if I just clarified that, but Beetles specifically while they weren’t available in the United States for some time you could just cross the border into Mexico and go buy a Beetle that was that current year. Can you speak to that at all?

Beetle Availability in Mexico

Mark Gillies: Yeah, sure. One of the things about the final addition we’re showing here is that a couple of the colors are based on the Ultima Edicion Beetle that was built in 2003, which was the last year they were built in Mexico.

Actually, they were building Beetles in Mexico in the ’60s until 2003, which is why you could, if you wanted to, if you really wanted to give yourself a hard time you could go to Mexico and buy one.

Tom Smith: That’s how hardcore these guys are.

Mark Gillies: Those Beetles, we’ve got one in our collection, and they’re really cool because they’re a lot less spartan than the Beetles that came to the States. They’ve got more amenities than even the last editions that came to the U.S.

Tom Smith: Quick sidebar, the Beetle came to the United States in ’49 with Ben and then Max started bringing them in more official regular quantity or velocity.

Mark Gillies: Yeah.

Tom Smith: What year was that again?

Mark Gillies: From memory, I think it was-

Tom Smith: …Ish.

Mark Gillies: …about ’52, somewhere around there.

Tom Smith: Do you know when the first Volkswagen dealership came about in the United States?

Mark Gillies: I don’t, to be honest. But once VW is set up in 1955 then most of the dealers would have starting popping up around then.

Tom Smith: Now another quick sidebar, when Volkswagen started coming was it just the Beetle or was the Type 2, as we know the Bus, also part of that equation or when did that become…

Mark Gillies: The Type 2 came around the same time because the first transporters were built in I think 1950. The one we’ve got on the stand I think is a ’53.

Type 1 & Type 2

Tom Smith: By transporter you mean?

Mark Gillies: Type 2.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Mark Gillies: That’s the panel van version of the microbus.

Tom Smith: Got it, okay.

Mark Gillies: Typically, the microbus was never really called the microbus anywhere except the States. If you look at catalogs dating from the first days of the official importing, Type 1 and Type 2 were offered at the same time.

Tom Smith: Now, the Beetle here in the States was what did we say ’49 was when it Ben brought it-

Mark Gillies: Yeah.

Tom Smith: …and then Max started to do it in ’52-ish. When was the first time that it wasn’t… because that was a long stretch that it was available?

Then there was a little pocket that it wasn’t and then another spurt of sales. Do you know when it was on and off sale here in the United States specifically?

Mark Gillies: From when Hoffman was selling it, it was basically on sale from ’49 until the late ’70s. Then obviously, there was a hiatus until you get to the new Beetle in 1998, which obviously is the retro-inspired front-wheel drive, front engine car that we remember. Actually, that car was on sale until we were selling the last ones in 2010.

Tom Smith: Oh wow.

Mark Gillies: The current generation went on sale in 2011. Officially it’s gone out of production by 2010 but there was still some vehicles on lots.

Tom Smith: It was back in the day original it was rear-wheel drive, rear engine.

Mark Gillies: Yep.

Tom Smith: Then when it went away in the late-70s, came back in early-80s as front-wheel drive, front engine until 2010. Then it came back and that’s what’s available on the road right now, right?

Mark Gillies: Correct.

Final Edition Volkswagen Beetle

Tom Smith: In dealerships right now. That is actually, correct me if I’m wrong, is that a Golf platform?

Mark Gillies: It’s not the current Golf platform, but it’s the previous Golf platform. There are two designations of platform for our compact cars in the states.

One is the so-called PQ platform. PQ underpins the Beetle. The more modern platform which came in on the Golf in 2012 is the MEB platform. It’s a slightly older platform, but it’s essentially the same as Golf. It was also a shared platform with SEATS, Skodas, and some Audis as well.

Tom Smith: Now we’re rounding the third base here on 2018 going into 2019, the Beetle is going to be available in the United States while supplies last.

Do we have an estimated time because by the time we’re this time next year there’s not going to be any more Beetles in dealerships, right?

Mark Gillies: No, well there shouldn’t be because basically, the end of production is some point I think at the moment around July 2019. The 2019 model year is the final Beetle.

That’s one of the reasons we brought out the final edition to commemorate the fact that the car’s on its way out.

Tom Smith: The 2019s are they available in dealerships right now?

Mark Gillies: They are, yeah.

Tom Smith: Let’s talk about, I think there’s just a couple of trims available and they’re special, as you just mentioned. Could you talk a little about that?

Mark Gillies: Yeah, sure. There are two trim lines of Final Edition. There’s the SE and the SEL. Both are available as convertible and coupe. Basically, the hark back again to the past. We’ve got a couple of special colors, there’s a blue and a beige.

The Retro VW Bug

Tom Smith: That are the retro kind of feeling colors.

Mark Gillies: Yeah, but they also mimic the Mexican final editions of the original Beetle. There’s a lot of chrome on them. There’s cool wheels.

We’ve got quilted leather in the SEL and quilted cloth.  Which is an interesting one because the product planner for Beetle way back when… when the car was around in 2012. He always wanted to put Bentley-type seats in. Unfortunately, he’s not around but he’s got his wish eventually.

Tom Smith: Not around at the company or not around on the planet anymore?

Mark Gillies: Not around in the company actually.

Tom Smith: Oh okay, but he’s still alive to know that it’s happening?

Mark Gillies: Yeah, yeah, he’s a big VW fan. He actually runs a website that does car reviews and pricing basically.

Tom Smith: Oh okay, there you go. The trims, was the Dune a 2018 or was that at 2019?

Mark Gillies: That was a ’17 I think.

Tom Smith: A ’17?

Mark Gillies: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay, I just saw my first one on the road not too long ago.

Mark Gillies: Hang on, I get confused sometimes, but-

Tom Smith: It’s got a special interior and exterior. It-

Mark Gillies: No, it was two years ago, so it would have been… No, you’re right, it’s ’18, it would have been ’18, yeah.

Tom Smith: I want to say I just saw one of those at my friends out at Ontario Volkswagen and that car was really cool because it is retro and it’s kind of interesting because that is retro of the dune buggy, but the dune buggy was never something that Volkswagen actually made.

VW Dune Buggy

It was just something that the hardcore enthusiasts of the vehicle did with it, right, here in southern California.

Mark Gillies: Absolutely. The idea behind the Dune was to try and capture a little bit of the vibe of the Baja Bugs. Of course, VW had nothing to do with Baja Bugs back in the 60s or to do with Meyers Manx either, of course, which was Bruce Meyers’ dune buggy built off a VW floor pan.

One of the cool things about this vehicle that the current third-generation Beetle all the way along is we wanted to do some special additions to try and keep the interest in the vehicle alive.

The Dune was one. We did the pink Beetle. We also did a GSR version, which stands for Gelb Schwarzer Renner… yellow racer. That was an invocation of a classic 70s limited edition, I would say really sporty Beetle, but more of a boy racer that was available in Germany.

But it’s very highly prized now because they’ve made very few them and it’s got this very distinctive yellow and black paint scheme and really cool Porsche style wheels.

Tom Smith: That just brings up a thought, what is the most… This is a total trivia question you couldn’t have prepared for, but maybe you now. What is the most valuable Beetle, market value, that you’ve ever heard of? I know obviously the market fluctuates with all the various factors that impact the market, but there is some pretty… Do you know?

Mark Gillies: It’s difficult to know. I’ve seen some really big numbers quoted for really, really early cars, i.e. pre-war vehicles, so anything pre-war or anything built during the war because they were used as military staff cars in the war.

Most Valuable VW Beetles

Tom Smith: We talking hundreds of thousands, are we talking…

Mark Gillies: You’re talking multiple hundreds-of-thousands is what people…

Tom Smith: Are we getting to seven figures, are we getting into a million, or not quite?

“…really early ’40s cars they’re getting into the $100,000 plus range, maybe up to $200,000.”

Mark Gillies: I’ve seen people asking half a million plus for those. Some of the really early cars, really early ’40s cars they’re getting into the $100,000 plus range, maybe up to $200,000.

Some of the more special things like we own a… convertible, which is a special bodied Beetle, like a Speedster. We also have a 1952 Carmen convertible that was a Berlin show car. Those cars they’re very, very rare, the early cars. Anything super early in good condition is six figures these days.

Tom Smith: By “we” do you mean Volkswagen of America or you and your wife?

Mark Gillies: No, no, “we” as in the company.

Tom Smith: Okay, gotcha, gotcha.

Volkswagen has a cult-like following and then the niche vehicles within Volkswagen, i.e. the Beetle, has that as well. The fact that Volkswagen came out with a Dune. I think really illustrates that; because here’s the company over here putting out a product that gets so well received that it gets a fan base that does this crazy stuff with it. And then a few decades later the company says, hey, you know what?

What our crazy fan base did, not crazy in a bad way, crazy in a good way, we’re going to actually add to that and put it out as something new. With that in mind, it illustrates the popularity of the Beetle.

Will the Beetle Return?

Obviously, it’s going away right now because maybe it’s not selling so good, whatever, but my bet, and we talked about this off-mic just a minute, and I told you I was going to bring it back because you’re going to get this a lot.

When is the Beetle coming back because there’s too much there?

Mark Gillies: Well we’ve been basically saying all the way along this is the end of the Beetle. We would never say never.

I think if you look at the ID Buzz that we showed in Detroit last year, which is a full-electric vehicle, that’s a reincarnation of the microbus. There’s nothing in the plans for sure and I see the cycle plans, but I’d never say never. That’s as far as you can go.

Tom Smith: That’s what some other such as myself that are kind of in this space like okay, the Bus is going to come out all electric, that means the Beetle’s getting to come out all electric as well.

But even if that’s … Perhaps, would you tell me because it’s just me and you talking here Mark, that’s it.

Mark Gillies: If I knew I might, but I don’t know.

Tom Smith: All right, I believe you. I believe you. Well hey, Mark, thank you so much. Mark Gillies, right?

Mark Gillies: Correct.

Tom Smith: Senior Manager Product Communications, Volkswagen of America here at Automobility LA. Before I completely wrap it up officially is there anything else that you’d like to add about the Beetle that we didn’t touch on?

Most Built Single Platform Ever

Mark Gillies: The one thing that we didn’t touch on is it’s actually the most built single platform car ever if you think about it.

The Model T was the most manufactured car until the Beetle came along and Ford built 15 million of those. Volkswagen has built more than 20 million Beetles in the lifetime of the car.

Other manufacturers will say, “We built more Corollas” and I think we say, “We built more Golfs” but nobody’s built more of one actual iteration of a car if you get…

Tom Smith: The Beetle.

Mark Gillies: Yeah.

Tom Smith: When you put the rear engine, rear-wheel drive, plus the front engine, front-wheel drive, plus the Golf version…

Mark Gillies: No, no, I’m talking-

Tom Smith: …and globally.

Mark Gillies: No, I’m just talking about the first edition is the…

Tom Smith: Oh, really?

Mark Gillies: …single most cars built off a single platform basically. When you look at the new Beetle we made about 1.2 million of those and to date we’ve made somewhere around half a million of the third generation.

When it comes to single most built car in its own iteration… because all other manufacturers say, “We’ve built 23 million” I don’t know Civics or whatever. But that’s seven or eight different cars, whereas the Beetle was always essentially one car.

Tom Smith: When you say “we” are you speaking in those numbers the half million number that you just put out, was that just Volkswagen of America or is that global?

Mark Gillies: That’s global, yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Mark Gillies: Global, yeah.

Tom Smith: All in, globally, the Beetle has sold how many units?

Mark Gillies: Just from memory it’s around 22.5-23 million. And it’s not coming back, come on, come on Mark. All right, well cool.

While [Beetle] Supplies Last!

Tom Smith: Now is there anything else that you’d like to add?

Mark Gillies: That was it I think.

Tom Smith: All right, because I’m certain that there’s plenty of people that want to hear anything else that you have to share about the Beetle.

Mark Gillies: I think we always talk about it, its iconic, people love the shape, and there have been so many things done with it over the years like contests to see how many people you can get in a Beetle.

People have floated them across seas, like the Irish Sea. I don’t think there’s much that hasn’t been attempted in a Beetle. It’s one of those cars it’s a great, great car. It’s just fair to say it’s a complete automotive icon.

I work for a company and I’m paid to say things like that, but again, I’m also a real car nut. I have lots of cars of my own and that’s one of the great things about the car is anybody around the world can recognize it.

It’s actually funny because I was in South Africa at the weekend just on a whim to race an old car. You still see Beetles there, but what’s more interesting is I’ve never seen as many Golfs in one town in my life as there were in East London and South Africa.

A car enthusiast is a car enthusiast everywhere and we’re rolling out the circuits and there’s all these young kids, multi-cultural kids rolling in with their slammed Golfs with wide tires and whatever. I think the Golf, to a certain the spirit of the Beetle lives on a little bit in the Golf with the… generation.

Beetles Make People Happy

Tom Smith: Sure. As you were just explaining that, the Beetle just, especially the older ones, when people see them, and especially one that’s well maintained it makes people smile.

They have a yellow one out here near the entrance the auto show. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It’s not even a Volkswagen promotion, it’s a rental company, Turo, the rental company where I own a car, I can put it on their platform, peer-to-peer car rental.

It’s a Turo add but it’s just a yellow Beetle. I saw three different people, younger people, probably 20s, run up and taking selfies with the Beetle. I guarantee they’re not taking selfies because it has the Toro banner in the windshield.

Senior Manager Product Communications. I always want to get that turned around. Senior Manager Product Communications, Volkswagen America. Thank you so much, I really appreciate you joining me. Beetle, literally, get them while supplies last, right?

Mark Gillies: Pretty much. There’s a movie coming out as well soon, December the ninth, where the Beetle is the main character but I can’t tell you more than that.

Tom Smith: Come to the LA Auto Show and you’ll be greeted by the main character, I think. All right, well fantastic. Mark, thank you. Very much appreciated. For iDriveSoCal I am Tom Smith. Thank you as always for tuning in.

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The fascinating history of Volkswagen's Beetle could take up far more than a 30-minute podcast.  It's one of the most-built, best-selling, most-modified, loved and nicknamed cars on the planet. - What other vehicle has a childhood game named after it?... The fascinating history of Volkswagen's Beetle could take up far more than a 30-minute podcast.  It's one of the most-built, best-selling, most-modified, loved and nicknamed cars on the planet.<br /> <br /> What other vehicle has a childhood game named after it?  I can't think of one... if you can please let me know! <br /> <br /> All incredible things must come to an end.  Yes, 2019 marks the end of the road for the Slugbug, the Bug, the original Volkswagen, the Type 1 - the Beetle.  The last of the new Volkswagen Beetles are already hard to come by but if you can get your hands on one my bet is they are worth way more than whatever you pay for one in just a handful of years.<br /> <br /> Click play below and check out the massive number of Beetle pics while you listen to this vehicle's long and storied history.  Originals, restores, modifies, off-road, racers... even a see-through wrought iron Beetle for weddings!<br /> <br /> And if you want to buy one of the last of the new Beetles just contact our friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  This special podcast is brought to you - commercial free as always - by them!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded November 27, 2018, during Press Days @ the LA Auto Show<br /> <br /> The People's Car - Type 1<br /> Mark Gillies: Ferdinand Porsche was commissioned by the German government in the 30s to build a vehicle that would be usable by families on the new network of Autobahn.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The government actually took deposits for these cars and built very, very few of them before the war. The first actual Volkswagens themselves were made in 1946. Volkswagen stands for "people's car".<br /> <br /> Originally it wasn't called the Beetle, it was the Type 1.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, southern California. Tom Smith here and I am excited to be joined by Mark Gillies.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Am I getting the name right?<br /> <br /> Mark Gillies: You are indeed, yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Mark Gillies, as you can hear by the accent, he's not from southern California. Mark is D.C. based now but from England. We are at Automobility LA, which is the press days of the LA Automotive Show. Mark is the Senior Manager of Product Communications for Volkswagen of America. I got that right as well, right?<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Mark Gillies: You did, yes you did.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Fantastic. The topic that we're talking about here is the history of the Volkswagen Beetle, the iconic, the legendary, the special place in everybody's heart whether slug bug, beetle bug, what have you.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Mark, thanks for joining me. I know you got a very busy schedule. We're on the LA Auto Show floor and it's being set up right now, so we're literally in Volkswagen's inner sanctum thing of their booth and there's construction all around us getting ready for the LA Auto Show. It's an exciting place to be right now.<br /> Getting Ready to Say Goodbye<br /> Mark Gillies: Yeah, it's cool. It's always fun when you're doing the setup. Although, you're a bit worried you're going to get run over by a forklift truck or trip over a piece of wood and break your neck.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Well thanks again for joining me. Let's talk about... By the way, I like to bring you behind the scenes with all things media as it pertains to mobility as well automotive, and tomorrow for the press Volkswagen is putting on a breakfast with the Beetle.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Is that something that you're coordinating Mark, by chance, or you're going to be participating in I'm sure?<br /> <br /> Mark Gillies: I've been involved in a bit of it. Every year they do a kickoff for the automotive media and people are actually at the show. It's a bunch of food trucks and a theme display.<br /> Tom Smith clean 30:13
2018 Los Angeles Auto Show – Top-5 Best of Show https://www.idrivesocal.com/la-auto-show-2018/ Sun, 09 Dec 2018 19:19:49 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4271 The LA Auto Show is special for many reasons.  First, and simply, because it's one of the biggest new car shows on the planet with an incredibly long and rich history.  Second, because it's family-friendly fun that often winds up bonding generations that might otherwise have little in common... Of course, there's also the incredible new shiny things everywhere.  The introduction of the latest mobility technology and the tease of what's to come. But for us here at iDriveSoCal it's also special because it marks the first full year of our existence.  Clinton "The Professor" Quan and I first reviewed the 2017 LA Auto Show and detailed his Top-5 Picks from the hundreds of vehicles on display. Just like the LA Auto Show itself, we're going to make this piece a tradition.  We hope you enjoy both with us for years to come!  Click play below to listen to the podcast and enjoy the pictures of the shiny new things! ***Transcription*** Recorded December 3, 2018, @ Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA LA Auto Show Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of these fine United States of America, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton. Clinton Quan: Hi Tom. Tom Smith: Hello my friend. This podcast actually brings the good Professor and I full circle. I don't think it's a year to the date, but about a year ago, the very first podcast that we did was a recap of the LA Auto Show, and specifically, the Professor's Top-5 Picks from the LA Auto Show. So, man, we've done a lot in a year. Clinton Quan: Yes, we have. Tom Smith: It's been a lot of fun. iDriveSoCal has been a labor of love. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Professor, for joining me for so many fun podcasts for us to put together, and we truly hope that you enjoy listening to our podcasts. We definitely love talking about what we talk about. "...as mobility continues to shift and evolve we're right here on the cutting edge trying to bring you the latest and enjoying immensely doing so." So there's lots of the car culture in Southern California, I mean jeez. But not only Southern California, really across United States, around the world, and as mobility continues to shift and evolve we're right here on the cutting edge trying to bring you the latest and enjoying immensely doing so. So again, about a year down or a year ago, we did the Professor's Top- 5 from the LA Auto Show. Now I'm going to reintroduce the Professor as if brand new. Clinton has been a friend for probably close to 10 years. When we first met our then girlfriends introduced us, and our then girlfriends had met in college, and Clinton just struck me as this guy, man, he knows his cars like crazy, but also he won't stop talking about cars. Serious Car Lover And no joke, even after we started this podcast, we'll do this podcast and then we'll wrap the podcast up and then we'll be walking to our cars and he'll still be talking about cars, which is great, but that just gives you an idea of the passion. And I nicknamed him the Professor because he knows the most granular detail about everything coming off of any major manufacturers supply line, so whether that's domestic, imports, luxury, even exotics, everything. "Clinton just struck me as this guy, man, he knows his cars like crazy, but also he won't stop talking about cars." He knows the most granular detail about all these cars, and there's a lot to know because they're rolling computers these days, and becoming rolling living rooms as well with all the tech and innovation and entertainment available in them. But so anyway Professor, thank you for a very fun first year. I'm looking forward to many, many additional years to come of iDriveSoCal collaboration with the good Professor. Clinton Quan: Thank you. It's been an absolute pleasure. Tom Smith: The LA Auto Show, we've already done a podcast on our experience of the Press Days of the LA A... The LA Auto Show is special for many reasons.  First, and simply, because it’s one of the biggest new car shows on the planet with an incredibly long and rich history.  Second, because it’s family-friendly fun that often winds up bonding generations that might otherwise have little in common…

Of course, there’s also the incredible new shiny things everywhere.  The introduction of the latest mobility technology and the tease of what’s to come.

But for us here at iDriveSoCal it’s also special because it marks the first full year of our existence.  Clinton “The Professor” Quan and I first reviewed the 2017 LA Auto Show and detailed his Top-5 Picks from the hundreds of vehicles on display.

Just like the LA Auto Show itself, we’re going to make this piece a tradition.  We hope you enjoy both with us for years to come!  Click play below to listen to the podcast and enjoy the pictures of the shiny new things!

Metallic blue Lincoln Aviator pictured at the LA Auto Show as part of the iDriveSoCal 150 Podcast banner promoting the LA Auto Show Top 5 and Review

***Transcription***

Recorded December 3, 2018, @ Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA

LA Auto Show

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of these fine United States of America, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello my friend. This podcast actually brings the good Professor and I full circle. I don’t think it’s a year to the date, but about a year ago, the very first podcast that we did was a recap of the LA Auto Show, and specifically, the Professor’s Top-5 Picks from the LA Auto Show. So, man, we’ve done a lot in a year.

Clinton Quan: Yes, we have.

Tom Smith: It’s been a lot of fun. iDriveSoCal has been a labor of love. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Professor, for joining me for so many fun podcasts for us to put together, and we truly hope that you enjoy listening to our podcasts. We definitely love talking about what we talk about.

“…as mobility continues to shift and evolve we’re right here on the cutting edge trying to bring you the latest and enjoying immensely doing so.”

So there’s lots of the car culture in Southern California, I mean jeez. But not only Southern California, really across United States, around the world, and as mobility continues to shift and evolve we’re right here on the cutting edge trying to bring you the latest and enjoying immensely doing so. So again, about a year down or a year ago, we did the Professor’s Top- 5 from the LA Auto Show.

Now I’m going to reintroduce the Professor as if brand new. Clinton has been a friend for probably close to 10 years. When we first met our then girlfriends introduced us, and our then girlfriends had met in college, and Clinton just struck me as this guy, man, he knows his cars like crazy, but also he won’t stop talking about cars.

Serious Car Lover

And no joke, even after we started this podcast, we’ll do this podcast and then we’ll wrap the podcast up and then we’ll be walking to our cars and he’ll still be talking about cars, which is great, but that just gives you an idea of the passion.

And I nicknamed him the Professor because he knows the most granular detail about everything coming off of any major manufacturers supply line, so whether that’s domestic, imports, luxury, even exotics, everything.

“Clinton just struck me as this guy, man, he knows his cars like crazy, but also he won’t stop talking about cars.”

He knows the most granular detail about all these cars, and there’s a lot to know because they’re rolling computers these days, and becoming rolling living rooms as well with all the tech and innovation and entertainment available in them. But so anyway Professor, thank you for a very fun first year.

I’m looking forward to many, many additional years to come of iDriveSoCal collaboration with the good Professor.

Clinton Quan: Thank you. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

Tom Smith: The LA Auto Show, we’ve already done a podcast on our experience of the Press Days of the LA Auto Show which is called AutoMobility LA. Definitely check out that podcast if you haven’t already, some very interesting things happening in regard to the future of the automotive business, the future of mobility, and we discussed that in that podcast.

“I nicknamed him the Professor because he knows the most granular detail about everything coming off of any major manufacturers supply line…”

In this one, we’re going to talk about the Professor’s Top-5. Now, these are the top five picks specifically from the LA Auto Show, but what are the other criteria Professor that you put on this particular list of top five vehicles?

Clinton Quan: It would have to be a brand-new design or a heavily refreshed automobile.

Tom Smith: Brand new design or heavily refreshed, okay. So a new design means there’s a brand new generation of a vehicle?

All-New and Refreshed

Clinton Quan: Yes, brand new generation, so that would have a brand-new exterior design, brand new interior design. It’s probably gonna have a new interior as well or if it doesn’t it’s going to be similar to another vehicle in its lineup, such as say the Honda Passport that we did another podcast on.

Tom Smith: Right, exactly. The Honda Passport, which actually is brand new but it’s coming back.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: But for those that don’t know, basically when a vehicle comes out each year, it falls into one of three categories, it’s either brand new, it’s being refreshed or it’s just a new year, right? And the difference is a brand new vehicle comes out-

Clinton Quan: Usually every five, six or seven years.

“It would have to be a brand-new design or a heavily refreshed automobile…”

Tom Smith: Yeah, and what we mean by that is, let’s take the Honda Civic, right? About every five or six years your Honda Civic will be completely redesigned by Honda, and then you want to go to, of course, our partners Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California to pick your Honda Civic up, but that happens every five or six years. Now that’s category number one, category number two is the refresh. And the refresh usually happens sometime mid-cycle of that all new vehicle.

Clinton Quan: Correct. So usually that would be the third or fourth year.

Tom Smith: And a refresh is usually consisting of things that are minor cosmetic, minor technical, minor interior, by cosmetic I meant minor exterior cosmetic or interior cosmetic.

Clinton Quan: Usually, that would be the tail-lights or the headlights changes to the grill design, and then interior there might be some changes to the way the dashboard is designed or the audio climate controls, and then if there’s a more significant refresh, maybe a new engine.

New Car Model Year Types

Tom Smith: So that’s kind of the life cycle of a car, and then those years in between being all new or refreshed are just normal years, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: It’s just a new tick on the old annual number that the car is, right? Instead of 2018, it’s 2019.

Clinton Quan: Yes, and maybe there’s a new trim or they’re adding a feature as standard equipment vs optional equipment. They tinker around with the packages.

“…brand new generation, so that would have a brand-new exterior design, brand new interior design.”

Tom Smith: So, there’s always something going on with a car, but every year a new car comes out or every year new cars…

Clinton Quan: Every model year.

Tom Smith: Yeah, every model year, that’s a good way to put it. Well, that’s technically the way to put it. Those are the three categories that a new car can fall into. So with that being said, the Professor’s top five from the LA Auto Show. Again, the criteria have to fall into?Clinton Quan: Brand new or heavily refreshed.

Tom Smith: Brand new or heavily refreshed, okay. With that being said, Professor how are we doing this? Are we going from…

Clinton Quan: We’re going to go from five to number one.

“…[refresh] would be the tail-lights or the headlights changes to the grill design… there might be some changes to the way the dashboard is designed…”

Tom Smith: Five to number one. Number one being your most favorite.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Most favoritest favorite.

Clinton Quan: You could say that, yes.

Tom Smith: All right. And it can be anything, it can be exotic, luxury, import, domestic.

Clinton Quan: Can be anything, that is correct. I’m trying to pick a number of different vehicles from different categories, something for everyone.

Tom Smith: Number five.

2020 Porsche 911

Clinton Quan: So, number five will be the pretty much almost all new 2020 Porsche 911. And I say almost all new because from what I’ve read, about 20% of the parts were from the previous generation 911.

But it does have an all-new exterior design, even though for most people when you look at it you’re probably thinking, “It’s the same 911.” But they’ve tried to retain that classic 911 styling, and they’ve done a great job with that.

Tom Smith: It’s a gorgeous car. To me, it looks bigger.

“…they’ve tried to retain that classic 911 styling, and they’ve done a great job with that.”

Clinton Quan: It is bigger. Now the wheelbase is actually the same, but it’s got longer front and rear overhangs. For those of you who don’t know, the overhang is that part that is in front of the center of the wheel to the front of the car or the back center of the wheel to the back of the car.

Tom Smith: So, the wheelbase means that the frame hasn’t gotten any bigger the…

Clinton Quan: Well the wheelbase is the distance from the front center of the wheel to the back center of the wheel, wheel to wheel.

Tom Smith: Got it, okay. I was going to get a little bit more granular with an explanation, but that’s fine. Sometimes I just need to shut up. This is gonna be one of those times. I’m just gonna shut myself up. Okay, so number five is the 2020 911 by Porsche, almost all new.

Clinton Quan: Yes. And what they unveiled at the Auto Show is the Carrera S, so it’s not the base model. The specifications for the base which will be the Carrera have not been announced yet.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Carrera S

Clinton Quan: And the Carrera S, it’s going to have a 443 horsepower, 390 lb-ft of torque. So horsepower has increased by 23 from 420, and it’s increased by 22 in terms of pound-feet of torque, from 368 to 390. The base price is approximately $113,000 for the S.

Tom Smith: Nice, so well within pretty much everybody’s price range for the casual everyday driver. Actually, that’s so affordable that I might just buy one of those, just kind of sit in the garage and take it out from time to time.

Clinton Quan: And remember that the base price, so usually with Porsche you can add another 20 to $30,000 in options.

“…horsepower has increased by 23 from 420, it’s increased by 22 in terms of pound-feet of torque, from 368 to 390.”

Tom Smith: Yeah. Well, nevertheless, and we have this thank the Porsche folks for a fantastic launch that we got to enjoy the last day of the Automobility LA press days. Yummy, good stuff.

Clinton Quan: Really good stuff.

Tom Smith: Nicely done.

Clinton Quan: Lunch and breakfast.

Tom Smith: You had breakfast?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I had both. I had a late breakfast-

Tom Smith: I didn’t make it to lunch.

Clinton Quan: …and then I was told they’re transitioning right into lunch, so I figured, well, might as well just stay here.

Tom Smith: Did you try to walk off some calories by chance before?

Clinton Quan: No, there was no time, I just…

Tom Smith: “There’s no time. I got to eat more.” All right. Number four.

2019 KIA K900

Clinton Quan: Number four, I think this will be a surprise to a lot of people. This is the 2019 KIA K900 which is their full-size luxury sedan.

There wasn’t a 2018 model, and this is an all-new model. It features the same engine that’s used in the Stinger GT, and that is a 3.3-liter twin turbo V6 that cranks out 365 horsepower, 376 lb-ft of torque.

“…I think it looks absolutely beautiful, really clean design.”

And the new K900 will not have a V8 engine, it’s just one engine, but it will come standard with all-wheel drive as well. So that’s another difference between the previous generation K900 and this new one, and this one I think it looks absolutely beautiful, really clean design.

I love the way the back looks. It almost has that Bentley-esque design on the taillights.

Tom Smith: I mean that’s a full-size sedan.

Clinton Quan: It is a full-size luxury sedan. It has a starting price of just under $60,000. There’s really one package available, which is $4,000, and so you’re going to get a fully loaded one at $64,000.

Now you look at a Mercedes S Class also whether it V6 engine, which actually has just a little less horsepower, all-wheel drive 4MATIC S450 starting price is 94,000, so that’s $30,000 more for a base S class.

Tom Smith: And that’s exactly where I wanted to go. So this vehicle, the K900, you’re in Mercedes S Class range. You’re in BMW 7 Series range, you’re in Lexus LS range.

“It is a full-size luxury sedan. It has a starting price of just under $60,000.”

Clinton Quan: Yes. Direct competitors, yes.

Tom Smith: And it’s a KIA.

Clinton Quan: And it’s a KIA.

Tom Smith: Now I’m a value buyer. Totally a value buyer.

Clinton Quan: Same underpinning as the Genesis, which is also part of the Hyundai KIA family and Genesis is a separate luxury brand under Hyundai.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW… and KIA

Tom Smith: Now why didn’t they have this in 2018? They had a previous, right? What years did they have?

Clinton Quan: 2017.

Tom Smith: So, it was just 2017? Was it the first year?

Clinton Quan: 2017 was the first year for the K900. Sometimes when manufacturers transition from one generation to the next generation they skip a model year.

Tom Smith: So, they just didn’t have a 2018 at all?

“Sometimes when manufacturers transition from one generation to the next generation they skip a model year.”

Clinton Quan: Correct, yes.

Tom Smith: So, a dealer had a 2017 laying around probably they could still sell you in 2018?

Clinton Quan: Yes, and you’d probably get a great deal on that.

Tom Smith: Yeah. Well, this is going to be an interesting one because it’s one of those things where-

Clinton Quan: You’re getting a lot of car for the money.

Tom Smith: Yeah, but you’re getting it from KIA, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes. For a lot of people, that badge, that nameplate’s very important, so they’re not going to consider it, but for those who are looking for a great car with a lot of features-

Tom Smith: All the bells and whistles of-

Clinton Quan: For your value-

“…for those who are looking for a great car with a lot of features… it’s hard to beat.”

Tom Smith: …the $90,000 range.

Clinton Quan: It’s hard to beat. And then you get this and then you can get another car for 30,000 and you’re getting as much as…

And that Mercedes S class which is the base one, the 4MATIC for $94,000, it’s probably going to be almost impossible to get one at that price, right?

Usually those cars, they have other features on it, so it’s probably gonna be well over $100,000. It’ll probably be $105,000.

Tom Smith: Right. But you’re getting that Mercedes badge.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. Personally, I like the styling of the K900 more.

Korean Brands in the US

Tom Smith: I mean that’s one of the things. It’ll be exciting to see how that brand develops, as well as the Genesis brand, what they’re trying to do there.

It will be exciting to see how that brand develops, but it’s an interesting thing. That is the extreme illustration, example of the value in a vehicle as opposed to the badge.

It’d be interesting to do some little bit of research and have some chats with the buyer who can easily go the hundred plus thousand dollar Mercedes S-Class route or go with the K900 as opposed and sit down and hear the decision making process.

Clinton Quan: I think they’re also targeting people who are also looking at a mid-size luxury car with a true luxury badge such as a Mercedes or a BMW. So you could get a 5 Series or an E Class for that price, right?

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: A Mercedes E Class with a six-cylinder engine and that horsepower, it’s going to be about $59,000 too, but that’s without any options. So do you want a midsize luxury sedan-

“…they’re also targeting people who are also looking at a mid-size luxury car with a true luxury badge such as a Mercedes or a BMW.”

Tom Smith: Or do you want a full-size KIA?

Clinton Quan: …or you could move up to a full size and it would pretty much be fully loaded. So you would still be paying more for an E Class Mercedes if you got that fully loaded and you’re getting a bigger car.

Tom Smith: Well, this is before Genesis though, I’ve heard Hyundai KIA compared to Mercedes BMW.  Kind of perspective of Mercedes, generally speaking, being a little bit more luxury-focused, and BMW generally speaking, being a little bit more performance focused.

2019 Honda Passport

Clinton Quan: Yes. And when you speak to most people, that’s the perception they have, right? Mercedes, they’re known for their luxury. BMW is definitely known for performance. And I think Hyundai Genesis is definitely more luxury oriented and KIA is definitely more performance oriented, especially with the Stinger.

Tom Smith: Yeah, and Professor loves his Stinger.

“Shout out to our friends at Rock Honda in Los Angeles suburb of Fontana California.”

Clinton Quan: As you know, that’s one of my very favorite cars. That’s the same engine they’re using in the K900, and that’s also the same engine in the brand new Genesis G70 Sports sedan, which was just named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

Tom Smith: Well, there you go. Ding-ding-ding Motor Trend.

Clinton Quan: And that is a direct competitor to the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C Class, and the Audi A4.

Tom Smith: There you go. Okay, so number five, 2020 911 almost all new. Number for, 2019 KIA 900, all new. What’s number three Professor?

Clinton Quan: Number three will be the 2019 Honda Passport.

Tom Smith: 2019 Honda Passport. Hey, All right. Shout out to our friends at Rock Honda in Los Angeles suburb of Fontana California.

Clinton Quan: And I read that Honda actually decided on that name while they were already designing and engineering their vehicle, so that was in the process. They didn’t design it at the very beginning.

Tom Smith: I mean hey, they realized that they needed something in between the pilot and the CRV.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Honda’s Crossover SUV Line-Up

Tom Smith: And there’s already a cache that is with the Passport, as they use the name a long time ago. And it makes sense too, because now as we did the podcast.

If you haven’t heard that podcast, the Professor and I did a preview of the 2019 Honda Passport, but as we pointed out in that one, the passport’s been gone off the production line for 10 plus years, 15 years whatever it is…

But when the Passport was in production years ago, it was off-road capable, off-road ready, and now with the reintroduction of the Passport, this vehicle, Honda has also designed to be off-road ready, off-road capable.

Clinton Quan: Yes. And they wanted to give it that rugged look that a lot of people want, even though it is a crossover, they want the rugged look of a true SUV.

Tom Smith: Right.

“…with the reintroduction of the Passport, Honda has  designed it to be off-road ready, off-road capable.”

Clinton Quan: Yes, and also because for a lot of people the CR-V may be too small and then the Pilot’s too big, so the Passport would really be the ideal size for them.

And there are so many other vehicles in the segment as well, so Honda realized they really needed something to compete against Chevy with the new Blazer, Ford with the Edge, Nissan with the Murano, Jeep with the Grand Cherokee. So this is a true direct competitor.

Tom Smith: All right. So number three is a 2019 Honda Passport, four is the 2019 KIA K900, five is the 2020 Porsche 911. What do we have for number two?

All-New 2019 Mazda3

Clinton Quan: Number two is going to be the all-new 2019 Mazda3, which comes available both as a hatchback and a sedan, and this is truly a premium compact.

And there’s probably nothing else quite like it in its class, very stylish design. Love the curves on the car. It’s just a great looking car.

It’s going to have initially the same 2.5-liter engine that was found in the previous Mazda3, which pumped out 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft feet of torque, but later on in 2019 they’re going to have a more advanced engine, which will be probably even more fuel efficient.

The other big news on the Mazda3 is that it will be available in all-wheel drive as well.

Tom Smith: Interesting. Now, something that I didn’t realize till you mentioned it, I don’t know in the last couple of months. Mazda makes nothing but four-cylinder engine.

Clinton Quan: That is absolutely correct. Yes, everything is either a naturally aspirated four-cylinder or a turbocharged. So if you look at their entire lineup of vehicles, they’re actually the most fuel-efficient automaker, even though they don’t have any hybrids or electric.

Tom Smith: That’s what I was just going to point out.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, entire lineup.

Tom Smith: It’s interesting.

Clinton Quan: Which is very, very impressive, and a lot of people don’t realize that.

“…they’re actually the most fuel-efficient automaker, even though they don’t have any hybrids or electric.”

Tom Smith: But then you look at a CX-9, right? Or a-

Clinton Quan: And that’s one of my very favorite… I would call that a full-size crossover three-row. It’s a big crossover.

Tom Smith: So that’s a big crossover, but that is another testament to Mazda’s tech, that they have a three-row crossover SUV, big vehicle.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: That’s being powered by a four-cylinder.

Mazda Only Makes 4-Cylinder Engines

Clinton Quan: Four-cylinder. It’s a 2.5 liter inline four that pumps out 250 horsepower on premium fuel, and 310 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of torque-

Tom Smith: A lot of torque.

Clinton Quan: …for a four cylinder.

Tom Smith: Now that’s the CX-9, that’s not the Professor’s number two top five from the LA Auto Show is the 2019 Mazda3 which comes in a hatchback or a sedan. And what is the horsepower and torque on that?

Clinton Quan: They haven’t announced it yet, but it will feature a 2.5 liter inline four. Speculation is that the horsepower and torque should be the same or if it’s not the same it will be very similar to the current generation, which I mentioned is 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque.

“It’s a 2.5 liter inline four that pumps out 250 horsepower on premium fuel, and 310 lb-ft of torque.”

Tom Smith: Okay, all right. That brings us to number one. So before we get to number one, real quick recap.

These are Professor’s top five picks from the LA Auto Show. We have number five, 2020 Porsche 911. Number four, 2019 KIA K900, number three, 2019 Honda Passport and number two, 2019 Mazda3.

Number one from the LA Auto Show as perceived, as viewed, as desired by the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan, is?

Clinton Quan: It’s going to be the 2020 Lincoln Aviator. Shocker, right?

Tom Smith: My jaw dropped. 2020 Lincoln Aviator.

Clinton Quan: Did you see that?

Tom Smith: I did.

Clinton Quan: It’s a great looking crossover. Now interesting, Lincoln calls it a mid-size, but if you look-

Tom Smith: It looks huge.

Clinton Quan: It’s not a mid-size, that’s a full-size vehicle.

Tom Smith: We’ve talked about that. Everything’s getting bigger, nothing…

2020 Lincoln Aviator

Clinton Quan: Well they have a mid-size, it’s the Nautilus, and they have a compact MKC. The Nautilus is definitely a midsize. This vehicle is easily over 200 inches in length. I can’t imagine it being less than that. It’s a big vehicle.

Tom Smith: So, the non-luxury version of this is the Explorer.

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: Right?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: The Ford Explorer.

Clinton Quan: Yes. I think they’re going to come out. Ford will have a new Explorer, so it’ll probably use the same platform. Now, this vehicle has a 3-liter V6 twin turbo that cranks out 400 horsepower.

Tom Smith: 400?

Clinton Quan: 400 horsepower, 400 lb-ft of torque. That’s the engine.

Tom Smith: We got three rows here?

“…this vehicle has a 3-liter V6 twin turbo that cranks out 400 horsepower…”

Clinton Quan: Oh, yes. It’s got to have three rows with the size of this vehicle. So that’s actually the base engine, they’re also going to have-

Tom Smith: That’s the base?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that is-

Tom Smith: So, you can get one with more than 400 horsepower?

Clinton Quan: They’re gonna have one with a battery electric. It’s a combination, hybrid, that’s going to pump out 450 horsepower, but more importantly-

Tom Smith: The torque is going to be sick.

Clinton Quan: …600 lb-ft of torque.

“They’re gonna have… a combination, hybrid, that’s going to pump out 450 horsepower, but more importantly 600 lb-ft of torque.”

Tom Smith: Wow.

Clinton Quan: 600 lb-ft of torque and the interior is beautiful in this car, it’s not like the other Lincolns. Maybe you could say it’s maybe similar to the Navigator, but it’s gorgeous.

Tom Smith: These are front wheel drive standard, all-wheel drive option, all-wheel drive standard, rear wheel drive? What are they?

Clinton Quan: Yes, they’ll definitely have all-wheel drive, but front wheel drive probably standard.

Lincoln Wants the Aviator to Fly

I don’t know if they’ve made that decision yet, because it is a 2020 model so I don’t know when it’ll come out. But the trims will be base so that’ll just be Aviator, then you’ll have Reserve.

Then there’s, let’s see, the very top line is the Black Label, but then there’s something in between the Reserve and the Black Label. I think it’s the Grand Touring edition.

“Well, this is a very, very important vehicle for Lincoln.”

Tom Smith: All right. Wonder how long it’ll be until we see Matthew McConaughey and TV spots with the Lincoln Aviator 2020.

Clinton Quan: Well, this is a very, very important vehicle for Lincoln.

Tom Smith: Yeah?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Why do you say that?

Clinton Quan: Well, for those of you who don’t know, Lincoln the past several years, they’ve spent a lot of money on marketing, right?

Tom Smith: Yeah, Matthew McConaughey.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. They’ve been on a slight decline in terms of sales, so this is a very important vehicle for them and I think it could change the perception for a lot of consumers about Lincoln.

Tom Smith: It cranked my head at the Auto Show for sure.

Clinton Quan: Love the name The Aviator, that was…

“…the past several years, they’ve spent a lot of money [Matthew McConaughey] on marketing…”

Tom Smith: That’s not a new name. They’ve had that name for a long time.

Clinton Quan: And just like with Honda, they’re bringing it back. But for the Navigator, it’s a great vehicle, but I think it’s going to be too big for most people, so I think this is the right for…

Tom Smith: Well with the Navigator…

Clinton Quan: And that’s also a lot more expensive too.

Tom Smith: You got the Navigator and the Escalade that…

All-New and Refreshed Top-5 

Clinton Quan: The Navigator is a very boxy looking vehicle, this one’s got more curves on it. It’s more stylish and great looking interior, and you’re getting all that horsepower in that vehicle, and you’re getting the third row.

Tom Smith: Okay. Well, there you have it. The good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan‘s, top five from the 2018 LA Auto Show.

“It would have to be a brand-new design or a heavily refreshed automobile.”

From five to one, we have number five, the 2020 911, almost new from Porsche. You have number four, the 2019 KIA K900, all new.

Number three, the 2019 Honda Passport, which Honda is bringing back and that’s going to fall between the Pilot and the CR-V. Go to our friends at Rock Honda for that one. Number two, the 2019 Mazda3, which comes in a hatchback or sedan.

LA Auto Show Top-5
1. 2020 Lincoln Aviator
2. 2019 Mazda3
3. 2019 Honda Passport
4. 2019 KIA K900
5. 2020 Porsche 911

And then the number one, surprising Lincoln entry, the Lincoln Aviator. That is the good Professor’s top five from the 2018 LA Auto Show. Professor, unless you have anything else.

Clinton Quan: I think we’ve covered it all.

Tom Smith: You’re good? All right. I’m good. For iDriveSoCal, Professor thank you so much as always.

Clinton Quan: Oh, thank you.

Tom Smith: I’m Tom Smith. Thank you as always for tuning in.

]]>
The LA Auto Show is special for many reasons.  First, and simply, because it's one of the biggest new car shows on the planet with an incredibly long and rich history.  Second, because it's family-friendly fun that often winds up bonding generations th... The LA Auto Show is special for many reasons.  First, and simply, because it's one of the biggest new car shows on the planet with an incredibly long and rich history.  Second, because it's family-friendly fun that often winds up bonding generations that might otherwise have little in common...<br /> <br /> Of course, there's also the incredible new shiny things everywhere.  The introduction of the latest mobility technology and the tease of what's to come.<br /> <br /> But for us here at iDriveSoCal it's also special because it marks the first full year of our existence.  Clinton "The Professor" Quan and I first reviewed the 2017 LA Auto Show and detailed his Top-5 Picks from the hundreds of vehicles on display.<br /> <br /> Just like the LA Auto Show itself, we're going to make this piece a tradition.  We hope you enjoy both with us for years to come!  Click play below to listen to the podcast and enjoy the pictures of the shiny new things!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded December 3, 2018, @ Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA<br /> <br /> LA Auto Show<br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of these fine United States of America, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello Clinton.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello my friend. This podcast actually brings the good Professor and I full circle. I don't think it's a year to the date, but about a year ago, the very first podcast that we did was a recap of the LA Auto Show, and specifically, the Professor's Top-5 Picks from the LA Auto Show. So, man, we've done a lot in a year.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes, we have.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: It's been a lot of fun. iDriveSoCal has been a labor of love. Thank you for listening. Thank you, Professor, for joining me for so many fun podcasts for us to put together, and we truly hope that you enjoy listening to our podcasts. We definitely love talking about what we talk about.<br /> <br /> "...as mobility continues to shift and evolve we're right here on the cutting edge trying to bring you the latest and enjoying immensely doing so."<br /> <br /> So there's lots of the car culture in Southern California, I mean jeez. But not only Southern California, really across United States, around the world, and as mobility continues to shift and evolve we're right here on the cutting edge trying to bring you the latest and enjoying immensely doing so. So again, about a year down or a year ago, we did the Professor's Top- 5 from the LA Auto Show.<br /> <br /> Now I'm going to reintroduce the Professor as if brand new. Clinton has been a friend for probably close to 10 years. When we first met our then girlfriends introduced us, and our then girlfriends had met in college, and Clinton just struck me as this guy, man, he knows his cars like crazy, but also he won't stop talking about cars.<br /> Serious Car Lover<br /> And no joke, even after we started this podcast, we'll do this podcast and then we'll wrap the podcast up and then we'll be walking to our cars and he'll still be talking about cars, which is great, but that just gives you an idea of the passion.<br /> <br /> And I nicknamed him the Professor because he knows the most granular detail about everything coming off of any major manufacturers supply line, so whether that's domestic, imports, luxury, even exotics, everything.<br /> <br /> "Clinton just struck me as this guy, man, he knows his cars like crazy, but also he won't stop talking about cars."<br /> <br /> He knows the most granular detail about all these cars, and there's a lot to know because they're rolling computers these days, and becoming rolling living rooms as well with all the tech and innovation and entertainment available in them. But so anyway Professor, thank you for a very fun first year.<br /> <br /> I'm looking forward to many, Tom Smith clean 30:59
AutoMobility – Press Days at the LA Auto Show https://www.idrivesocal.com/la-auto-show-press-days/ Thu, 06 Dec 2018 09:00:57 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4128 The Los Angeles Auto Show marks the beginning of the major automotive shows around the world each year.  AutoMobility LA is technically the preview event that lasts nearly a week for the global press corps before the doors open to the public. We bring our cameras, laptops, microphones... and personally, I still bring an old-school notepad and pen. Big announcements are made, the future is predicted and shiny new products are rolled out with much fanfare.  It's a spectacle.  And it' of electric vehicles, autonomous drivings and more. The future of mobility was on display in full-force... or at least some predictions and possible samples of it. Clinton "The Professor" Quan and I review AutoMobility LA and some of the LA Auto Show in this iDriveSoCal Podcast. Click play to listen below, scroll through the pics and enjoy! ***Transcription*** Recorded December 3, 2018, @ Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA AutoMobility LA  Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. I say it sing-song-y because it's a pretty great place to live here in Southern California. Clinton Quan: Absolutely. Tom Smith: I mean, we pay for it, right? Clinton Quan: We definitely pay for it. Tom Smith: Financially. Mentally, with all the traffic we gotta deal with. But thankfully, if it wasn't for all that traffic maybe iDriveSoCal wouldn't be in existence, right? Clinton Quan: Maybe it… Tom Smith: At any rate, thank you, Professor, for joining me. That is the good professor, Mr. Clinton Quan that you here there. Thank you for tuning in. I shouldn't really say that, right? Because it's a podcast. We're not on the radio. But, whatever I'll say it. I'll continue to say it. This podcast, as you know by the label because you obviously clicked play either on Spotify or Apple Podcast or Google Podcast or whatever podcatcher you're using. Or you clicked play from iDriveSoCal.com. You know that this is our overview of the LA Auto Show by way of the Professor and my experience at Automobility LA, which is the LA Auto Show's press days. "...it's a pretty great place to live, here in Southern California." This was pretty much my first big experience. I kind of dabbled with press days pre-iDriveSoCal. The Professor has done press days for a few years I believe, right? Clinton Quan:    Yes. Tom Smith: Basically, what the press days are is its industry focused. It's what's going on within the industry of the automotive business which is now really automotive as well as technology as the way that we move, i.e. mobility kind of comes to a gore point if you will. A convergence. The Trade Show within the LA Auto Show It was really, really interesting on a number of levels. The press days started on Monday, I didn't attend Monday but there were some events going on Monday that were women in the automotive industry. Then, I believe their start-up competition... not the start-up competition, code... I did a podcast on this with Alexis Evans and it was the hackathon but they're not calling it the hackathon. It's a hackathon that's not called a hackathon was part of Sunday/Monday. Tuesday I was there all day. Wednesday I was there all day, as well. Then, Thursday we were there together. Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: Monday night you attended. Clinton Quan: I attended the two receptions that took place on Monday night. Those were the kick-off parties for Automobility LA. Tom Smith: Food and drink and all the other press junkies at the press junket. Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: Tuesday was an interesting day because... So the press days take place primarily in these two huge tents that are outside of the Convention Center. "...what's going on within the industry of the automotive business which is now really automotive as well as technology..." The Convention Center, of course, for anybody listening outside of LA, the Convention Center is right next to Staple C... The Los Angeles Auto Show marks the beginning of the major automotive shows around the world each year.  AutoMobility LA is technically the preview event that lasts nearly a week for the global press corps before the doors open to the public.

We bring our cameras, laptops, microphones… and personally, I still bring an old-school notepad and pen.

Big announcements are made, the future is predicted and shiny new products are rolled out with much fanfare.  It’s a spectacle.  And it’ of electric vehicles, autonomous drivings and more.

The future of mobility was on display in full-force… or at least some predictions and possible samples of it. Clinton “The Professor” Quan and I review AutoMobility LA and some of the LA Auto Show in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.

Click play to listen below, scroll through the pics and enjoy!

Black Byton M-Byte concept car parked at the LA Auto Show's Press Days as part of the iDriveSoCal 149 Podcast banner promoting AutoMobility LA - LA Auto Show's Press Days coverage

***Transcription***

Recorded December 3, 2018, @ Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA

AutoMobility LA 

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. I say it sing-song-y because it’s a pretty great place to live here in Southern California.

Clinton Quan: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: I mean, we pay for it, right?

Clinton Quan: We definitely pay for it.

Tom Smith: Financially. Mentally, with all the traffic we gotta deal with. But thankfully, if it wasn’t for all that traffic maybe iDriveSoCal wouldn’t be in existence, right?

Clinton Quan: Maybe it…

2018 LA Auto Show @ LA Convention Center - exterior of Convention Center entrance with attendees

Tom Smith: At any rate, thank you, Professor, for joining me. That is the good professor, Mr. Clinton Quan that you here there. Thank you for tuning in. I shouldn’t really say that, right? Because it’s a podcast. We’re not on the radio. But, whatever I’ll say it. I’ll continue to say it.

This podcast, as you know by the label because you obviously clicked play either on Spotify or Apple Podcast or Google Podcast or whatever podcatcher you’re using. Or you clicked play from iDriveSoCal.com. You know that this is our overview of the LA Auto Show by way of the Professor and my experience at Automobility LA, which is the LA Auto Show’s press days.

“…it’s a pretty great place to live, here in Southern California.”

This was pretty much my first big experience. I kind of dabbled with press days pre-iDriveSoCal. The Professor has done press days for a few years I believe, right?

Clinton Quan:    Yes.

Tom Smith: Basically, what the press days are is its industry focused. It’s what’s going on within the industry of the automotive business which is now really automotive as well as technology as the way that we move, i.e. mobility kind of comes to a gore point if you will. A convergence.

The Trade Show within the LA Auto Show

It was really, really interesting on a number of levels. The press days started on Monday, I didn’t attend Monday but there were some events going on Monday that were women in the automotive industry.

Then, I believe their start-up competition… not the start-up competition, code… I did a podcast on this with Alexis Evans and it was the hackathon but they’re not calling it the hackathon. It’s a hackathon that’s not called a hackathon was part of Sunday/Monday.

Byton M-Byte Concept on Stage @ AutoMobility LA 2018 - Crowd snaps cell-phone pics during presentation

Tuesday I was there all day. Wednesday I was there all day, as well. Then, Thursday we were there together.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Monday night you attended.

Clinton Quan: I attended the two receptions that took place on Monday night. Those were the kick-off parties for Automobility LA.

Tom Smith: Food and drink and all the other press junkies at the press junket.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Tuesday was an interesting day because… So the press days take place primarily in these two huge tents that are outside of the Convention Center.

“…what’s going on within the industry of the automotive business which is now really automotive as well as technology…”

The Convention Center, of course, for anybody listening outside of LA, the Convention Center is right next to Staple Center where the Lakers play and the Clippers play and the Kings play and lots of concerts and what not. Right downtown LA. They call the area LA Live.

They put these two huge tents outside that house the press days because the first few days start there and then Thursday opens up the inside of the Auto Show and that’s when basically us press folk…

Byton M-Byte Concept Front-view w/ white "B" illuminated on grill

Clinton Quan: Wednesday.

Tom Smith: Wednesday?

Clinton Quan: Yeah. The major press events took place on Wednesday.

Auto Industry Meets Tech Industry

Tom Smith: Okay. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. That’s when they open up and we transition from the tents outside to actually inside for the Convention Center where the Auto Show is for the masses, where you may be going to the Auto Show. Maybe you’re on your way to the Auto Show right now as you’re listening to the podcast.

Byton M-Byte Concept Passenger-side front-view - Futuristic white lines enhancing headlights

The press days were super cool and kind of coincide with one of the reasons I started the iDriveSoCal podcast and website and that is this crazy convergence between automotive and technology.

Big discussion was, and Professor you weren’t there for this, and I don’t even think we’ve talked about it yet, but a big discussion was around V2X. Software and hardware that focuses on V2X.

What that is is vehicle to whatever communication. As we advance in autonomy, cars starting to drive themselves, our cars are going to be talking to many different things. It was fascinating.

Byton M-Byte Concept Driverside Profile w/ AutoMobility LA attendee examining vehicle through driver's window

I’m gonna have some podcasts where some of the heads of these companies, because they are start-up companies that are doing this. Nobody is really doing it. But the start-up companies are partnering with the big manufacturers and what not.

But the concept that our car is going to talk to the city’s grid. Our car is going to act as… But nobody knows anything for sure. It’s all theory. That’s the crazy thing, right?

“…one of the reasons I started the iDriveSoCal podcast and website and that is this crazy convergence between automotive and technology.”

I went there thinking, the solid plan is going to be laid out or the solid plans are gonna be start to laid out. But they’re not because nobody knows.

Nobody Knows Nothin’

William Goldman is a Hollywood screenwriter and he’s known as a Godfather as Hollywood screenwriting. He wrote “Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid,” I think I’m getting his name right. He coined a term or a phrase that I think applies to so many other businesses and so many other states of the industry. To paraphrase, “Nobody knows nothing,” is what he said…

Byton M-Byte Concept Full Dash Digital display and digital steering wheel disaply

Nobody knows nothing is what William Goldman said about the Hollywood business, about how movies get made.

I think we’re definitely in an area right now where everything is being figured out about mobility, about the autonomous element of mobility and it’s happening, for sure. It’s the how of it but everybody is working on it now.

All the major manufacturers are working on it, the major technology companies are working on it, you got the Waymos doing their thing out there, you got Uber doing its thing.

“…a big discussion was around V2X… What that is is vehicle to whatever communication.”

The whole concept that your car is, well, it’s a computer on wheels already. New cars are. They just are. But your car is going to talk to other things.

Your car is going to talk to other cars, your car is going to talk to the parking meter, your car is going to talk to parking structures, your car will act as a credit card, your car will talk to your phone.

Byton M-Byte Concept Digital Dash display showing driver and passenger images, heart-rate and digital monitor in dash replacing rear-view mirror

The other concept of car sharing where I’m going to walk up and access a car that isn’t mine, that I’m basically renting. That one I have a hard time wrapping my head around because – and we’ve talked about this, Professor – you’ve got a ton of stuff in your car. I got a ton of stuff in my car.

Clinton Quan: Oh yeah.

Are You Going to Share Your Car?

Tom Smith: My wife has a ton of stuff in her car. My son’s car seat. How that whole car sharing is going to do, I don’t know. I think we’re always going to have cars.

Anyway, that was my take on press days. It was a lot of fun to talk to some of these companies, and again, we’re going to do a podcast where it’s the vehicle talking to other things. The crazy thing is, the crazy realization is really nobody knows anything.

Byton M-Byte Concept Digital Steering Wheel Display showing climate status for each of the vehicle's four seats

Everybody is up on stage with their theories. And if you read between the lines.  Some of the panel discussions that they had in some of these sessions, people were experts but they were experts on stage saying two different things. Two different theories. We’re going two different directions.

Clinton Quan: Oh yeah, I’ve heard the same thing, too.

“Level 5 autonomy is… go anywhere on its own at any time… not only streets but perhaps off-road…”

Tom Smith: For instance, this is something that I’ve shared on the podcast before and that someone opened my eyes to. One of the CEOs of one of the software companies of the V2X technology. We were kicking around the idea of how autonomy is gonna be rolled out. Level five autonomy is cars gonna go anywhere on its own at any time.

Clinton Quan: Yes, that’s fully autonomous.

Tom Smith: That’s a long way out because that means a car has to recognize not only streets but perhaps off-road even, that’s literally what level five autonomy…

Byton M-Byte Concept Rear-view - Futuristic red lines for brake-lights

Clinton Quan: They have to be able to do everything by itself.

Tom Smith: That’s what level five autonomy is considered by way of the standard understanding that everybody is accepting of the levels of autonomy as described by the SAE, the Society of Automotive Engineers. I have a podcast on that explaining the levels of autonomous driving.

Autonomous Driving and Big Brother

Level four autonomy is more realistic. That is it can find area where the car is able to operate on its own but only within that confined area. When you think about where we are right now as a society, it’s like, that confined area could be a city, right?

“…but they were experts on stage saying two different things. Two different theories… going two different directions.”

In theory, and this goes back to the conversation I was having with this one V2X CEO, in theory, our car pulls up to the city. In order to enter that city, our car needs to have the capacity to communicate with the city’s grid. We’re hands-off as we enter the city, the car is being run by the city grid.

So, in theory, level four autonomy that makes perfect sense, right? He posed an interesting question that I hadn’t thought of. What about the big brother factor? You really want the city running your car?

Byton M-Byte Concept Passenger-side front-view - Futuristic white lines enhancing headlights

I thought, “That’s interesting.” I don’t know that that’s right or wrong. Nobody knows what’s right or wrong but what I was thinking is that’s a good point. Maybe my idea of my car, your car, everyone’s cars communicating with the city grid is a big brother-ish kind of issue. However, right? I know…

Clinton Quan: It could be. Maybe not.

“Maybe… my car, your car, everyone’s cars communicating with the city grid is a big brother-ish kind of issue.”

Tom Smith: But, then as I’m going to the next day of the Automobility LA, driving there, I got into the express lane, which I pay for. Isn’t that kind of along the same lines of big brother-ish kind of issue?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I don’t know. I share that because people ask me all the time. They’re like, “You do this podcast thing in iDriveSoCal and future mobility, what do you think?” The interesting thing is, nobody really knows.

Autonomous Driving Levels 4 & 5

Clinton Quan: That’s true. No one really knows. There’s a lot of theories out there. There are people out there who think that maybe it will happen in just literally a few more years.

Realistically, I don’t see that happening. There is just so many other factors involved. When you’re talking about fully autonomous vehicles, you’re talking about having cities maintaining the streets properly and if that doesn’t happen, the cars won’t be able to fully drive themselves.

“There are people out there who think that maybe it will happen in just literally a few more years.”

Tom Smith: By fully autonomous in a city, you’re talking about really level four, not level five. Level five is going anywhere any time.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, but we’re talking about cities, counties…

Tom Smith: Yes. Because the car has to communicate with the road. It has to communicate with obstructions. It has to communicate with everything.

Infinti Concept Driver-side front-view 2018 LA Auto Show - Sleek, gray low-profile, one-seat and no windshield

Clinton Quan: They have to be able to detect the lanes, the barriers, signage, road markings, speed feedback signs, all of that.

Tom Smith: All of that and then some. And it has to make decisions.

“…fully autonomous in a city, you’re talking about really level four, not level five. Level five is going anywhere any time.”

Clinton Quan: It has to make decisions.

Tom Smith: Another podcast I did with Consumer Watchdog Group earlier this year and they posed an interesting question.

The car has a decision to make, does it potentially hurt somebody outside of the car or does it potentially hurt somebody inside of the car? An accident and impact is imminent, it’s going to happen. Who does the car put at risk?

Infinit Concept Rear-view 2018 LA Auto Show - Sleek, gray, low-profile and no windshield

To put it more bluntly, I think John Simpson was the gentleman’s name who I did the podcast with from Consumer Watchdog Group and he said, “Who does the car kill?” Kind of a morbid way of looking at it but it’s one of the many factors. That’s why…

Autonomous Transition and New EVs

Clinton Quan: That’s not something a lot of people are talking about because everyone thinks with fully autonomous vehicles, we’re gonna have zero deaths.

Tom Smith: Right. But there’s gonna be growing pains getting there.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

“The car has a decision to make, does it potentially hurt somebody outside of the car or does it potentially hurt somebody inside of the car?”

Tom Smith: That’s the thing. That’s what society has to accept and embrace and in theory, I think I have said those two words together many times in this podcast but in theory, that’s great. As long as it’s nobody I know, care for, or love.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Anybody getting hurt or worse is unacceptable but it’s just fascinating.

We’re at a time right now in history that we’ve done this before. When horses were going away and buggies were going away and horseless carriages and cars were taking over the roads.

It would be interesting to go back and I don’t even know who would have any historical data on that. Maybe AAA?

Infiniti Concept Passenger-side profile 2018 LA Auto Show - Sleek, gray, one-seat and no windshield

Just how issues were addressed and dealt with back then. Obviously, those were simpler times. That was far less population, far less technology, far less … But, nonetheless, there are some parallels, some similarities that can be drawn, right?

Clinton Quan: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: So, that was the one thing that I really wanted to point out about press days. Other than that, you have some really interesting electric vehicles that are being introduced.

“We’re at a time right now in history that we’ve done this before. When horses were going away and buggies were going away and… and cars were taking over the roads.”

Not the first electric vehicle companies to be introduced that make a big fanfare and then maybe we hear about and maybe we don’t in the future. Interesting nonetheless.

That kind of falls in line with a whole bunch of really cool concept vehicles that were out there in the show.

All-New Hondas and Toyotas 

Because at the end of press days, we got to go walk the floors just like everybody else will be able to and is doing right now. I guess the take away for the concept cars overall is just really electrification and automization.

Is that a word, automization? It is, right?

Clinton Quan: I think it is.

Tom Smith: If not, I just made up a word.

Tom Smith: But the idea of your car not only being electric but being more of a living room sitting area, which, again isn’t new.

1930's Auto Show Cartoon that could easily apply to auto shows of today

If you go to concept cars back 40-50 years ago, they were theorizing that that was gonna be the case, right? It seems we’re getting closer.

Clinton Quan: Yes, we are getting closer.

Tom Smith: As we mentioned, the Honda Passport, cool one that is coming out. The Passport is gonna be between the Pilot and the CR-V. We’ve done a podcast about that. That was a cool thing from Honda. For a shout out to our friends at Rock Honda.

White 2019 Honda Passport

Tom Smith: The Toyota Rav4, new one coming out, when is that going to be available in dealerships?

Clinton Quan: I don’t know if a date has been announced yet.

Gray 2019 Toyota RAV4

Tom Smith: So, we’re probably assuming…

Clinton Quan: I would think it’s gonna be some time…

Tom Smith: Late Q1, early Q2-ish, something like that.

Clinton Quan: If I were to guess at this point. It was also shown at the Orange County International Auto Show.

History of the VW Beetle 

Tom Smith: So, we’re theorizing on that one. Volkswagen, I did a sit-down podcast with Mark Gillies who is the senior product communication manager for Volkswagen America.

iDSC's Tom Smith & VW of America's Mark Gillies in front of a vintage black Volkswagen Beetle

We did a really cool podcast during press days at the Volkswagen booth which is still being constructed and we did a piece on the history of the Beetle as the Beetle rounds the last year that the Beetle is gonna be available for Volkswagen.

Those are my takeaways from the LA Auto Show and Press Days as I hog the first many minutes of this podcast, Professor. Thank you for chiming in on your thoughts but what were your takeaways on what you saw?

Blue & white customized VW Race Buggy lifted w/ off-road tires

Clinton Quan: Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend as much time during press days as I’ve done in the past but as always, I always enjoy the kick-off receptions that took place on Monday.

Tom Smith: Professor doesn’t miss a party that has to do with cars.

Clinton Quan: Yes. Didn’t see a whole lot of cars at those two events but definitely lots of food and drinks and entertainment so that was a fun time.

Gray 2019 VW Beetle Convertible w/ top down and show attendees pointing and taking pictures

Then, in terms of Thursday, there were a few press events. I didn’t go to most of that but I did walk around the floor of the Convention Center and I got to check out a number of new vehicles so that was exciting as always and mingling with the other media as well.

Tom Smith: What cars stick out? You know, we’ll hold the top five for now.

Clinton Quan: Yes, we’ll hold the top five but definitely there was a…

LA Auto Show Top-5

Tom Smith: We’re gonna do a podcast on the Professor’s top five of the LA Auto Show which will bring us full circle because a year ago, that was our first podcast that you and I did together was your top five.

Clinton Quan: The very first one, yes.

Tom Smith: We’re gonna do that in another podcast but we’ll tease that in this podcast.

Clinton Quan: Yes, we’ll tease that. Well, there’s definitely been a lot of attention for the mostly Porsche 911.

Tom Smith: It’s getting a nice spread. Boy, do we have a nice lunch at their booth, huh?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that was a really, really nice reception with the turkey and the sea bass and they had numerous Porsche 911s there and that’s actually a 2020 model. There’s also been a lot of talk about the all-new Jeep Gladiator. There’s been a lot of press coverage about that. That’s their new midsize pick-up truck and that’s a true…

Tom Smith: Midsize but it looks really long.

Clinton Quan: The one that they had smack dab right in the center, that one looks longer because the gate was down and then they also had the off-road bikes on there. I saw another one right next to it and that one looked shorter and I was told they are actually exactly the same length.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: But it is a midsize pick-up truck

Tom Smith: You just jogged my memory, I gotta butt in with one other thing that I wanted to note about press days. Volvo, day one of the show being open had no cars at their display.

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Volvo Services & Car Contracting

Tom Smith: A huge display and no cars because they wanted to focus on all the services. The fact that Amazon will be able to deliver to your trunk of your Volvo.

Google Android, I believe, is it Android or is it just Google? Anyway, Google/Android has an operating system that is kind of running everything on the car.

“…manufacturers have tinkered with subscription services like our phones… Your insurance is covered, the maintenance is covered, everything is covered…”

Then, of course, they have their subscription service which may or may not live on. It’ll be interesting to see. I know rumor had it, Cadillac subscription service.

And for those of you that don’t know, the subscription service is some of the manufacturers have tinkered with subscription services like our phones. Like all in one. Your insurance is covered, the maintenance is covered, everything is covered, the car is covered.

“…Cadillac is suspending theirs as of December first. Rumor had it.”

Clinton Quan: Yeah, they have a program where you can swap out different vehicles. I think it was something like $1,900 a month or something.

Tom Smith: But Cadillac is killing theirs.

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: Excuse me, not killing, Cadillac is suspending theirs as of December first. Rumor had it. Well, I guess…

Clinton Quan: From what I heard, yeah.

Tom Smith: I guess we would know that by now because we’re recording this on December third. Obviously, suspension means… but that at the same time, it seems Porsche, what they’re doing is going well and they are gonna charge more for it.

Clinton Quan: That’s completely different though.

Tom Smith: Different buyer, different car.

Clinton Quan: It’s a completely different segment, yeah.

Tom Smith: You can switch out the little pocket rocket that you get to drive from time to time.

Clinton Quan: When you’re talking about Porsche, you’re really talking about more of a boutique automaker.

Would You Subscribe to ‘Own’ Your Car?

Tom Smith: Enthusiast.

Clinton Quan: Yes, enthusiast and people in that segment that are looking for a car in that segment, they’re looking for something different all the time, right?

Infiniti Concept Front-view 2018 LA Auto Show - Sleek, gray, one-seat and no windshield

They have so many different vehicles in their garage and just look at the 911. Look at how many iterations they have, right? They’re constantly coming out with a brand new 911. They want the latest.

Tom Smith: Yup.

Clinton Quan: Cadillac, that’s completely different because they have an entire range of luxury vehicles, but quite honestly, the typical Cadillac buyer will not wanna spend $2,000 a month.

Karlman King Passenger-side Profile - Looks like cross between a stealth bomber and a SUV Batman would drive

Tom Smith: Yeah. I think that might have been GM’s attempt to kind of reach and maybe not the right way for their buyers, the younger tech-savvy market. I don’t know. It makes sense that Porsche is having success with it and Cadillac is struggling with it.

Karlman King Passenger-side front-view - Looks like a cross between a stealth bomber and Batman's tank-like SUV

Clinton Quan: If you’re spending that much on a Cadillac, you’re probably just gonna wanna drive the top of the line CT6, the Escalade and then maybe the CTS-V and you really probably aren’t gonna care for any of the other vehicles, quite honestly.

“It’s a really cool thing. We’re at a time, a transitionary time where we know change is afoot.”

Tom Smith: And for that much money, if you put enough down, you can probably buy or lease two of those vehicles, two of the three that you would be driving, right?

Clinton Quan: They’re probably gonna get two of those. Yes. Easily for that price.

Karlman King Front-view - Looks like a stealth bomber meets a matte black tank

Tom Smith: Yeah. So, we slid off topic. Well, not really off topic but the Volvo subscription model, we’ll see. It’s interesting.

Again, this goes back to what I was saying earlier. In so many things it’s like, nobody really knows. But that’s the exciting thing. It’s a really cool thing. We’re at a time, a transitionary time where we know change is afoot.

Vertical Take-Off and Landing Vehicle

Clinton Quan: It’ll be interesting to see five years down the road who is right and who is wrong.

Tom Smith: Yep. I’m sorry, that just jogged my memory again on something else. Flying cars. I know.

Clinton Quan: I think we’re even further away from that. Quite honestly.

Tom Smith: Agreed. But there was one, and I gotta sync up with this guy. There was one CEO from the start-up competition because part of Automobility LA, they had a start-up competition and they did the top ten start-ups and then they whittled it down to three and then the number one.

Tom Smith: One of the top ten was a company called EVA or Eva, I believe. It was a former Tesla engineer, he lives in France and his company is based in Toulouse, if I’m pronouncing that correctly.

“…it’s a vertical take-off and landing vehicle… where the wings tilt up for vertical takeoff and then as the wings rotate, the vehicle is propelled forward.”

They have, it’s not a flying car, it’s a vertical take-off and landing vehicle that basically takes off and lands like an Osprey. An osprey is a military vehicle where the wings tilt up for vertical takeoff and then as the wings rotate, the vehicles is propelled forward.

Supposedly they are going to be test flying in both France and up in Silicon Valley within, I think he said three months, six months, maybe really soon.

Clinton Quan: Wow, that’s pretty soon.

Tom Smith: I chatted with him. He agreed to do a podcast with me and he agreed to invite me to the Silicon Valley test flight. But it was interesting.

He had no real images or no real video of the vehicle actually flying. I know Professor, I’m super skeptical on all this stuff too, but it just jogs the fascination.

Clinton Quan: Is he gonna do a test flight down here to SoCal? And pick you up?

2018 LA Auto Show Press Days

Tom Smith: That might be…

Clinton Quan: Would you go?

Tom Smith: I don’t know. Probably not. Now that I’m a dad. No. I think I want them to iterate a few times to make sure that we have some serious safety precautions before I go.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Monitor displaying AutoMobility LA 2018 text over blue-sky and white-cloud background

Tom Smith: So, I’m sorry. I took us off topic a couple of times. What were other takeaways that you had had from the Automobility LA which was the precursor to the LA Auto Show?

Clinton Quan: Let’s see, we talked about Porsche, we talked about Jeep. The other vehicle that got a lot of press coverage was the Mazda 3 which comes in both sedan and hatchback. It’s got a real premium feel to it so it really is in a class in itself among the compact vehicles.

“…stay tuned for the Professor’s Top-5 picks from the 2018 LA Auto Show.”

Tom Smith: Yup. All right. Okay, well Professor, unless there is anything else, we’re gonna wrap this one up. But, stay tuned for the Professor’s Top-5 picks from the 2018 LA Auto Show.

For iDriveSoCal, I am Tom Smith, that was the Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Thank you, as always, for tuning in.

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The Los Angeles Auto Show marks the beginning of the major automotive shows around the world each year.  AutoMobility LA is technically the preview event that lasts nearly a week for the global press corps before the doors open to the public. The Los Angeles Auto Show marks the beginning of the major automotive shows around the world each year.  AutoMobility LA is technically the preview event that lasts nearly a week for the global press corps before the doors open to the public.<br /> <br /> We bring our cameras, laptops, microphones... and personally, I still bring an old-school notepad and pen.<br /> <br /> Big announcements are made, the future is predicted and shiny new products are rolled out with much fanfare.  It's a spectacle.  And it' of electric vehicles, autonomous drivings and more.<br /> <br /> The future of mobility was on display in full-force... or at least some predictions and possible samples of it. Clinton "The Professor" Quan and I review AutoMobility LA and some of the LA Auto Show in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.<br /> <br /> Click play to listen below, scroll through the pics and enjoy!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded December 3, 2018, @ Benztown Studios in Glendale, CA<br /> <br /> AutoMobility LA <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. I say it sing-song-y because it's a pretty great place to live here in Southern California.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Absolutely.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: I mean, we pay for it, right?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: We definitely pay for it.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Financially. Mentally, with all the traffic we gotta deal with. But thankfully, if it wasn't for all that traffic maybe iDriveSoCal wouldn't be in existence, right?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Maybe it…<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: At any rate, thank you, Professor, for joining me. That is the good professor, Mr. Clinton Quan that you here there. Thank you for tuning in. I shouldn't really say that, right? Because it's a podcast. We're not on the radio. But, whatever I'll say it. I'll continue to say it.<br /> <br /> This podcast, as you know by the label because you obviously clicked play either on Spotify or Apple Podcast or Google Podcast or whatever podcatcher you're using. Or you clicked play from iDriveSoCal.com. You know that this is our overview of the LA Auto Show by way of the Professor and my experience at Automobility LA, which is the LA Auto Show's press days.<br /> <br /> "...it's a pretty great place to live, here in Southern California."<br /> <br /> This was pretty much my first big experience. I kind of dabbled with press days pre-iDriveSoCal. The Professor has done press days for a few years I believe, right?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan:    Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Basically, what the press days are is its industry focused. It's what's going on within the industry of the automotive business which is now really automotive as well as technology as the way that we move, i.e. mobility kind of comes to a gore point if you will. A convergence.<br /> The Trade Show within the LA Auto Show<br /> It was really, really interesting on a number of levels. The press days started on Monday, I didn't attend Monday but there were some events going on Monday that were women in the automotive industry.<br /> <br /> Then, I believe their start-up competition... not the start-up competition, code... I did a podcast on this with Alexis Evans and it was the hackathon but they're not calling it the hackathon. It's a hackathon that's not called a hackathon was part of Sunday/Monday.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tuesday I was there all day. Wednesday I was there all day, as well. Then, Thursday we were there together.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Monday night you attended.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: I attended the two receptions that took place on Monday night. Those were the kick-off parties for Automobility LA.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Food and drink and all the other press junkies at the press junket.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith clean 30:01
2019 Honda Civic Coupe Review https://www.idrivesocal.com/2019-honda-civic-coupe-review/ Sat, 01 Dec 2018 04:18:20 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4067 The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient, highly-versatile and now comes in what will be a wildly popular Sport trim. Featuring bigger wheels, paddle shifters and an overall incredible list of features for the price the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is a great value.  Even more so when you go to iDriveSoCal's Honda partner in the Inland Empire - Rock Honda. Our Professor, Clinton Quan, made his way to Rock Honda in Fontana for a day of Civic Coupe Sport test-driving that included a stop in Corona and Menifee. Click play below to hear all the details in this iDriveSoCal podcast. ***Transcription*** Recorded November 20, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA 2019 Honda Civic Coupe  Clinton Quan: The Sport trim is extremely popular. It's a great looking car. You get those larger rims. The one I drove had the automatic transmission and the paddle shifters. There's definitely plenty of power for a compact car. It's very well-equipped, so you're getting a lot of car. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here joined by the good Professor Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton. Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom. Tom Smith: Hello, my pal, my buddy, my friend, my amigo, my compadre, my comrade. Thank you for joining me as always. This podcast is a vehicle review and it is a vehicle review of the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport. Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: Right? From our good friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California Rock Honda. Go out to Rock Honda. Say hello to our friends out there. General manager David Latif, his right hand, Hamid Javid, Veronica Orozco, one of the sales manager, Ruben Serna, service director. Love all you guys out there at Rock Honda. There are so many people that we could continue to mention, but just go out to Rock Honda. They're going to take the best care of you. Rock bottom pricing is embedded in their name and whatever your Honda needs are, they're going to take the best care of you in SoCal. Love you guys out there at Rock. Without further ado, the 2019 Hondo Accord... Clinton Quan: Honda Civic. Tom Smith: No, excuse me. Honda Civic. Let me screw that up. The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport. Clinton Quan: Yes. Tom Smith: Take it away, Professor. New Sport Trim Option Clinton Quan: Well, for 2019, Honda came out with a brand-new trim for the coupe. They also have a brand new trim for the sedan as well, the Sport, which was available in the hatchback. Tom Smith: Okay. Hold on. It's the sport, which has the new trim. Okay. So it's only the sport? Clinton Quan: The sport. Tom Smith: Because you are going to drive the Touring. Clinton Quan: Yes, but they already had a touring before. Tom Smith: Okay. The Touring trim wasn't going to be new. It just the Sport trim that's new. Clinton Quan: Correct. Yeah. It's just a new trim. Tom Smith: Got it. Okay. Clinton Quan: The Sport trim slots between the base LX and the mid-level EX. Tom Smith: The base LX, the mid-level EX. Clinton Quan: Then you have the top of the line Touring. For the LX ... Tom Smith: They don't do the EXL? Clinton Quan: There is no EXL trim for the Civic. Tom Smith: For the Civic. Okay. You got the LX, the sport, the EX, the touring? Clinton Quan: Correct. Tom Smith: Got it. Okay. Clinton Quan: For the base XL and the Sport trim, that comes with a2.0-liter inline-four that produces 158 horsepower at a 138 lb-ft of torque. For the upper-level EX trim and the top of the line Touring trim, you get a 1.5 inline-four turbo charge that produces 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The LX starts at around $20,000. The sport I think it's around $21,000. Then you move up to the EX, which is around $23,000, and then the top line touring trim will go for around $27,000. Best Honda Prices Tom Smith: Okay. As always, The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient, highly-versatile and now comes in what will be a wildly popular Sport trim.

Featuring bigger wheels, paddle shifters and an overall incredible list of features for the price the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is a great value.  Even more so when you go to iDriveSoCal’s Honda partner in the Inland Empire – Rock Honda.

Our Professor, Clinton Quan, made his way to Rock Honda in Fontana for a day of Civic Coupe Sport test-driving that included a stop in Corona and Menifee. Click play below to hear all the details in this iDriveSoCal podcast.

Gray 2019 Honda Civic Coupe parked in front of a wooded barn as part of the iDriveSoCal 148 Podcast banner Civic Coupe Test Drive & Review sponsored by Rock Honda

***Transcription***

Recorded November 20, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA

2019 Honda Civic Coupe 

Clinton Quan: The Sport trim is extremely popular. It’s a great looking car. You get those larger rims. The one I drove had the automatic transmission and the paddle shifters. There’s definitely plenty of power for a compact car. It’s very well-equipped, so you’re getting a lot of car.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here joined by the good Professor Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello, my pal, my buddy, my friend, my amigo, my compadre, my comrade. Thank you for joining me as always. This podcast is a vehicle review and it is a vehicle review of the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

2019 Honda Civic Coupe gray driver-side front profile

Tom Smith: Right? From our good friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California Rock Honda.

Go out to Rock Honda. Say hello to our friends out there. General manager David Latif, his right hand, Hamid Javid, Veronica Orozco, one of the sales manager, Ruben Serna, service director. Love all you guys out there at Rock Honda.

There are so many people that we could continue to mention, but just go out to Rock Honda. They’re going to take the best care of you. Rock bottom pricing is embedded in their name and whatever your Honda needs are, they’re going to take the best care of you in SoCal. Love you guys out there at Rock. Without further ado, the 2019 Hondo Accord…

Clinton Quan: Honda Civic.

Tom Smith: No, excuse me. Honda Civic. Let me screw that up. The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Take it away, Professor.

New Sport Trim Option

Clinton Quan: Well, for 2019, Honda came out with a brand-new trim for the coupe. They also have a brand new trim for the sedan as well, the Sport, which was available in the hatchback.

Tom Smith: Okay. Hold on. It’s the sport, which has the new trim. Okay. So it’s only the sport?

Clinton Quan: The sport.

Tom Smith: Because you are going to drive the Touring.

Clinton Quan: Yes, but they already had a touring before.

Tom Smith: Okay. The Touring trim wasn’t going to be new. It just the Sport trim that’s new.

Clinton Quan: Correct. Yeah. It’s just a new trim.

Tom Smith: Got it. Okay.

Clinton Quan: The Sport trim slots between the base LX and the mid-level EX.

Tom Smith: The base LX, the mid-level EX.

Clinton Quan: Then you have the top of the line Touring. For the LX …

Tom Smith: They don’t do the EXL?

Clinton Quan: There is no EXL trim for the Civic.

Tom Smith: For the Civic. Okay. You got the LX, the sport, the EX, the touring?

Clinton Quan: Correct.

Tom Smith: Got it. Okay.

Clinton Quan: For the base XL and the Sport trim, that comes with a2.0-liter inline-four that produces 158 horsepower at a 138 lb-ft of torque.

For the upper-level EX trim and the top of the line Touring trim, you get a 1.5 inline-four turbo charge that produces 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque.

The LX starts at around $20,000. The sport I think it’s around $21,000. Then you move up to the EX, which is around $23,000, and then the top line touring trim will go for around $27,000.

Best Honda Prices

Tom Smith: Okay. As always, these prices are in this case very rough approximates of MSRP. Again, no matter what you want, go to Rock Honda.

They’re going to take the best care of you. But above and beyond all that, you need to get the car equipped to your liking and then the price is going to reflect that, but always go to Rock Honda. They’re going to take care of you. Carry on, Professor.

Clinton Quan: I wanted to mention that it’s not surprising that Honda came out with the Sport trim for both the sedan and the coupe.

For those of you who are familiar with the Honda Accord, the Sport trim is extremely popular. It’s a great looking car. You get those larger rims. In the case of the Civic, it comes with 18-inch wheels. It looks really, really sharp with those bigger wheels.

The one I drove had the automatic transmission and the paddle shifters. There’s also an eco-mode that’s available, but when it’s not in eco mode, it gives you plenty of power. There was certainly no loss of power driving at much higher highway speeds.

Tom Smith: Professor got on it is what it sounds like. But don’t worry friends at Rock Honda, Professor takes the utmost best. We always take care of the cars that we test drive, but we drive them, right, so that we can report on them appropriately because that’s the fun part of our job.

Clinton Quan: If someone is looking for a Sport model, I’m sure they’re going to want something that’s more enthusiast oriented.

Tom Smith: This is that?

Sporty, Powerful & Fuel Efficient 

Clinton Quan: Yes. Well, at least definitely in appearance, but also there’s definitely plenty of power for a compact car this size. It will still give you a decent fuel economy.

Tom Smith: Decent, what are we getting around?

Clinton Quan: I believe it’s 30-38.

Tom Smith: That’s awesome.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean by my book.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I saw pictures of the car. I think it’s a beautiful car. I think it’s a very appealing car. As you point out, the Sport models that Honda puts out, it’s very understandable, it’s very logical that their Sport models are so appealing and sell so well because they just do the aesthetic things, but it’s still got plenty of engine.

Clinton Quan: It’s very well-equipped, so you’re getting a lot of car for a good value.

Tom Smith: Hey, you’ve been listening to the podcast, you know that I personally am all about value. Badge is great, but I don’t need the badge. Give me all the stuff. This definitely has that. Take us on the outside. We kind of already did that, but let’s go around the outside specifically. Anything to highlight there?

Clinton Quan: Well, I think what’s really interesting about the Civic Coupe is that even though it is technically a coupe and it has a trunk, the back really has a sloped design to it. It looks actually more like a hatchback. You would think that the entire back pops up, including the back window, but it really is a coupe with a very short trunk.

Fun-to-Drive Coupe

Tom Smith: Plenty of space back there still?

Clinton Quan: There’s a decent amount of space. You wouldn’t expect a whole lot because it is a coupe. The back of the trunk, it’s not very deep. But for someone who’s looking for a two door, I think this would be more than adequate in terms of cargo space.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Honda is really the only car company that has a compact coupe. If you think about it…

Tom Smith: Yeah. Good point.

Clinton Quan: …there’s no other automobile company that produces a two-door of their compact sedan anymore,  it definitely has that hatchback look to it.

Tom Smith: Hatchback look, but it’s actually a…

Clinton Quan: It’s actually a coupe.

Tom Smith: …a coupe with a trunk.

Clinton Quan: Yes, a coupe with a trunk. I think it looks best from the three-quarter rear.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: That’s the picture you saw.

Tom Smith: Yeah. That’s the picture that you sent me.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I’ve seen other pictures online, what not. Okay. Very good. That’s the outside. Take us inside.

Clinton Quan: Inside, well, we did a vehicle review of the Civic Sedan last year, the 2018. It doesn’t really look that much different. I believe the big change is that now they do have a volume knob for the audio controls.

Tom Smith: Oh yeah. That was a big thing for some of the reviewers.

Clinton Quan: That was the big change.

Tom Smith: Instead of just a push button, you got a natural knob. They went away from that, but now they brought it back, which I think a lot of people are…

Clinton Quan: It’s a lot more-

Tom Smith: A little bit more user-friendly.

Civic Safety Tech

Clinton Quan: …more intuitive for most people. It’s got a sporty three-spoke steering wheel, a large tachometer with a digital speedometer right in the center and flanked by the oil temp and fuel gauge on both sides.

Tom Smith: Adding to that sportiness.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: You mentioned paddle shifters, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes. Correct. It does have paddle shifters. There’s an eco-mode as well. It’s got the electronic park brake. Oh, one thing I noticed was that when I was getting close to the car in front of me, there’s a digital readout in the dashboard, which says, “Brake. Brake. Brake.”

Tom Smith: Did it brake for you automatically or was it just a warning?

Clinton Quan: No, no, no, no. It’s a warning. It’ll tell you, “Brake. Brake. Brake.”

Tom Smith: Nevertheless. Now is that part of the Honda Sensing?

Clinton Quan: Yes, it is. All those…

Tom Smith: The safety features.

Clinton Quan: All the safety features come standard, which is another added value for it.

Tom Smith: Yeah. You got to love that.

Clinton Quan: Yes. It’s got the Lane Keep Assist.

Tom Smith: It has a backseat.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

“All the safety features come standard, which is another added value for it.”

Tom Smith: Are you able to comfortably… A lot of backseats aren’t very useful. But in the case of Hondas, usually, they are. In the case of this vehicle, is it still a useful backseat?

Clinton Quan: I would say it’s decent for a compact coupe.

Tom Smith: Okay. It’s a backseat that’s actually usable as well.

Clinton Quan: Yes. Definitely very comfortable for children and smaller adults or smaller adults.

Tom Smith: Or short drive adults.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Right?

Clinton Quan: Yes. Correct.

Versatile & Spacious 

Tom Smith: Not necessarily a trip to Vegas, but you got to make a quick trip to the grocery store, the park or something like that, you can-

Clinton Quan: Absolutely.

Tom Smith: …make it work.

Clinton Quan: You could also use it as cargo space in the back, right? You could put your clothes back there.

Tom Smith: Right. Absolutely. Okay.

Clinton Quan: In terms of the space in the front for the driver and the passenger, there’s plenty of space.

Tom Smith: Plenty. Yeah. Yeah.

Clinton Quan: It’s very, very spacious.

there’s no other automobile company that produces a two-door of their compact sedan anymore…”

Tom Smith: It’s not top three things.

Clinton Quan: I think we are…

Tom Smith: Yeah. Do you want to do top three things? We’re there?

Clinton Quan: I think we’ve covered everything. We’ve talked about the outside, the inside, the engine.

Tom Smith: We got the engine. Okay.

Clinton Quan: We got the pricing.

Tom Smith: All right. All right. It’s been a while since we’ve done a vehicle review.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it has.

Tom Smith: All right, Professor. Top three favorite things about the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe.

Clinton Quan: Top three. I think I mentioned this last time as well, but I’m going to have to go back to it again because as soon as I sat in the vehicle.

That was one thing I really noticed and stood out to me is the outward visibility with that low hood and the cowl gives you excellent visibility.

Great Visibility 

Tom Smith: You taught me that word, cowl.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Spelled C-O-W-L.

Clinton Quan: You remembered.

Tom Smith: Right. Of course, I do. Of course, I remembered. Explain cowl again for those that don’t know.

Clinton Quan: Well, it’s that intersection between the windshield and the hood.

Tom Smith: The intersection between the…

“[Cowl] it’s that intersection between the windshield and the hood. If it’s lower, then you get a much better visibility of the road.”

Clinton Quan: The windshield and the hood. Right at that point right there.

Tom Smith: That’s when you have plenty of space. It gives you a feeling of comfort.

Clinton Quan: If it’s lower, then you get a much better visibility of the road.

Tom Smith: Right.

Clinton Quan: I remember when I was I think middle school and I was riding in a friend’s Honda, that was one thing I noticed the first time I sat in the vehicle. It’s just so low, so you see the road right in front of you.

Tom Smith: Which gives you a feeling of safety, a feeling of control. That you’re in control of the road and feel safer as a driver, as a passenger. Okay. Very good. That’s your number one thing is the vehicle’s cowl.

Clinton Quan: The vehicle’s outward visibility.

Tom Smith: Outward visibility.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Smooth Riding Civic

Clinton Quan: I’m going to have to also go with the ride of the vehicle. For a compact car, I thought the ride was very smooth, whether you’re talking about on highways or on surface streets.

Tom Smith: That’s what I meant to get us to. Didn’t really cover the ride of the vehicle. The ride of the vehicle. Where did you go?

Clinton Quan: Well, as we talked about in a number of other podcasts…

Tom Smith: You know what? I know where you went because … Well, okay. Let me take this back. I meant like specific roads. Okay. The Professor… I got to explain this one.

The Professor did the vehicle review for our friends at Rock Honda on the 2019 Civic Coupe. He hit an auto show for it. The Local Car Fest…

Clinton Quan: In Corona.

Tom Smith: …in Corona, and then he also hit the Motte Historical Museum

Clinton Quan: In Menifee.

Tom Smith: …in Menifee. We just did a couple of podcasts about those things, which are very neat events and venues. In the case of the museum, it’s obviously a venue. The events, the automotive show, the auto show only happens once a year, but both two cool things.

That’s why he said, “Oh, well, you know what I did.” Well, yeah, but the roads that you went on. Was it all surface streets? Was it all highways? How did it drive on those different road conditions?

Clinton Quan: I drove both on freeways and on highways. Took the 15 down to Corona and then after lunch at Shops At Dos Lagos. I took one of the highway routes out to Menifee.

Top-3 Favorites

Tom Smith: Okay. I just completely destroyed the flow of your top three things. Professor’s top three things. Again, number one is?

Clinton Quan: Outward visibility.

Tom Smith: Number two is?

Clinton Quan: The ride.

Tom Smith: Number three?

Clinton Quan: Number three, I’ll probably have to go with the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Awesome fuel efficiency, right?

2019 Honda Civic Coupe Top-3
1. Outward visibility – cowl.
2. Fun-to-drive, sporty ride.
3. Great fuel economy.

Tom Smith: All right. Well, fantastic. Professor, thank you, as always for yet another wonderful vehicle review. In this case, the 2019 Civic Coupe, Honda Civic Coupe from our good friends at Rock Honda in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California. Go on out to Rock Honda.

Say hello to the general manager Mr. David Latif. Love you guys out at Rock Honda. Hamid Javid, Veronica Orozco, Ruben Serna, service director. Tell them that Tom and Clinton and the iDriveSoCal team sent you. Rock Honda, we love you guys. Thank you for being great partners of the show.

Professor, thank you as always for yet another perfect vehicle review. Thank you as always for tuning in. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. We will talk to you soon.

]]>
The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient, highly-versatile and now comes in what will be a wildly popular Sport trim. - Featuring bigger wheels, paddle shifters and an overall incredible list of features for the price the 2019 Honda ... The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient, highly-versatile and now comes in what will be a wildly popular Sport trim.<br /> <br /> Featuring bigger wheels, paddle shifters and an overall incredible list of features for the price the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe is a great value.  Even more so when you go to iDriveSoCal's Honda partner in the Inland Empire - Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> Our Professor, Clinton Quan, made his way to Rock Honda in Fontana for a day of Civic Coupe Sport test-driving that included a stop in Corona and Menifee. Click play below to hear all the details in this iDriveSoCal podcast.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded November 20, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> 2019 Honda Civic Coupe <br /> Clinton Quan: The Sport trim is extremely popular. It's a great looking car. You get those larger rims. The one I drove had the automatic transmission and the paddle shifters. There's definitely plenty of power for a compact car. It's very well-equipped, so you're getting a lot of car.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the Podcast, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here joined by the good Professor Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello, my pal, my buddy, my friend, my amigo, my compadre, my comrade. Thank you for joining me as always. This podcast is a vehicle review and it is a vehicle review of the 2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Right? From our good friends out in the Los Angeles suburb of Fontana, California Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> Go out to Rock Honda. Say hello to our friends out there. General manager David Latif, his right hand, Hamid Javid, Veronica Orozco, one of the sales manager, Ruben Serna, service director. Love all you guys out there at Rock Honda.<br /> <br /> There are so many people that we could continue to mention, but just go out to Rock Honda. They're going to take the best care of you. Rock bottom pricing is embedded in their name and whatever your Honda needs are, they're going to take the best care of you in SoCal. Love you guys out there at Rock. Without further ado, the 2019 Hondo Accord...<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Honda Civic.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: No, excuse me. Honda Civic. Let me screw that up. The 2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Take it away, Professor.<br /> New Sport Trim Option<br /> Clinton Quan: Well, for 2019, Honda came out with a brand-new trim for the coupe. They also have a brand new trim for the sedan as well, the Sport, which was available in the hatchback.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay. Hold on. It's the sport, which has the new trim. Okay. So it's only the sport?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: The sport.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Because you are going to drive the Touring.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes, but they already had a touring before.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Okay. The Touring trim wasn't going to be new. It just the Sport trim that's new.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Correct. Yeah. It's just a new trim.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Got it. Okay.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: The Sport trim slots between the base LX and the mid-level EX.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: The base LX, the mid-level EX.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Then you have the top of the line Touring. For the LX ...<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: They don't do the EXL?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: There is no EXL trim for the Civic.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: For the Civic. Okay. You got the LX, the sport, the EX, the touring?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Correct.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Got it. Okay.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: For the base XL and the Sport trim, that comes with a2.0-liter inline-four that produces 158 horsepower at... Tom Smith clean 14:18
ArtCenter Car Classic – Annual Aficionados Auto Show https://www.idrivesocal.com/artcenter-car-classic/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 22:41:15 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4050 The ArtCenter College of Design, right here in SoCal, is one of the top schools for transportation and automotive designers around the world.  So it's logical that the school host an annual exhibit showcasing the works of it's best and brightest. From concepts to classics.  Exotics to muscle.  This year's ArtCenter Car Classic provided something for everyone.  And rightfully so, as the theme of this year's car show highlighted the school's 70-years of contributions to the automotive industry. This is a favorite of iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, and he, of course, was in attendance and joined me for this iDSC podcast.  Click play below and scroll down to enjoy the pics of these awe-inspiring works of art! ***Transcription*** Recorded October 30, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA 70-Years of Automotive Influence Clinton Quan: Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world... What was great about this car show because it was celebrating 70-years of the colleges Transportation Design Program, you got to see a little bit of everything. There were American cars there, European automobiles, Japanese cars, even Hyundai, that's a Korean car. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good professor Mr. Clinton Quan, say "Hello" Clinton. Clinton Quan: Hi Tom. Tom Smith: Hello my friend. We are podcasting this evening at an undisclosed location downtown Los Angeles California. We're covering the ArtCenter College of Design their annual shindig that the good professor goes to each year. Did we cover this last year? No, we didn't cover this last year. Clinton Quan: No we did not. Tom Smith: But we talked about the College ArtCenter of Design in one of our podcasts that we did, yeah on why Southern California is the not only the automotive capital of the United States... But also the automotive capital of the world; because of all of these reasons. One of these reasons being that we have the College ArtCenter of Design, am I saying that right? Clinton Quan: ArtCenter College of Design "Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world..." Tom Smith: ArtCenter College of Design here in Southern California which has put out a number of names that we know of but... Clinton Quan: Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world. Tom Smith: And for those of you listen to the podcast myself included, Chip Foose right is one of the names? Clinton Quan: Well I don't know if he graduated from ArtCenter. Tom Smith: Oh really? You Know the Vehicle Designs Clinton Quan: I don't know right off the top of my head. He's very well known. Tom Smith: Was Fisker from there? Clinton Quan: Yes he was at the event. Tom Smith: No, no, but did he graduate from the school? Clinton Quan: I believe so I don't know why he would be there. Tom Smith: What I'm getting to is there's a lot of designers that have graduated from this school and we might not know the name of the designers. But, we definitely know the names of their cars that they've designed. The names of the manufacturers they've designed those cars for.  And, we've seen their cars as the entire world has seen their cars driving around roads, again all over the world. Clinton Quan: I mean if he didn't graduate I would assume he has some relationship to the school. Tom Smith: And it just so happens that Henrik Fisker and I don't know if it's Henrik or [pronunciation] Henrik, how they pronounce it. Clinton Quan: That's a good question, I don't know. Tom Smith: But nevertheless, the Fisker Karma was, well there's a whole history about that and they had a Fisker Karma there. I digress. ArtCenter College of Design has an annual automotive show and you go every year. Clinton Quan: Yeah, almost every year. Tom Smith: And that's what we're covering in this podcast. This years show, The ArtCenter College of Design, right here in SoCal, is one of the top schools for transportation and automotive designers around the world.  So it’s logical that the school host an annual exhibit showcasing the works of it’s best and brightest.

From concepts to classics.  Exotics to muscle.  This year’s ArtCenter Car Classic provided something for everyone.  And rightfully so, as the theme of this year’s car show highlighted the school’s 70-years of contributions to the automotive industry.

This is a favorite of iDriveSoCal’s Professor, Clinton Quan, and he, of course, was in attendance and joined me for this iDSC podcast.  Click play below and scroll down to enjoy the pics of these awe-inspiring works of art!

Long-nose futuristic beige 2-door coupe pictured as part of the iDriveSoCal Podcast 147 banner ArtCenter Car Classic, 70-Years of Design Influence

***Transcription***

Recorded October 30, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA

70-Years of Automotive Influence

Clinton Quan: Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world…

What was great about this car show because it was celebrating 70-years of the colleges Transportation Design Program, you got to see a little bit of everything. There were American cars there, European automobiles, Japanese cars, even Hyundai, that’s a Korean car.

Black classic looking coupe parked in the grass at the ArtCenter Car Classic

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good professor Mr. Clinton Quan, say “Hello” Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.

Tom Smith: Hello my friend. We are podcasting this evening at an undisclosed location downtown Los Angeles California. We’re covering the ArtCenter College of Design their annual shindig that the good professor goes to each year. Did we cover this last year? No, we didn’t cover this last year.

Clinton Quan: No we did not.

Tom Smith: But we talked about the College ArtCenter of Design in one of our podcasts that we did, yeah on why Southern California is the not only the automotive capital of the United States… But also the automotive capital of the world; because of all of these reasons. One of these reasons being that we have the College ArtCenter of Design, am I saying that right?

Clinton Quan: ArtCenter College of Design

“Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world…”

Tom Smith: ArtCenter College of Design here in Southern California which has put out a number of names that we know of but…

Clinton Quan: Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world.

Tom Smith: And for those of you listen to the podcast myself included, Chip Foose right is one of the names?

Clinton Quan: Well I don’t know if he graduated from ArtCenter.

Tom Smith: Oh really?

You Know the Vehicle Designs

Clinton Quan: I don’t know right off the top of my head. He’s very well known.

Tom Smith: Was Fisker from there?

Clinton Quan: Yes he was at the event.

Tom Smith: No, no, but did he graduate from the school?

Clinton Quan: I believe so I don’t know why he would be there.

Dark green Ford Mustang G.T. 350 parked in the grass at the ArtCenter Car Classic 2018

Tom Smith: What I’m getting to is there’s a lot of designers that have graduated from this school and we might not know the name of the designers.

But, we definitely know the names of their cars that they’ve designed. The names of the manufacturers they’ve designed those cars for.  And, we’ve seen their cars as the entire world has seen their cars driving around roads, again all over the world.

Clinton Quan: I mean if he didn’t graduate I would assume he has some relationship to the school.

Tom Smith: And it just so happens that Henrik Fisker and I don’t know if it’s Henrik or [pronunciation] Henrik, how they pronounce it.

Clinton Quan: That’s a good question, I don’t know.

Tom Smith: But nevertheless, the Fisker Karma was, well there’s a whole history about that and they had a Fisker Karma there. I digress. ArtCenter College of Design has an annual automotive show and you go every year.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, almost every year.

Tom Smith: And that’s what we’re covering in this podcast. This years show, which the shows always the end of October right?

Clinton Quan: Yes. End of October it’s usually either the last Sunday in October or the second to last Sunday in October.

One of SoCal’s Biggest Shows

Tom Smith: Okay, so if you hop on the iDriveSoCal website, the events page, it’s there. If you subscribe to the newsletter we always have it as one of our events we highlight. It’s there as well.

The good professor went, actually, I think it was, you went to the show last year and you ran into Jay Leno. We have a picture of you and Jay on iDriveSoCal.

iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, at the ArtCenter College of Design with Jay Leno

Clinton Quan: That is correct. Yes.

Tom Smith: This is a big, it’s a big show and each year…

Clinton Quan: Oh this is considered one of the biggest shows in Southern California now, the ArtCenter Car Classic, yes.

Tom Smith: So it’s called the ArtCenter Car Classic?

Clinton Quan: Yeah that’s the official name of the car show.

Tom Smith: And is it free or is there a fee at the door?

Clinton Quan: No, it’s definitely not free. It’s I believe it was $40 this year.

Tom Smith: Okay. And there is a theme each year?

Clinton Quan: There is a theme each year.

Tom Smith: And this year’s theme was?

“…this year’s theme is celebrating 70 years of the transportation design program at the ArtCenter College of Design.”

Clinton Quan: And this year’s theme is celebrating 70 years of the transportation design program at the ArtCenter College of Design.

Tom Smith: So, it’s not just automotive design, they design everything then?

Clinton Quan: Yes. But obviously, this one focuses on automobiles, this particular car show.

Tom Smith: Right, right, okay. So celebrating 70 years, so for 70 years this school has been, their automotive design program has been in existence for 70 years?

Clinton Quan: 70 years. That is correct.

Tom Smith: I mean you think about how long the automobiles been around, you go what, a little over 100 years?

Clinton Quan: Correct. Its been around for a little over 100 years.

From Classic Cars to Concept Cars 

Tom Smith: Okay, interesting, interesting. And I saw some pictures of the show. Some really cool cars.

Clinton Quan: We’re talking about classic cars to current concept cars.

Tom Smith: Yeah, Yeah.

Clinton Quan: And that’s what’s great about this show.

Tom Smith: And the concept cars are really neat. I’ve always marveled at concept cars, right. I think everybody has.

Clinton Quan: Yes, and normally a brand new car show such as the LA Auto Show, you can’t get that close to a concept vehicle. Here at the ArtCenter Car Classic, you can get right up to that concept vehicle.

Tom Smith: There is one that had suicide doors it looked like you almost had your head inside the thing.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that’s the 2018 Hyundai, I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing this correctly, Le Fil Rouge, I believe it’s called.

Tom Smith: Sounds very French for a Korean automaker.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it definitely has a French-sounding name to the vehicle. It was unveiled, well made it’s US debut this summer at the Concours d’Elegance of America.

Tom Smith: Oh, so that cars been making its rounds?

Clinton Quan: Yes, but only since the summer of this year.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Alright. There was, was it the original Lamborghini Countach?

Clinton Quan: If it wasn’t the first year, it was definitely one of the first Countach’s.

Tom Smith: Okay, and that’s a very iconic car.

Clinton Quan: That’s one of the most iconic designs and it’s certainly the most famous Lamborghini. I remember growing up, one of my very good friends, that was his very favorite car. He had a poster back in his bedroom, and that’s the car I remember

Tom Smith: That was an 80s thing, wasn’t?

The Mullin Collection Represented

Clinton Quan: Yes. It was a car people dreamed about.

Tom Smith: Yeah, so the story about the 1930s Voisin.

Clinton Quan: 1934 Voisin C27 Aerosport

2-Door classic and contemporary styled vehicle parked in the grass of the ArtCenter Car Classic

Tom Smith: Okay.

“…1934 Voisin C27 Aerosport.”

Clinton Quan: Owned by Peter Mullin.

Tom Smith: So Peter Mullin, is an obviously a very successful, wealthy person.

Clinton Quan: Entrepreneur, philanthropist, I believe and he has his very own automotive museum in Oxnard, which is my personal favorite.

Tom Smith: And we’ve covered that a little bit, so he has that. And that’s not open all the time, right?

Clinton Quan: Correct. It’s only open two days a month to the general public.

Tom Smith: But then he’s also got a private collection of some sort, if I’m remembering right, somewhere in the LA city limits?

Clinton Quan: Private collection in West Los Angeles. That is correct.

Tom Smith: And you’ve seen that?

Clinton Quan: Yes, I actually got to go on a personal guided tour.

Tom Smith: A personal guided tour, of course, a professional has

Clinton Quan: I was the only one on the tour

Tom Smith: Seriously?

Clinton Quan: Yes, it was a one on one tour.

Tom Smith: Did he take you personally?

Clinton Quan: No, no, not him. Someone who works for him, but that’s where his office is.

Tom Smith: How did you hook that up? I didn’t know it was just you on the tour.

Clinton Quan: No it was just me. I was the only person on the tour.

Tom Smith: So how did you hook that up?

Clinton Quan: Well, I read that they were doing special tours of that place and most people wouldn’t know, so I called them up and I was able to go on the tour all by myself. It was just…

The AAA Connection

Tom Smith: Where did you read this? ObscureAutomotiveNews [dot] com?

Clinton Quan: I’m trying to remember. It could have been Westways Magazine. I get a lot of information from Westways. AAA Westways…

Tom Smith: Yeah, I get some ideas from Westways. Doug Schupe, the Senior Public Affairs Specialist over at AAA, we sync up for a number of pieces. Gosh, we’ve done a bunch of podcasts together.

Classic red Lamborghini Countach parked on the grass at the ArtCenter Car Classic

Tom Smith: “Hey Doug, how ya doing? Thanks for all the collaboration.”

Clinton Quan: The latest one on the cost of ride-hailing services versus ownership.

Tom Smith: Yeah, you listened to that one?

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that was very good.

Tom Smith: Well thank you. All I do is ask questions. AAA does some really cool studies and that was a pretty interesting one.

If you haven’t checked out that podcast, AAA did a study on the cost of ridesharing versus vehicle ownership and hands down no matter what market you’re in its still much more efficient to own a vehicle.

Now that’s the general but you know, whatever. You could listen to that podcast when you get a chance. I don’t know what number it is, but it came out relatively recently.

Tom Smith: So, back to the ArtCenter College of Design Classic, is that what it’s called?

Clinton Quan: The name of the show, is The ArtCenter Car Classic.

Tom Smith: ArtCenter Car Classic.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, the school is ArtCenter College of Design.

Tom Smith: Got it, okay. So, celebrating 70 years, a wide variety of really, really cool high-value vehicles there.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: You said there was a fee for entry. What does the day look like? Is it your typical car show? Take me through the day. I’m sure you got there early, right?

More Than Just Vehicles on Display

Clinton Quan: I got there around 11:00. I stayed for a few hours, sometimes I stay almost the entire day. Generally, the show, let’s see, it starts around 10:30 I believe.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: 10:00 or 10:30, usually the media is allowed earlier access. And they usually have a full schedule of events that take place throughout the day.

Tom Smith: So what kind of events?

Clinton Quan: Well, they’ll have panel discussions with designers.

Tom Smith: Oh, okay.

Clinton Quan: So this year they had three different panel discussions. Now, what’s different this year is that normally they have a lot of the discussions inside the college. They have an auditorium.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Clinton Quan: And this year what they’ve decided to do is have it outside where all the vehicles are on display.

Tom Smith: That’s kind of cool.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, which is kind of cool. There’s pros and cons to both. Usually, it’s still very hot in late October, so it’s nice to

Tom Smith: How was the weather?

Clinton Quan: The weather was great, but it was very, very hot. It was probably in the upper 80s to low 90s.

Tom Smith: Where’s the school? Is it Pasadena?

“…a full schedule of events that take place throughout the day.”

Clinton Quan: It is Pasadena and it’s very close to the Rose Bowl.

Tom Smith: Alright.

Clinton Quan: So attendees will park at the Rose Bowl for free and there is a complimentary shuttle that will take you from the parking lot at the Rose Bowl to the campus at ArtCenter College of Design unless you’re willing to pay $30.

Tom Smith: Okay. The nuance professor. It’s okay we can carry on from that.

The ArtCenter Car Classic Event

Tom Smith: So they had some talks. What other events were going on? Did they have music, entertainment? Was there the buffets that you love, champagne, caviar kind of thing?

Clinton Quan: They have a lunch that’s set outside, which is nice, so you can enjoy the weather.

Tom Smith: The hot weather.

Clinton Quan: Yes, the hot weather. But they do have

Tom Smith: You can sit outside and sweat while your eating lunch.

“…there’s classic cars, muscle cars… concept vehicles… Something from pretty much every manufacturer, from every country as well.”

Clinton Quan: No, no they…

Tom Smith: Well there’s some really nice cars to look at.

Clinton Quan: They have a covered area where the luncheon takes place.

Tom Smith: Very good.

Clinton Quan: Yeah and then there’s an award ceremony that takes place.

Tom Smith: Okay, that’s what I wanted to get to. There is a competition of some sort?

Clinton Quan: Yes, I didn’t stay for the award’s ceremony, but there is an awards ceremony. Yes.

Tom Smith: Okay, and various categories? I mean I’d imagine you gotta have a lot of categories for

Clinton Quan: Yes, there’s a number of different categories. Correct.

Tom Smith: And is it different depending on the theme for each year’s show. No, I don’t believe it’s different…

Well, I guess they do have to customize it depending on the theme. A little bit, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, yes. Correct.

Tom Smith: Alright, well very good. What else about the ArtCenter Car Classic, did I get the name right that time?

Clinton Quan: Yes, you got it. Fantastic.

Tom Smith: Woohoo. What else about the ArtCenter Car, and by the way, we’re gonna have, I think you snapped about 15 different cars. We’re going to have them on iDriveSoCal.com. There are some really, really, really cool cars.

Concept Cars and… Flying Cars

Both vehicles that were produced but these are such high-end vehicles that they weren’t mass produces, so there’s those. But then there’s also the concepts that are one-offs or maybe two or three offs at tops, but really neat stuff.

I mean there’s some Jetson types things in there that are… Well, that Hyundai we were talking about. Oh yeah, yeah, that Alfa Romeo.

And, you know it’s interesting because some of these cars, and I just mentioned Jetson’s… like is it real or is it hype? Are we going to have flying cars? Are we going to have vertical take-off and landing?

Clinton Quan: I think it’s gonna be a long time, it’s gonna be quite some time.

Tom Smith: Some people say, “I think it’s gonna be a really long time,” but then other people say, “hey look, some of the redesigned buildings that are being put together right now around LAX have reinforced roofs in order to accommodate vehicles that will be taking off and landing from the roofs.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Vertical takeoff and landing vehicles.

Futuristic looking red sport coupe concept vehicle with tinted windows parked in the grass of the ArtCenter Car Classic

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean that’s the crazy thing. And when you think about that and a show like the ArtCenter Car Classic and some of the prototype vehicles they have there, that look like they could be the interior of a flying car.

It just kind of tickles my fancy a little bit as an enthusiast as I am. The odd niche of enthusiast that I am. That’s scared of heights but can’t wait to see a flying car. Yeah, I don’t know.

Clinton Quan: Well, what was great about this car show because it was celebrating 70 years of the colleges Transportation Design Program, you got to see a little bit of everything.

Something for Everyone

There were American cars there, European automobiles, Japanese cars, even Hyundai, that’s a Korean car.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: So there’s classic cars, muscle cars, we saw the photo of the Ford Mustang. Concept vehicles, so a little bit of everything. Something from pretty much every manufacturer, from every country as well. So this was truly a celebration of ArtCenter College of Design.

Tom Smith: And as all the car shows that you go to happen to be, they’re all very like for the serious automotive enthusiast, right?

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean everybody goes to OC Autoshow. Everybody goes to the LA Autoshow.

But these special ones that you pick out, and again the professor basically curates the events page on iDriveSoCal and he’s got some, a ton that I’ve never heard of… they’re always super cool and is this type of show, is this a family friendly event?

Clinton Quan: Oh this is absolutely a family-friendly event.

Red classic sport couple with hood up parked in the grass of the ArtCenter Car Classic

Tom Smith: 40-bucks, you’re like well do I want to take the kids to a Dodger’s game or do I want to go to a car show for the afternoon?

Clinton Quan: Oh it’s $40 for adults. I believe, I’d have to go back and check, but I believe for children it is free.

Tom Smith: Oh okay.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. If it’s not free then it would be a much-discounted rate.

Tom Smith: But definitely something that you want to consider bringing the whole family to.

The Art of Vehicle Design

You know what we need to do with these things, and you need to help me with this.

We’re gonna reach out to all these shows that we’ve covered this past first year of iDriveSoCal. We’re gonna let them know “hey we’re covering you guys” and then we need to get some tickets that we can then give away to the people that are listening.

Clinton Quan: Oh absolutely.

Tom Smith: We get a lot of response from, “hey this sounds really cool, didn’t even know it was going on.” We gotta do that.

Two-door beige futuristic concept car

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Note to self and to you the podcast listener, and thank you for listening.

Tom Smith: Okay, anything else about the ArtCenter Car Classic before we wrap this one up?

Clinton Quan: Well for me this is a really special show because this show really focuses on automotive design and that’s why I fell in love with automobile design…

Tom Smith: And that’s why your transportation engineer, not a designer.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Which is a whole another story that I’ve never gotten into but we need to.

“…this is a really special show because this show really focuses on automotive design and that’s why I fell in love…”

Clinton Quan: And that’s why I fell in love with automobiles for me the automobile is a work of art and when you go to this show you can see why it is. You’re gonna see cars from all different eras of the automotive past and current and from all different countries as well.

Tom Smith: And future with the concepts.

Clinton Quan: Yes and future. Absolutely.

Tom Smith: But we’ve yet to see a flying car concept at one of these shows. That’s gonna happen though. I think that’s gonna happen in the not so distant future.

Custodians of Art on Wheels

Clinton Quan: It will happen, yes.

Tom Smith: Alright.

Clinton Quan: Absolutely.

“The cars are going to live on… they are just like a work of art that needs to be kept and the flame of enthusiast needs to continue to burn.”

Tom Smith: Okay. Professor thank you as always. Always wonderful to hear you sharing your passion for all things automotive and your right they are works of art. It’s a neat thing.

Tom Smith: I’m gonna give the Automobile Driving Museum a plug here. And that is the museum in the industrial area in El Segundo, right by the Los Angeles International Airport, also known as LAX, you might know it as.

Dark gray classic Mercedes-Benz Gullwing parked in the grass at the ArtCenter Car Classic

One of the co-founders I was sitting and talking with and he referred to cars, and they have a bunch of old antiques, as you know you’ve been there, but he referred to them as works of art as well.

That they are going to, they already have outlived many of their creators, many generations, and what not, and what some of the museums are or collectors, there’re just simply custodians that are managing these vehicles during their lifetime.

The cars are going to live on, and we’re going to be gone. And they are just like a work of art that needs to be kept and the flame of enthusiast needs to continue to burn. And that’s one of the things that we’ll continue to do on iDriveSoCal with the help of the good professor Mr. Clinton Quan.

Clinton Quan: I will do my best to do that.

Tom Smith: Alright. Thank you, Professor, as always.

Tom Smith: For iDriveSoCal I’m Tom Smith. Thank you as always for tuning in.

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The ArtCenter College of Design, right here in SoCal, is one of the top schools for transportation and automotive designers around the world.  So it's logical that the school host an annual exhibit showcasing the works of it's best and brightest. The ArtCenter College of Design, right here in SoCal, is one of the top schools for transportation and automotive designers around the world.  So it's logical that the school host an annual exhibit showcasing the works of it's best and brightest.<br /> <br /> From concepts to classics.  Exotics to muscle.  This year's ArtCenter Car Classic provided something for everyone.  And rightfully so, as the theme of this year's car show highlighted the school's 70-years of contributions to the automotive industry.<br /> <br /> This is a favorite of iDriveSoCal's Professor, Clinton Quan, and he, of course, was in attendance and joined me for this iDSC podcast.  Click play below and scroll down to enjoy the pics of these awe-inspiring works of art!<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recorded October 30, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA<br /> <br /> 70-Years of Automotive Influence<br /> Clinton Quan: Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world...<br /> <br /> What was great about this car show because it was celebrating 70-years of the colleges Transportation Design Program, you got to see a little bit of everything. There were American cars there, European automobiles, Japanese cars, even Hyundai, that's a Korean car.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good professor Mr. Clinton Quan, say "Hello" Clinton.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Hi Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Hello my friend. We are podcasting this evening at an undisclosed location downtown Los Angeles California. We're covering the ArtCenter College of Design their annual shindig that the good professor goes to each year. Did we cover this last year? No, we didn't cover this last year.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: No we did not.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: But we talked about the College ArtCenter of Design in one of our podcasts that we did, yeah on why Southern California is the not only the automotive capital of the United States... But also the automotive capital of the world; because of all of these reasons. One of these reasons being that we have the College ArtCenter of Design, am I saying that right?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: ArtCenter College of Design<br /> <br /> "Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world..."<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: ArtCenter College of Design here in Southern California which has put out a number of names that we know of but...<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Some of the most prominent automotive designers in the world.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And for those of you listen to the podcast myself included, Chip Foose right is one of the names?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Well I don't know if he graduated from ArtCenter.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Oh really?<br /> You Know the Vehicle Designs<br /> Clinton Quan: I don't know right off the top of my head. He's very well known.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Was Fisker from there?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: Yes he was at the event.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: No, no, but did he graduate from the school?<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: I believe so I don't know why he would be there.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Tom Smith: What I'm getting to is there's a lot of designers that have graduated from this school and we might not know the name of the designers.<br /> <br /> But, we definitely know the names of their cars that they've designed. The names of the manufacturers they've designed those cars for.  And, we've seen their cars as the entire world has seen their cars driving around roads, again all over the world.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: I mean if he didn't graduate I would assume he has some relationship to the school.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: And it just so happens that Henrik Fisker and I don't know if it's Henrik or [pronunciation] Henrik, how they pronounce it.<br /> <br /> Clinton Quan: That's a good question, I don't know. Tom Smith clean 20:42
Ridesharing in SoCal – What riders & drivers should know https://www.idrivesocal.com/rideshare-los-angeles/ Tue, 13 Nov 2018 01:08:24 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4030 Uber, Lyft and the on-demand economy from the workers perspective - all topics that The Rideshare Guy covers on his website, in his podcasts, and through his YouTube videos. If you're driving for Uber, Lyft or a food delivery service like Postmates then you probably know of and subscribe-to Harry Campbell's variety of media channels. If you're not a subscriber then you should be, because Harry is the real deal. As an engineer at Boeing, he started rideshare driving in his free time.  Then he started blogging about it and was immediately buried in requests for all sorts of info about the ins and outs of driving for Uber and Lyft. So Harry quit his job at Boeing to blog about driving for Uber, Lyft and the like fulltime. In this iDriveSoCal podcast Harry shares, why he made such a drastic career change, why ridesharing definitely isn't helping traffic congestion in LA and a bunch of other topics where iDriveSoCal and The Rideshare Guy intersect. (The beginning of this podcast has a little echo - sorry!  Hang-tight through it and it will subside.) ***Transcription*** Recording date – October 18, 2018, in Culver City, CA The Rideshare Guy Joins the iDSC Podcast Harry Campbell: We're covering the rideshare industry, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what's going on in the industry.  And, how some of these trends and mobility are changing things. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States Southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am joined, I'm excited to be joined by Harry Campbell. Many of you may know of Harry as his AKA alternative moniker, The Rideshare Guy. Harry Campbell: I'm here. I'm ready. Thanks for having me on, Tom. Tom Smith: Harry, thanks for joining me. I reached out to you, jeez, I don't know, a month or two ago, a couple months, summer, I guess, as we're recording this in ... We both have young sons, and I don't know if you're like me, but I lose the track of time pretty easily. "We're covering the rideshare industry, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what's going on in the industry." Harry Campbell: Well, I think I know today's date because it's also my son's nine-month birthday, so I do remember today's date, but every day here is summer here in SoCal, so ... Tom Smith: Right? Right? Exactly. But I reached out to Harry a couple months ago. We're sitting here in mid-October, and we finally had the opportunity to connect Harry. Well, Harry, why don't you describe yourself, what you do as The Rideshare Guy. Harry Campbell: Sure. So, yeah, that is my nickname. Basically, I run a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, book, and course for Uber and Lyft drivers, so creating lots of various content on all the different platforms, basically helping anyone interested in working for Uber and Lyft, delivering food for Postmates, DoorDash, charging scooters for Bird. On-Demand [Economny] Focused Media We really cover a lot of the on-demand economy, but it's a media business focused on the workers, so anyone working on these platforms day-to-day basis, and we're covering the rideshare industry. Specifically, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what's going on in the industry, and how some of these trends and mobility are changing things, so pretty wide-ranging, but it always kind of circles back to that perspective of the worker. Tom Smith: Yeah, and so our universes intersect. I mean, iDriveSoCal, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, we cover a lot, right? We'll cover the electric aircraft, electric scooter startup company out of Silicon Beach or the LA... but then a lot of automotive, right? I mean, 'cause that's the way we get around is still... "...it's a media business focused on the workers, so anyone working on these platforms day-to-day basis, and we're covering the rideshare industry." Uber, Lyft and the on-demand economy from the workers perspective – all topics that The Rideshare Guy covers on his website, in his podcasts, and through his YouTube videos.

If you’re driving for Uber, Lyft or a food delivery service like Postmates then you probably know of and subscribe-to Harry Campbell’s variety of media channels. If you’re not a subscriber then you should be, because Harry is the real deal.

As an engineer at Boeing, he started rideshare driving in his free time.  Then he started blogging about it and was immediately buried in requests for all sorts of info about the ins and outs of driving for Uber and Lyft. So Harry quit his job at Boeing to blog about driving for Uber, Lyft and the like fulltime.

In this iDriveSoCal podcast Harry shares, why he made such a drastic career change, why ridesharing definitely isn’t helping traffic congestion in LA and a bunch of other topics where iDriveSoCal and The Rideshare Guy intersect.

(The beginning of this podcast has a little echo – sorry!  Hang-tight through it and it will subside.)

Tom Smith from iDriveSoCal and Harry "The Ride Share Guy" Campbell prep to record an iDriveSoCal Podcast

***Transcription***

Recording date – October 18, 2018, in Culver City, CA

The Rideshare Guy Joins the iDSC Podcast

Harry Campbell: We’re covering the rideshare industry, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what’s going on in the industry.  And, how some of these trends and mobility are changing things.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States Southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am joined, I’m excited to be joined by Harry Campbell. Many of you may know of Harry as his AKA alternative moniker, The Rideshare Guy.

Harry Campbell: I’m here. I’m ready. Thanks for having me on, Tom.

Tom Smith: Harry, thanks for joining me. I reached out to you, jeez, I don’t know, a month or two ago, a couple months, summer, I guess, as we’re recording this in … We both have young sons, and I don’t know if you’re like me, but I lose the track of time pretty easily.

“We’re covering the rideshare industry, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what’s going on in the industry.”

Harry Campbell: Well, I think I know today’s date because it’s also my son’s nine-month birthday, so I do remember today’s date, but every day here is summer here in SoCal, so …

Tom Smith: Right? Right? Exactly. But I reached out to Harry a couple months ago. We’re sitting here in mid-October, and we finally had the opportunity to connect Harry. Well, Harry, why don’t you describe yourself, what you do as The Rideshare Guy.

Harry Campbell: Sure. So, yeah, that is my nickname. Basically, I run a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, book, and course for Uber and Lyft drivers, so creating lots of various content on all the different platforms, basically helping anyone interested in working for Uber and Lyft, delivering food for Postmates, DoorDash, charging scooters for Bird.

On-Demand [Economny] Focused Media

We really cover a lot of the on-demand economy, but it’s a media business focused on the workers, so anyone working on these platforms day-to-day basis, and we’re covering the rideshare industry.

Specifically, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what’s going on in the industry, and how some of these trends and mobility are changing things, so pretty wide-ranging, but it always kind of circles back to that perspective of the worker.

Tom Smith: Yeah, and so our universes intersect. I mean, iDriveSoCal, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, we cover a lot, right?

We’ll cover the electric aircraft, electric scooter startup company out of Silicon Beach or the LA… but then a lot of automotive, right? I mean, ’cause that’s the way we get around is still…

“…it’s a media business focused on the workers, so anyone working on these platforms day-to-day basis, and we’re covering the rideshare industry.”

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Automotive, and it’s gonna be automotive-

Harry Campbell: Definitely.

Tom Smith: For a long time to come. Plus, I just love cars, but I also love the idea of flying cars. As petrified as I am of heights, I love the idea of flying cars and where that’s going. Thanks, again, for joining me. I wanted to connect with you because our universes are… They intersect in certain areas, right? One of the things… Well, there’s lots of things I want to talk to you about, but one of the things … Well, you know what? Let’s do this one first. What are the top five vehicles, or three, it can be whatever you want …

Harry Campbell: Sure.

Tom Smith: That Uber and Lyft drivers are driving.

Top Vehicles for Ridesharing

Harry Campbell: Yeah. Well, so, I think the number one vehicle is actually pretty obvious, and I think anyone in probably any major city in the United States or even the world might be able to guess it. It’s the Toyota Prius.

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: We can get into the reasons why, but …

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: We’ve done surveys in the past, and I think just by looking around, you can kind of tell, Toyota Prius is one of the best cars. Then I think from there, off the top of my head, I know we did a survey recently.

I believe it was a Toyota Camry might’ve been right in there second, but it’s typically…

“…I think anyone in probably any major city in the United States or even the world might be able to guess it. It’s the Toyota Prius.”

I remember in our top five, the makers are typically more of the Japanese makers, so Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, and really economical cars that aren’t the flashiest or sexiest.

But, cars that get great gas mileage, aren’t super expensive.  And, I think I usually joke with people when they ask me what the best rideshare vehicle is. I say, well, Toyota Prius is definitely up there, but I think any type of three to four-year-old used economical Japanese made, a Hyundai, or Honda, or Toyota-

Tom Smith: Hyundai is Korean. I gotta point it out.

Harry Campbell: Okay.

Tom Smith: Hyundai is Korean, but it’s an Asian import, nevertheless.

Harry Campbell: All right, so before I get in trouble with someone, let’s call it an Asian import. I’m half Chinese, too, so maybe I get a little credit here, or not credit, I’m not sure-

Tom Smith: Yeah, I think that’s actually more of a demerit against you because you are partially Asian, yourself.

Harry Campbell: I think that is a demerit against me, but yeah.

MPG Drives Vehicle Selection

So, I mean, I think that basically, they aren’t the flashiest or sexiest cars to drive, but at the end of the day.

I mean, rideshare drivers, believe it or not, put a lot of miles on their car, over 1,000 miles a week easily if you’re a full-time driver. And so, you want something that’s gonna really be economical, can handle a lot of miles and gets great gas mileage, of course.

Tom Smith: Yep, yep, yep. While we’re on that topic …

Harry Campbell: Sure.

Tom Smith: The other thing I wanted to ask you is, are they using those cars because they’re not informed of other cars that are great options?

“…rideshare drivers… put a lot of miles on their car, over 1,000 miles a week easily if you’re a full-time driver.”

Harry Campbell: Well, I mean, a lot of people … The unique thing about driving for Uber and Lyft is a lot of people, they didn’t grow up thinking they’re gonna be an Uber driver some day. The company didn’t even exist 10 years ago, right?

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: People didn’t even really start hearing about it until five years ago. You have a lot of people that are getting into this line of work with the cars they already own.

If you look at the numbers across the world, personal vehicle ownership is extremely high in the United States compared to other countries, which basically is to say that a lot of people have cars. A lot of people…

You actually only need a 2002 or newer car to drive with Uber and Lyft. The average age is closer to a 2010 or 2011, so most drivers do have newer cars.

Tom Smith: 2002 or newer is all they require?

Harry Campbell: Right, so that’s a pretty-

Tom Smith: For, both, Uber or Lyft?

Circumstance Plays a Role

Harry Campbell: Yeah. We’re in 2018, right? So, that’s a 16-

Tom Smith: I mean, yeah, you’re talking-

Harry Campbell: 17-year-old car. That’s-

Tom Smith: When did Priuses first start coming out?

Harry Campbell: I’m not sure, but I think it was the early 2000s, I want to say.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: I haven’t seen too many older Priuses, and that’s the thing, though. Most drivers actually tend to have newer cars, right? 2012, I think, might be the average age, actually, of vehicles, if I recall correctly from our survey, and that’s because a lot of people are using the cars that they were already driving around for personal use, right?

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: And so, they decide someday. Maybe they got laid off from their job, or they want to make a little extra money and say, “Oh, I’m gonna go drive for Uber and Lyft. I already have a car. It’s relatively new. I’m gonna go and drive.” So, a lot of people don’t get into it thinking about, what is the ideal car for Uber and Lyft?

Tom Smith: So, they just start driving what they have.

Harry Campbell: Exactly.

Tom Smith: More of a necessity thing as opposed to-

Harry Campbell: Right. That’s how I got into it, and I wouldn’t say I have the worst car for driving Uber and Lyft, but it’s definitely not the best car out there.

“…a lot of people are using the cars that they were already driving around for personal use…”

Tom Smith: There are so many things I want to talk to you about, and you just touched on one, also, is how you got into it.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: You have an interesting story. You were an aeronautical engineer for Boeing.

Harry Campbell: That’s correct.

Harry’s Path to Ridesharing

Tom Smith: Right? I mean, that’s not exactly a gig that you don’t prepare for quite a number of years.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: And then finally land, and then walk away from to start a blog and drive for Uber or Lyft.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: That’s not the common path.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, no. I guess what I would say now, today, I run my sort of business full-time. I am still an active Uber and Lyft driver, and I do try out lots of new services.

“…you had a hip friend who was like, ‘Hey, have you heard about this new service called Uber?'”

But, my path has been pretty interesting because I was sort of, I guess, classically trained as an engineer. I went to school at UC San Diego, studied aerospace engineering, and low and behold, I became an aerospace engineer.

Working on the structural side of things, most recently, I was at Boeing. While I was at Boeing, this was about five years ago, people were just starting to hear about Uber and Lyft. Maybe you had a hip friend who was like, “Hey, have you heard about this new service called Uber?”

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Harry Campbell: And give you a ride around town, right? But not everyone knew about it.

Tom Smith: And real quick, isn’t it always … Maybe I’m just speaking from my own experience, which has completely changed since I’ve had my son, but isn’t it always alcohol-related that people heard about Uber and Lyft?

Harry Campbell: Oh, yeah, no. We can get into it, but the best time as a driver, typically, the Friday, Saturday nights. We call those the party hours.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: When everyone is out and about …

Tom Smith: Of course.

Harry Campbell: And drinking and wants a safe, cheap ride home.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

With the Help of Booze

Harry Campbell: So, yeah, that’s definitely a popular time, and alcohol is a big factor, I would say [crosstalk 00:08:13] popularity in rides.

Tom Smith: I mean, Uber and Lyft can, like, thank alcohol for their businesses, right? Then all the ancillary businesses around Uber and Lyft, yours included…

Harry Campbell: Definitely.

Tom Smith: Can thank alcohol, as well.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, I can.

Tom Smith: So, really, it’s all about alcohol.

Harry Campbell: I have to concur.

Tom Smith: Sorry. I had to slide off topic there.

“…it’s not rocket science being an Uber and Lyft driver, but it is a little tougher than it looks…”

Harry Campbell: No, that’s totally okay, but I definitely agree with you. Yeah, so I mean for me, I was working at Boeing as an engineer.  But, I started driving for Uber and Lyft on the side, just to really check it out and just to kind of see what it was like.

I wanted to see how much money I could make, and everyone was talking about it. I pretty quickly realized that it’s not rocket science being an Uber and Lyft driver, but it is a little tougher than it looks, right? It’s kind of the ultimate combination of safe driving, which a lot of people are bad drivers, you know?

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Harry Campbell: Customer service, you’re dealing with passengers.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: And you’re also dealing with a lot of drunk passengers, right? People who want to bring beers into your car, who want to fit six-

Tom Smith: Coming back to that alcohol thing.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, six people into the back, right? A lot of… Not life-threatening or challenging situations, but just things that you have to know how to talk to people about.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Unionize Rideshare Drivers?

Harry Campbell: You also have to know how to run your business because drivers are independent contractors, and so they do need to track their own mileage. They need to think about insurance and liability.

Tom Smith: Didn’t somebody try unionizing them not so long ago? Did I hear-

Harry Campbell: Independent contractors can’t legally become a union, but there are a couple organizations that sort of-

Tom Smith: Tried to rally the troops to do something.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, that kind of rally the troops in New York. There’s a big one called the IDG, the Independent Drivers Guild, and they’re not technically a union, but they do sort of vouch for drivers on a lot of similar issues.

“…they’re not technically a union, but they do sort of vouch for drivers on a lot of similar issues.”

Tom Smith: Okay. Have the Uber and Lyft … Sorry, as I’m getting off in another tangent and didn’t even let you finish your story, but-

Harry Campbell: No worries. It’s a long story, so we can take a break.

Tom Smith: Well, you know what? I feel like we’re gonna do a lot of these podcasts, so there’s a lot of topics that we can cover. I should hold back my urges to go down different paths. My apologies, but have Uber and Lyft recognized these organizations that-

Harry Campbell: Yeah. What’s interesting is the IDG is actually … It was sort of funded and started by Uber. I think that … I’m blanking from my memory, but I believe there was some type of legal settlement or there were some legal issues, and one of the things that came out of this was Uber was going to start this organization in New York that would basically…

Voice of the Drivers

It’s not a union, so they’re not technically allowed to vouch for drivers on issues like pay.  But, they can talk to them about unfair deactivations and really sort of generate a lot of support from drivers there.

New York is a little bit of a different market for UberX and there are a lot of full-time drivers there, so it has been a pretty popular… In New York, a lot of Uber drivers, their livelihood is Uber.

Whereas in LA, California, you have people like me who are just doing it casually, and that’s kind of how I got started with rideshare is I was doing it casually. I sort of noticed… getting back to my story, I started to notice that a lot of people didn’t know what they were doing, right? They were kind of struggling with this app.

Tom Smith: Sure.

“…I’m in these Facebook groups talking to other drivers, but they’re all asking the same questions.”

Harry Campbell: Getting signed up, how to make more money, and here, me, as an engineer, I think about, all right, I’m in these Facebook groups talking to other drivers, but they’re all asking the same questions.

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: What’s the most efficient way of reaching all these people at once? And so, that’s when I decided to start my blog and really just start detailing my experience from a very personal level.

Hey, I signed up to drive with Uber. Here’s what it was like. I went out on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday night. Here’s how much money I made, how to handle passengers who are gonna vomit in your car. And, a lot of sort of issues you might encounter as a rideshare driver.

Harry Shares His Experience

I just kind of blogged about it and my business sort of took off from there. I ended up, about a year into my site, I quit my day job as an engineer to focus on the blog and the business full-time and really haven’t looked back since.

Tom Smith: Were you making money from it when you quit your job?

Harry Campbell: I was making a little bit of money, but … Uber and Lyft allow drivers to refer other drivers on to the platform. It’s actually… Over the years, it’s been a pretty lucrative referral program. In cities like LA, these companies, you might see stories on the news. Uber lost $4 billion last year.

Tom Smith: Right.

“…to give you an example, they pay referral fees sometimes up to $500 for new drivers.”

Harry Campbell: They’re on track, I think, to lose another few billion this year, and so they’ve got a lot of costs. I mean, to give you an example, they pay referral fees sometimes up to $500 for new drivers. And so when I first started, I said-

Tom Smith: $500 to refer?

Harry Campbell: $500. I mean, they’ll need to do a certain number of trips and go through some loops, and twists and turns, but-

Tom Smith: I mean, I’ll sign up right now. We’ll split the money and we’ll go to the bar.

Harry Campbell: That’s some of what I did. When I was first getting started, typically it’s tough with creating content, and especially online businesses. This wasn’t my first foray into online businesses, but… So I knew a bit about what I was getting myself into. I definitely didn’t start my site with the goal of making money, but I knew that if I could do a good job and become maybe an established expert or the go-to resource for drivers everywhere.

The Rideshare Guy is Born

I knew that there would be pretty good monetization opportunities down the road. Fortunately, I did get a few, you know, maybe a couple hundred dollar referrals here and there, and so it wasn’t in the tens of thousands, but it was in the thousands of dollars that I had made maybe after a year, which is a lot more than most people make at doing online businesses.

“It’s cool to be able to say you run your own business and you pay yourself…”

Tom Smith: Sure, but does it qualify for me to walk away from a gig at Boeing?

Harry Campbell: Right. I think that really for me, the reason why I left my job at Boeing was because I could see that… I was spending probably about 20 hours a week creating content.

Driving for Uber and Lyft, and then the rest of the time working at Boeing and doing my normal daily life activities, and so I was really only doing the blog in a part-time fashion.  And, I was able to grow it to around 75,000 or 80,000 page views a month.

My goal, when I really thought that I could make a real business out of it, was 100,000 page views a month. I thought that if I could get there, I knew other bloggers who were in that range and they were kind of… by on a full-time income, maybe $40,000-$50,000 a year, which isn’t a ton here in Southern California.

Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy sits in his car ready to the next trip

But I think it’s kind of a cool… It’s cool to be able to say you run your own business and you pay yourself, so that was really my goal.

But really, the reason why I left was because everything was trending up. Uber and Lyft were becoming insanely popular. It seemed like every few months, they were raising more money.

Trending Opportunity

I knew that that was gonna mean they’re gonna hire more drivers, so there’s gonna be more people that need more information. The traffic on my site was at 75,000-80,000 page views a month, but it was growing 10-20%, maybe 30-40% every single month, and so I could sort of see… I mean, I would say I took a calculated risk.

But again, I’m an engineer and I felt like I was taking a risk, but I felt like there was huge, huge, huge upside.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: And if I were to leave my job, and instead of working 20 hours a week, work 60 hours a week, three times as much, with this sort of up and to the right behavior of all the traffic in the industry in general.

It sort of seemed like a good bet to me that, all right, I’ll be able to make a pretty good little living off of this, and that’s sort of what ended up happening within probably six to nine months. I was at the same income as my day job and then kind of went up from there.

“…I would say I took a calculated risk.”

Tom Smith: Good for you. That brings me to the next topic that I want to kind of cover, and that is Uber and Lyft seem… And we talked about this a little bit earlier today. I was mentioning to you Uber Elevate, the, now, second annual conference. It happened, I think, in the summer right here in Los Angeles where Uber brings together a number of people from a number of different industries to deal with the idea of vertical transport.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: That is something that seems like wild, like, really, are we finally gonna have flying cars?

Flying Cars from 15-Million Daily Rides?

Are we finally gonna have vertical takeoff and landing vehicles? It seems the answer to that, more and more, is yes. But then again, there’s also the skeptic, but then you look at the Uber and Lyfts of the world and consider what they’ve done already.

The regulations, and hurdles, and political red tape that they’ve been able to cut through. And all the businesses that have been made and built up around them.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: I mean, can you talk just a little bit? That’s a big piece to chew on, but can you talk just a little bit to that? Because I think I’m not alone when I stand back and still scratch my head like, gosh, these guys have really done this and they’ve done it in pretty breakneck speed.

“…they’re doing 15-million rides a day around the world now. They’re in hundreds of cities.”

Harry Campbell: Yeah, I think definitely. Uber is a polarizing company and a polarizing topic. They’re in the news almost every single day. Especially if you follow anything on the tech or business side of the spectrum.

But, I think the thing to keep in mind is that they have… When you sit back and look at the metrics, I mean, they’re doing 15-million rides a day around the world now. They’re in hundreds of cities.

Tom Smith: 15-million rides a day.

Harry Campbell: Right. Think about that, right? Me, as a driver, I might go out and do 10 or 15 drives. They’re doing… You know, so imagine how many drivers there are, how many passengers there are.

I think when you really sit down and think about just the sheer numbers, you start to think, well, that’s actually pretty amazing. The unique thing, though, is most of their business is UberX, right?

Uber’s Multiple Verticals & Focus

Most of their business is people picking someone else up, dropping them off, and they’re starting to get involved. Uber Eats is another area that’s a big portion of their business, is food delivery.

Then, as you’ve seen, they’re experimenting with a lot of other areas, and so I think Uber Elevate is a good example of that. They’re doing stuff in autonomous vehicles. They’re doing stuff in semi trucks.

They just announced today a program where they’re gonna start basically hiring temp workers, nothing to do with driving, and they’re gonna start working with catering companies and stuff like that.

Tom Smith: What?

Harry Campbell: It’s really random, yeah, and so you can sort of see that I think when these companies get this big, they’ve got a lot of different business units and there are a lot of purposes for Uber Elevate.

“…they’re also involved in a whole lot of other stuff. I don’t think it’s gonna have a material impact on Uber, the company.”

There are a lot of purposes for their autonomous vehicles. I see the UberX and the Uber, really, primarily UberX to some degree Uber Eats as sort of their core businesses. And, now they’re also involved in a whole lot of other stuff. I don’t think it’s gonna have a material impact on Uber, the company.

But, I think it’s cool that they’re gonna go mess around with Uber Elevate or they’re gonna go mess around with autonomous vehicles and do some other stuff.  But, I do think it’s always gonna come back to that core of rideshare and even food delivery to some extent.

Tom Smith: So UberX is just the basic Uber, right?

Harry Campbell: Yeah, so there’s a few different levels. Even within their sort of rideshare… Even within their kind of personal transport space, right, in cars, there’s UberX. That’s the most basic level. That’s what I drive on, I drive…

Uber’s Core Business

Tom Smith: In SoCal.

Harry Campbell: In SoCal.

Tom Smith: Buh, dum, bum.

Harry Campbell: And these are gonna be your everyday person picking you up in a Prius, or a Camry, or a Hyundai…

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: Whatever sort of normal car, and then in other places, Uber also has Uber Select. That’s gonna be more of a mid-level luxury car, like maybe a Lexus ES300, a BMW 3 series, something that’s a little nicer, but maybe not a top, top of the line car.

“They’ve got a lot of options now, and they’ve got a lot of tiers, but 90% of their business is UberX.”

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: The Uber also has Uber Black, which is their commercial services. These are gonna be more town cars and they also have Uber SUV, which is in their commercial line. And these are typically what we call professional drivers.

Someone who is professionally licensed, very similar to a taxi. Those are sort of their three basic levels. Then within there, they’ve experimented with lots of different things. In LA, for example, they have Uber Lux. Uber Lux is actually a service. Basically, I call it the $100,000 or more car level. If you have a Tesla, if you have a really nice Audi, or a BMW 7 series, you can actually drive Uber Lux.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: As you might imagine, the prices go up …

Tom Smith: Sure, of course.

Harry Campbell: For passengers, but-

Tom Smith: I didn’t know they had broken it down to so many tiers. That’s crazy.

Harry Campbell: Well, and that’s the thing. They’ve got a lot of options now, and they’ve got a lot of tiers, but 90% of their business is UberX.

Tom Smith: X, okay.

Uber Rideshares Started with Simplicity

Harry Campbell: Right, and when you think about why Uber became so popular, it was UberX. It was that simplicity. Open the app. Press a button. Get a car. You used to not even have to enter a destination. I don’t know how often you take Uber or if your audience remembers that.

Tom Smith: Used to do it all the time, but ever since my son came, the whole going out to the bars thing has come to a screeching halt, pun intended.

Harry Campbell: Yeah. It’s funny because I think that’s one of the aspects that made Uber so revolutionary, is they started off very, very simple, very consumer-friendly with everything.  With the credit card, and with the app, and everything like that.

“…they started off very, very simple, very consumer-friendly with everything.”

Over time, they’ve gotten more complicated. They now allow tipping. You now have to enter your destination, you can now split a ride. And you can take an Uber Pool and share a ride, but what they started with was that UberX product that was very, very simple.

Tom Smith: Do you think that if they started with the more robust product that they have now, that they would’ve… This is kind of just a trivia or just a question that I’m asking.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: ‘Cause the whole tipping thing, I mean, I used to love those. I remember getting out of that Uber. It was five stars, all right, thanks, man.

Harry Campbell: And you’re done.

Tom Smith: Done, right?

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: But now, it’s like it’s that plus the app keeps on asking you how much you want to tip.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: And it’s like, well, if it started this way, would taxis have really been so negatively affected and would Uber have taken off?

Uber Didn’t Invent Ridesharing

Harry Campbell: I mean, honestly, I think it really could’ve dampened their effect. This is me, as a driver, someone who obviously wants tips.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: This is, as you might imagine, lots of drivers want to be tipped on every ride, but I think tipping… When Uber first started, they were definitely a consumer-friendly… It was a product that was thought up from the consumer perspective, right?

These guys that founded Uber, Travis and Garrett Camp, the guys who founded it, these were not guys who were taxi drivers who wanted to revolutionize the system, right?

Tom Smith: Right.

“…a tipping option, I don’t think it would’ve been a game changer, but it definitely could have maybe slowed down their growth.”

Harry Campbell: They were passengers who wanted a better way of calling for a ride. They still did have the app and the ability to pay over credit card.  And so if they would’ve had a tipping option, I don’t think it would’ve been a game changer, but it definitely could have maybe slowed down their growth.

I think a good example of this is actually a company called Sidecar. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this company, but they were actually the pioneers of rideshare. They were the first rideshare company doing rideshare in San Francisco before Uber ever even existed.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: They kind of coined that model with your friend picks you up in a car and drops you off. They ended up going out of business. I think one of their biggest sort of faults or problems was that they gave the passengers too many options. Drivers could set their own prices. You could have four doors, you could have two doors. Or, you could set your own price, and so you had all these things going on.

Uber & Lyft Aren’t the Only Players

So as a passenger, every time you requested a ride, it would be a different price, different car. Sometimes it was two doors. Sometimes it was four doors. They almost gave the customers too much choice. They ended up-

Tom Smith: Hop on the back of my motorcycle.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, no. I mean, they ended up… It’s funny because not a lot of people have heard of them, but they were the first rideshare company, and then Lyft came and Uber was doing black car only at first.

“…not a lot of people have heard of them, but they were the first rideshare company…”

They saw how well Sidecar and Lyft were doing in San Francisco. Uber copied that model and then exploded from there, and now they’re the dominant market share players, so definitely an interesting sort of business war case study.

Tom Smith: And there is just Uber and Lyft, really, as the big players, right?

Harry Campbell: Yeah. They’re sort of the big players today. In places like New York, for example, there’s a couple others, Juno, Gett, Via, and there’s a bunch of small ones, but for the most part, it’s Uber and Lyft in the US. Then around the world, there’s some pretty big players, but in other countries.

Tom Smith: So here in the United States, is it New York first and then LA, as far as rideshares?

Harry Campbell: Yeah. I think New York is… A lot of people say it’s one of the biggest transportation markets in the world. I think that New York-

Tom Smith: Well, we are the automotive capital of the United States.

Harry Campbell: Exactly.

Tom Smith: Right here in Southern California.

Ridesharing Making Traffic Worse

Harry Campbell: LA is the automotive capital. New York might be one of the biggest transportation markets in the world. I think LA and SF are definitely up there, LA, SF, New York, Chicago.

A lot of people always ask me, “Oh, what are the best or biggest markets for rideshare?” I don’t feel that I have a whole bunch of insight off of there, ’cause I usually just say that it typically lines up with the biggest cities by population, right?

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: LA, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and a couple places in Texas, the big cities and sort of down there from the list, but yeah.

I think SF is a little unique ’cause that’s where a lot of these services started, so you have a lot of demand there. Drivers make a lot of money in San Francisco driving, but LA, New York, Chicago are up there, too.

“I would say every major city in the US, I think there’s pretty common complaints of increased congestion.”

Tom Smith: Now let’s talk about… With all this rideshare going on, and we talked about this over lunch and I think the first time that we got together, as well. With all this ridesharing going on, traffic congestion is not getting better.

Harry Campbell: Definitely getting worse.

Tom Smith: In Southern California?

Harry Campbell: I think in every-

Tom Smith: Everywhere?

Harry Campbell: I would say every major city in the US, I think there’s pretty common complaints of increased congestion. I’ve seen it in LA, San Francisco, Chicago, New York. I would say that probably even echoes around the world, too. I think more people and same amount of space, you can do the math, right?

Tom Smith: Right, right. Conceptually, of course, maybe we already answered the question, and that is the alcohol component, right? It’s Friday and Saturday nights.

The Rideshare Revolution

Harry Campbell: Well, actually, it’s funny. I grew up in LA. When I was growing up in LA, I don’t think I ever met a single person who did not own a car. I grew up on the west side of LA, so a little bit of upper socioeconomic area.

You could definitely say, and so it was uncommon or almost rare, nonexistent, you could say, on my side of town to meet someone without a car. Driving for Uber and Lyft over the past five years, I have met dozens of people in LA-

Tom Smith: Is that right?

Harry Campbell: Who did not have a car. I think that that would’ve been unheard of in the past, I mean, these are normal people, old people, young people. It’s not specific to any one person group, place, or thing.

“Uber and Lyft, have really revolutionized the way people get around in certain cities.”

Uber and Lyft, in that way, have really revolutionized the way people get around in certain cities. San Francisco, it’s gonna be a lot easier to ditch your car than it is in LA.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: But, I think definitely-

Tom Smith: Well, Chicago, too, and New York, too, but that’s because-

Harry Campbell: Chicago and New York.

Tom Smith: That’s because you have-

Harry Campbell: ‘Cause they’re so dense, right?

Tom Smith: They’re dense, but then you also have great public transportation.

Harry Campbell: Public transportation.

Tom Smith: Here…

Harry Campbell: Pretty bad.

Tom Smith: I mean, come on, right? AAA just did this today. You know what? I think that was one that… Remember that email that I sent you a number of weeks ago?

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: A month or whatever it was… AAA’s [Rideshare vs. Vehicle Ownership] report that they did…

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Not Owning a Car Costs More

Tom Smith: And it was multiple… I don’t think it was the entire nation, but it looked at and said, okay, is it really more economical to exclusively rideshare and not own a car?

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: The answer was different for every city, but the answer was overwhelming, no, it most certainly is not…

…is it really more economical to exclusively rideshare and not own a car? …the answer was overwhelmingly, no, it most certainly is not…”

Harry Campbell: Right.

Tom Smith: More economical to just rely on rideshare and not own a car.

Harry Campbell: Well, the thing is, I think it’s very variable, depends on the city and depends on the person, and obviously, the further commute you have, you might imagine less economical, right?

Tom Smith: It doesn’t mean that people aren’t gonna do it, but-

Harry Campbell: Right, exactly. Yeah, no. I think it’s interesting, we’re not really near the… I mean, I think we’re getting close to the point where it could be more economical to rideshare versus owning a car if you’re sort of in the right situation. I’m not talking about the person that lives right next door to their work.

I’m talking about the person that maybe has a 5 or 10-minute commute versus an hour commute. If you have an hour commute, it’s probably gonna be pretty tough to make that work.

Tom Smith and Harry "The Ride Share Guy" Campbell prep to record an iDriveSoCal Podcast

But, I think we are actually getting close, a lot closer than people realize, but there is the big mental hurdle or mental barrier of not owning a car. Oh, what do I do if I… That once a year when I go to the snow, or when I need to go to Palm Springs, or whatever it might be, and so I think there is still a bit of a mental hurdle there.

More Mobility Options

But I mean, if you look at the direction these companies are headed, Uber and Lyft, they’re aggregating lots of different options. Now when you open the Uber app here in LA, especially if you’re in Santa Monica, you see UberX. You see all the different levels of Uber, but you also see bikes. You also see scooters.

Tom Smith: Yep.

Harry Campbell: You’re seeing other modes of transportation. If you’re in San Francisco, you can actually open the app from the Uber passenger side and you can see Getaround, which actually allows you to rent a car for the day.

Let’s say you’re someone living in San Francisco and you don’t have a car. You can take an Uber, you can take a bike, you can even take a scooter now in San Francisco. Or, you can rent a car from a car sharing service, like Getaround, for the day.

Tom Smith: But let me back up a little bit. Those are all different apps?

Harry Campbell: That’s all from the Uber app.

“…if you look at the direction these companies are headed, Uber and Lyft, they’re aggregating lots of different options.”

Tom Smith: Really?

Harry Campbell: What I’m saying is Uber, the direction they’re heading is aggregating a lot of these different modes of transportation. Now, they aren’t gonna aggregate multiple companies. The reason why they have Jump Bikes, for example, they bought Jump Bikes. Now there’s Jump Bikes in the app. They-

Tom Smith: Strategic partnerships, acquisitions, whatever.

Harry Campbell: Right, strategic partnerships, acquisitions. Getaround is more of a partnership. But, it wouldn’t surprise me at some point in the future if they owned a piece or, had some type of very revenue share partnership, strategic partnership, with a car-sharing company because Uber and Lyft loves people who drink, right?

Ridesharing’s Future in Mobility

They love those customers because they’re taking rides Friday, Saturday nights, maybe here and there throughout the week, but what they really love in the future is the people who ditch their cars.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Harry Campbell: Because when you ditch your car and you start to think about, okay, maybe you bike, maybe you walk, maybe public transport here and there.

But, you still… most…  a lot of trips in the city are gonna be taken by car. If you don’t have a car, that person who goes from a casual Uber or Lyft user, they don’t just start going double or triple. They might do 10 times as many rides in a single week. That’s sort of what these companies, I think, are really gearing up for.

“I don’t think it takes more than a night of being a driver for Uber and Lyft to realize that these services are definitely hurting, making congestion worse…”

I don’t think we’re quite there, but you can see that a lot of the moves they’re making. Congestion has been a big issue, though. Sort of getting back to your original question, congestion has been a big issue.

I don’t think it takes more than a night of being a driver for Uber and Lyft to realize that these services are definitely hurting, making congestion worse, as opposed to when Uber and Lyft first came on to the scene.

They actually told everyone they were making congestion better. They’d say, “Oh, we’re getting people out of their cars. We’re gonna get them in our cars and they’re gonna be sharing rides.” Oh, man. That was a bunch of total, you know, BS. I won’t swear on the podcast so you don’t have to edit it out, but their narrative was very different than the reality.

I think that’s what is cool about what I do, is that you really get this firsthand perspective from actually working for these services.

Ridesharing Causing More Traffic?

You see that, okay, I’m out here driving for Uber and Lyft. There’s nowhere to park downtown LA, downtown San Francisco. So when I’m waiting for a passenger, I am double parked or I’m in a red zone.

I’m basically causing traffic. When I drop off Tom, he doesn’t want to be dropped off half a block away. He wants to be dropped off right in front of the restaurant where there’s nowhere to park.

Okay, I need to quickly pull over here, and the cars behind me are beeping. I need to drop him off. That’s probably hurting congestion, and then, oh, I’m not getting a ride in this area, so I need to drive somewhere else.

“…I asked him why he was going such a short distance. He said, ‘Because it’s so cheap. Why not?'”

Oh, I pick up this other passenger, Jerry, and he’s going half a block. I ask him why. This is a true story. I don’t remember the guy’s name, but I picked up a passenger once-

Tom Smith: To drive half a block?

Harry Campbell: Half a block.

Tom Smith: Was he by himself?

Harry Campbell: By himself. I asked him why he was going such a short distance. He said, “Because it’s so cheap. Why not?”

Tom Smith: Wow.

Harry Campbell: It was a big block, but it was still half a block.

Tom Smith: Half a block. Was Jerry a large mammal?

Harry Campbell: No, he was a young guy, but … And that’s the thing, right? Because Uber is losing a ton of money. A lot of times, some of these, you know, they’ve continually lowered fares over the years, and there are some unintended consequences. If people are picking rideshare, taking Uber or Lyft, even an Uber Pool over other more eco-friendly modes of transportation, like biking or walking, that’s definitely gonna hurt congestion.

Filling an Unmet Need

I’m not an expert on the congestion side of things, or a transportation policy, or anything like that, but I am an expert in common sense and rideshare.

When I go out and drive and I see a lot of these stories continually happening or situations, I know for a fact that Uber and Lyft are making congestion worse. I don’t know how much they are because if you lived in LA before Uber and Lyft, there was plenty of traffic then.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Harry Campbell: I mean, I guess you could say it’s gotten worse, but it’s-

Tom Smith: I mean, on the Friday and Saturday nights, we just switched cabs for Uber or Lyft, right?

“There were 13,000 taxi medallions in New York City before Uber and Lyft. That’s a fixed number. You can’t add or remove any.”

Harry Campbell: Well, no. I think actually, what’s interesting… New York City is a good case study because they actually… The companies are required to release data there.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: There were 13,000 taxi medallions in New York City before Uber and Lyft. That’s a fixed number. You can’t add or remove any.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: There’s still 13,000 today. Uber has added … If you want, we can do some trivia and I can ask you how many car … How many cars do you think Uber has added in five years in New York City?

Tom Smith: Oh my gosh. Well, it’s gotta be a moving target, right? ‘Cause people come and go.

Harry Campbell: Yeah. Well, I mean today, how many Uber cars do you think are there today?

Tom Smith: Let me… If we have 13,000 taxi medallions.

Harry Campbell: So how many Uber drivers do you think there are in New York City today?

Tom Smith: I think it’s exponentially more. I’m gonna give you a range. 85,000 to 130,000.

Taxi [medalions] to Rideshare Drivers

Harry Campbell: Close. There’s 60,000 Uber drivers, alone.

But there’s also, I believe, 20,000 or 30,000 Lyft drivers.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: And then there’s also another 10 or 15 Juno, Gett, Via-

Tom Smith: So, bam!

Harry Campbell: Right in your range.

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: That sort of shows you that, okay, Uber not only… There was a lot of untapped demand, really, right?

“I’ve taken passengers to doctor appointments, like very older passengers.”

I mean, a lot of people who weren’t going out to the bars or weren’t going out to dinner, and you can imagine that has huge positive impacts for people getting around. I’ve seen… Basically, to say, I’ve seen a lot of the positives and negatives, right?

I’ve taken passengers to doctor appointments, like very older passengers. I was thinking to myself, man, I wonder how this guy … He doesn’t have any family here. I wonder how he-

Tom Smith: I wonder how he pulls the app up and orders me.

Harry Campbell: Well, he told me his nephew installed it for him, but …

Tom Smith: Oh, okay.

Harry Campbell: I was thinking to myself, I wonder how he got to this place before. I mean, it’s a 30-minute drive. It would probably take over an hour on public transportation.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: I bet there are a lot of times where he probably didn’t go to his doctor. That seems like a bad idea when you’re getting up there in age. I’ve seen a lot of the positives. I think some of the numbers definitely show that, but as far as congestion, you can also see that sometimes there are … Too much of a good thing can be bad, for sure.

The Pros & Cons of Rideshare

Tom Smith: I wonder if, and feel free to chime in, I know I’m asking you questions that-

Harry Campbell: Hey, that’s what I’m here for, to answer whatever comes to your mind. You’re the boss.

Tom Smith: You have me on your podcast, and you can flip the script. I wonder if there is a balancing point where we get to a time where Uber and Lyft and the like do start to help, as opposed to hurt traffic congestion.

Harry Campbell: Yeah. I mean, I think that it’s gonna be tough because I think that right now, I don’t know that the right incentives are in place.

“…the incentives for Uber are to do as many rides as possible…”

I mean, the incentives for Uber are to do as many rides as possible, to make as… Well, I wouldn’t say to make as much money as possible. To do as much revenue per year as possible, whereas the incentives for congestion are almost gonna be the opposite, right?

I think you probably want to reduce the number of trips and get more people sharing in cars and things like that that get more people on public transportation ’cause obviously things like buses, and trains, and subways are a lot more efficient than one or two people in a single occupancy vehicle.

I’m not personally… I don’t really see a path where Uber and Lyft are gonna improve congestion, but I think that combined with sort of a smart and well laid out plan, I think that there are definitely… Basically, it’s gonna involve a lot of collaboration, right?

Uber and Lyft can definitely be a big part, probably, of the ecosystem, but I think what we’ve seen now… Uber and Lyft have basically just been left to do whatever the hell they want.

The Traffic Congestion Issue

They’ve provided some great benefit to society and consumers, but there’s no doubt that they’re hurting congestion.

I think that for example, maybe it’s a limit on just how little Uber can charge ’cause if you start to make people… Let’s say especially now when we’ve seen the rise of scooters and bikes, if you start sort of forcing people to say, hey, are you gonna take a $1 or $2 scooter ride, or are you gonna take a $10 Uber ride for this one-mile trip?

I bet a lot of people are gonna start… I mean, a lot of people already are taking scooters. But, I bet even more people would… When the financial aspect is there, a lot of people, I think, vote with their wallet.

“The final mile, the final mile, the solution to the final mile. Ah, the scooter.”

I think that’s what we’ve seen, and so I could definitely see that. That’s sort of where I see some smart regulation could really… If they kind of understand the system, they could come in and really, I guess, work with Uber and Lyft to help some of the congestion.

Tom Smith: Look. I haven’t ridden any of the scooters yet. I look forward to it, just ’cause I love riding stuff, right?

But it blows my mind that we’re trying… I’ve heard guys say, “The final mile, the final mile, the solution to the final mile. Ah, the scooter.” I’ve said this on numerous podcasts.

If you’ve heard me say it before, I apologize. I’m saying it again. I’m sorry. I thought obesity, and heart disease and diabetes were all really big issues in the United States. How about the final mile, we walk?

Laziness as an Economic Factor

Harry Campbell: I think that’s definitely… What I’ve learned, though, from being in this industry for close to five years, and talking to tens of thousands of drivers, and meeting with all these companies… One thing I think is interesting is really, you can’t always change consumer behavior.

If they don’t want to walk, they don’t want to walk, right? You can tell people not to smoke, not to drink, not to eat McDonald’s every day, but if they still are gonna do it, they’re gonna do it. Right?

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Harry Campbell: I think we’ve seen that. If you’re a student of history, you can look at things like prohibition. No matter how bad certain things are for you, sometimes people just say, “Whatever. I’m gonna do it, anyways.” And so I think if you understand that mentality of the consumer, you can really adapt it, right?

“You can tell people not to smoke, not to drink, not to eat McDonald’s every day, but if they still are gonna do it, they’re gonna do it.”

Let’s say we’re talking about your situation and you want to basically motivate people to walk, for example. I think if you have a public transportation system or you have that last mile that puts them in a place where, okay, you can either choose to do the one-mile walk on the sidewalks.

Or, we’ve got bike lanes for scooters sort of well put across the city, or if you want to take an Uber and you’re really lazy, you don’t even want a scooter, we’re gonna charge you for it. Maybe you kind of need to charge different prices.

I think that’s what a lot of the experts have to say, too, when it comes to congestion and they talk about the congestion pricing. Until we sort of wrap our heads around the financial aspect and people are motivated by money, money can change behavior, I guess you would say.

Both Sides of the Rideshare System

Tom Smith: Sure can.

Harry Campbell: A good example of that, I think, is my experience with Uber Pool. Uber Pool is a product that most drivers hate, to put it mildly.

Tom Smith: Really?

Harry Campbell: Yeah, because as a driver, the most challenging part of the ride-

Tom Smith: You’re working more and getting paid less.

Harry Campbell: Exactly, is the… The challenging part of being a driver is picking up and dropping off. Driving 45 miles an hour down the street is easy, right?

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: But, when you have two passengers you need to pick up. They’re not ready on time, they’re not in where they say they are. One of them is drunk, all that crap you have to deal with as a driver, and then they want to get dropped off somewhere illegally, and you have to not get a ticket.

“Uber Pool is a product that most drivers hate, to put it mildly.”

Okay. It’s not the toughest thing in the world, but it’s more work. It feels like more work as a driver. You actually get paid less.

Tom Smith: No, it sounds like more work, too.

Harry Campbell: Yeah. I mean, it is. You get two people that rate you, so now you have to keep two people happy or two groups of people happy instead of one. And you actually get paid less as a driver for Uber Pool than you do for UberX. So, so there’s a lower per mile and per minute rate. You-

Tom Smith: Can’t you, as a driver, just choose not to do Uber Pool when you see a Pool come up?

Harry Campbell: You can.

Tom Smith: Can you just say I don’t want to take it?

Harry Campbell: Yeah, and I actually recommend that to a lot of drivers. You can ignore requests.

How Come I’m Not Getting Picked Up?

When you see an Uber Pool come up, you can ignore it, but again, these companies are pretty smart, and so what they’ve done is they’ve tied their bonus program, so they’re weekly bonuses that you get on top of your earnings. It’s-

Tom Smith: Yeah. That’s a number of Pools.

Harry Campbell: It’s a trip-based bonus, and they count Uber Pool. Each passenger counts as a single trip.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: Two Uber Pool passengers does count as two people or two trips …

Tom Smith: Got it.

Harry Campbell: Which helps you get your bonus faster, which is basically the same thing as just paying you more, which is what they should’ve done in the first place.

“Oh, can you not pick them up? I’m kind of running late.” I think to myself, dude, you called an Uber Pool.”

They have this really convoluted system to get drivers to do Uber Pool. But, the point is, I’m not even convinced that Uber Pool passengers like the service. The reason I say that is because I think people gravitate towards the cheapest option.

When you open the Uber app, you see UberX and you always see a cheaper price for Uber Pool since you’re sharing a ride.

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: I think a lot of people just default to that Uber Pool. I mean, they may know what it is or they may not know what it is, but I know a lot of people default to that.

I’ve had passengers on the way to the airport, an Uber Pool passenger with their bags, luggage, and they’re the first passenger in. Then we get a match with a second passenger, and they say, “Oh, can you not pick them up? I’m kind of running late.” I think to myself, dude, you called an Uber Pool.

Tom Smith: Yeah, wait a minute.

Drivers Dealing with Issues

Harry Campbell: You’re supposed to share a ride. You probably should’ve called an UberX if you’re going to the airport.

Tom Smith: How do you handle that at that point?

Harry Campbell: I mean, so that’s really kind of what my whole business is about. Now, you have one passenger who is potentially gonna be late for-

Tom Smith: Miss my flight, cost me hundreds of dollars.

Harry Campbell: Missed their flight… hundreds of dollars. They were trying to be cheap and save, probably $4.

Tom Smith: Right.

“I usually sort of try to de-escalate the situation or honestly sometimes shift the blame to Uber a little bit.”

Harry Campbell: And so typically, what I tell them is, “Oh, you know what? Unfortunately, I would love to do that, but Uber will ding me if I don’t take this second passenger.”

It’s not really true, but that’s sort of what I usually sort of try to de-escalate the situation or honestly sometimes shift the blame to Uber a little bit.

Usually, it is their fault, but that’s sort of how I would handle that as a driver, say, “Oh, I would love to do that, myself. If it was just you and I, I would do that, but Uber has already given me this next rider. At this point, I can’t cancel on them because then it would affect my rating and my earnings with Uber.”

At that point, I don’t know. Some passengers are gonna just be unreasonable, but I think when you kind of explain it in those types of terms, you usually avoid most issues with passengers.

Tom Smith: All right. Well, Harry, this has been a lot of fun. Before we wrap it up, I have one… And I want to do this again with you for sure.

Harry Campbell: Sure.

Tom Smith: Actually, I think this has been one of my longest podcasts.

Daily Rides – Uber vs. Lyft

Harry Campbell: Oh, really? All right.

Tom Smith: But, look, it’s a big part of mobility. It’s a big piece of the equation. We’re all gonna be driving cars for a long time yet.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Before we’re taking our flying cars or perhaps our flying driverless Ubers.

Harry Campbell: Yep.

Tom Smith: But, I am sure you have some pretty crazy stories. What is the craziest story as an Uber or a Lyft driver that you can share here?

Harry Campbell: Well-

Tom Smith: Let’s make sure that it’s one with a happy ending.

“Uber is pretty dominant… remember, they’re all around the world, whereas Lyft is only in the US and a couple of cities in Canada.”

Harry Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tom Smith: ‘Cause I would assume there’s some that are-

Harry Campbell: Yeah. I haven’t had any with a bad ending, but I definitely have some that are probably more on the rated R version.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: I don’t know if those are appropriate. I think-

Tom Smith: Yeah, we’re a family-friendly podcast.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, I think we’ll keep it family-friendly. I’ve got plenty of family-friendly stories, weird stories. I think that’s actually the best way to describe it. Uber is doing millions of rides a day, and so of course-

Tom Smith: 15-million, right?

Harry Campbell: 15-million-

Tom Smith: How many… Sorry. How many is Lyft doing?

Harry Campbell: I’m not sure off the top of my head, but I believe it’s about seven or eight times less. I think they’re more-

Tom Smith: Wow.

Harry Campbell: Two million.

Tom Smith: Seven or eight times less?

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: I mean, Uber is pretty dominant. Also, remember, though, they’re all around the world, whereas Lyft is only in the US and a couple of cities in Canada.

Tom Smith: Gotcha, okay, so sorry, to be continued on another podcast, the craziest story.

You’re On-Camera

Harry Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The rated R one, maybe, I would say I wish I had a book or something that told them all ’cause then I could tell people to go buy my book. I don’t, I have a book, but it doesn’t have rated R stories.

I would say, but, what I was talking about is basically there are a lot of… A lot of people are drinking, and so there are some interesting things that happen.

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: For sure, but I’ve never had a situation where I felt unsafe, or in danger, or anything like that. I mean, I have a dash cam in my car. I-

Tom Smith: So, you record everything?

Harry Campbell: I record everything. That typically-

“You guys are on camera, just FYI.”

Tom Smith: As a safety measure or to look back on and laugh?

Harry Campbell: Insurance, but also… No, insurance, but also just you never know, right?

Tom Smith: Sure.

Harry Campbell: I think of it as a very cheap insurance policy.

Tom Smith: I would do it.

Harry Campbell: I have found that it also prevents a lot of bad passenger behavior, right?

Tom Smith: Oh, yeah.

Harry Campbell: When people see a little green blinking light, or if people are starting to get out of hand, I mention, “Hey, just if you guys can cool it out.” If I need to get in an argument with someone, I say, “You guys are on camera, just FYI.” You do have to follow all the legal rules to be able to video and record audio, but basically, my weirdest story would probably be when I first started driving for Uber and Lyft.

Confessions of a Rideshare Driver

I was in Newport Beach. I was living in Newport Beach at the time, which is sort of a little party area. It’s a nice area, but there’s also a nice strip of bars and…

Tom Smith: Has its rowdy set.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, it has its rowdy side, so let me preface a story with that. I typically used to drive, since I was working at Boeing during the day, I would drive Friday, Saturday nights, usually.

That’s also where you can make the most amount of money. It was at the end of the night. I’m pretty sure this was a dare or something like that because I had a guy get into my car and basically when I looked… We were at a stop light.

“I looked back and this guy was, like, taking all his clothes off.”

I looked back and this guy was, like, taking all his clothes off. I mean, he wasn’t blacked out drunk, but he had been drinking, for sure.

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: He was taking all his clothes off. He got into his underwear, luckily not naked, and basically ran around the car and then got back into his seat and acted like nothing had happened. I didn’t even ask him anything. I just kind of looked-

Tom Smith: You just carried on.

Harry Campbell: I was like, okay, that was weird. It was a long stop light, obviously.

Tom Smith: Right.

Harry Campbell: That’s why I think it was a dare ’cause I dropped him off, like, right down the block. We kind of just looked at each other. I said, “All right, have a good night.” Yeah, so quite a few of those types of stories.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Harry Campbell: Alcohol, clearly, a factor.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Harry Campbell: And maybe a lost bet or two.

The Rideshare Guy’s Guide

Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah, sounds like it. All right, well, very good. Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy. You know what? You mentioned wanting to give away a couple of [The Rideshare Guide] books.

Harry Campbell: Yeah.

Tom Smith: If you want to do that, we’ll do it.

Harry Campbell: Okay, cool. Yeah, I’ve got a couple books that I can hand over to you right now. However, I guess, you want to have people enter, they can do so.

Tom Smith: You know what? Just email me, tom [at] drivesocal [dot] com, tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, maybe they can give you their best rideshare story. Make them work a little for it.

Tom Smith: Yeah, okay, there you go. As Harry requested, the best rideshare story. Email me. Let’s see. How am I gonna do this, though? Because that’s a podcast, and this thing is gonna be recorded forever, so…

Harry Campbell: First two people to email you.

Tom Smith: Yeah, there you go, first two people. There you have it. Today is … Well, we’re gonna post this in the next few days. I don’t know. Email me. I’ll either email you back and say, “Sorry, you missed it.” Or, I’ll email you back and ask for your mailing address, and we’ll send you out a book, and Harry will sign them.

More from Harry “TRSG” Campbell

Harry Campbell: Perfect.

Tom Smith: Fantastic. Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy, TheRideshareGuy.com, The Rideshare Guy Podcast, The Rideshare Guy YouTube channel, and the occasional driver for Uber and Lyft. Maybe you’ll wind up getting driven around by Harry one night.

Harry Campbell: Yeah, no. If you’re in the LA area, you might get me one night, and I’m still active driving. Yeah, basically, if you type The Rideshare Guy into any search box out there, we do have a podcast if you’re interested in the rideshare and mobility industry.

“If you’re in the LA area, you might get me one night, and I’m still active driving.”

You can check that out. We interview everyone from drivers to CEOs and people in the industry, reporters, and yeah, got a new book out, but other than that, lots of good content coming down the pipe. So if anyone is curious in learning more, happy to help out and chat about it.

Tom Smith: Awesome. Harry Campbell, The Rideshare Guy, thank you so much. We will do this again for iDriveSoCal. I am Tom Smith. Thank you, as always, for tuning in.

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Uber, Lyft and the on-demand economy from the workers perspective - all topics that The Rideshare Guy covers on his website, in his podcasts, and through his YouTube videos. If you're driving for Uber, Lyft or a food delivery service like Postmates th... Uber, Lyft and the on-demand economy from the workers perspective - all topics that The Rideshare Guy covers on his website, in his podcasts, and through his YouTube videos.<br /> <br /> If you're driving for Uber, Lyft or a food delivery service like Postmates then you probably know of and subscribe-to Harry Campbell's variety of media channels. If you're not a subscriber then you should be, because Harry is the real deal.<br /> <br /> As an engineer at Boeing, he started rideshare driving in his free time.  Then he started blogging about it and was immediately buried in requests for all sorts of info about the ins and outs of driving for Uber and Lyft. So Harry quit his job at Boeing to blog about driving for Uber, Lyft and the like fulltime.<br /> <br /> In this iDriveSoCal podcast Harry shares, why he made such a drastic career change, why ridesharing definitely isn't helping traffic congestion in LA and a bunch of other topics where iDriveSoCal and The Rideshare Guy intersect.<br /> <br /> (The beginning of this podcast has a little echo - sorry!  Hang-tight through it and it will subside.)<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> ***Transcription***<br /> Recording date – October 18, 2018, in Culver City, CA<br /> <br /> The Rideshare Guy Joins the iDSC Podcast<br /> Harry Campbell: We're covering the rideshare industry, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what's going on in the industry.  And, how some of these trends and mobility are changing things.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States Southern California. Tom Smith here, and I am joined, I'm excited to be joined by Harry Campbell. Many of you may know of Harry as his AKA alternative moniker, The Rideshare Guy.<br /> <br /> Harry Campbell: I'm here. I'm ready. Thanks for having me on, Tom.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Harry, thanks for joining me. I reached out to you, jeez, I don't know, a month or two ago, a couple months, summer, I guess, as we're recording this in ... We both have young sons, and I don't know if you're like me, but I lose the track of time pretty easily.<br /> <br /> "We're covering the rideshare industry, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what's going on in the industry."<br /> <br /> Harry Campbell: Well, I think I know today's date because it's also my son's nine-month birthday, so I do remember today's date, but every day here is summer here in SoCal, so ...<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Right? Right? Exactly. But I reached out to Harry a couple months ago. We're sitting here in mid-October, and we finally had the opportunity to connect Harry. Well, Harry, why don't you describe yourself, what you do as The Rideshare Guy.<br /> <br /> Harry Campbell: Sure. So, yeah, that is my nickname. Basically, I run a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, book, and course for Uber and Lyft drivers, so creating lots of various content on all the different platforms, basically helping anyone interested in working for Uber and Lyft, delivering food for Postmates, DoorDash, charging scooters for Bird.<br /> On-Demand [Economny] Focused Media<br /> We really cover a lot of the on-demand economy, but it's a media business focused on the workers, so anyone working on these platforms day-to-day basis, and we're covering the rideshare industry.<br /> <br /> Specifically, everything from how to sign up and get started with Uber and Lyft to what's going on in the industry, and how some of these trends and mobility are changing things, so pretty wide-ranging, but it always kind of circles back to that perspective of the worker.<br /> <br /> Tom Smith: Yeah, and so our universes intersect. I mean, iDriveSoCal, all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, we cover a lot, right?<br /> <br /> We'll cover the electric aircraft, electric scooter startup company out of Silicon Beach or the LA... Tom Smith clean 50:52
Code AutoMobility LA – The LA Auto Show’s Hackathon https://www.idrivesocal.com/la-auto-show-hackathon/ Wed, 07 Nov 2018 18:34:38 +0000 http://ro.idrivesocal.com/?p=4017 The LA Auto Show always delivers something for everyone and lately that's been expanding to even include the Silicon Beach set with the addition of an annual hackathon! It's being called Code AutoMobility LA and it's an automotive and technology industry facing convergence event that's ultimately meant to make all of our driving lives easier in Southern California and beyond. I grabbed some time from Alexis Evans, Director of Communications for the LA Auto Show and AutoMobility LA to hear more about the hackathon event, how it might one-day help transform our precious windshield-time and what's at stake for the winning hackers. ***Transcription*** Recording date – November 2, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA Calling All Mobility / Automotive Hackers Alexis Evans: We're not calling it a hackathon this year. We're calling it Code AutoMobility LA. Anyone can participate... the theme this year is... getting drivers from point A to point B safely, as well as coming up with seamless, in-car payment solutions. Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the podcast about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here and today I am at the LA Auto Show headquarters, the office, downtown Los Angeles as we prep for the LA Auto Show and joining me is Alexis Evans, who's the Director of Communications for the LA Auto Show as well AutoMobility LA, which is kind of like the industry shindig that happens before, it's all before right? Alexis Evans: It's all before. So it's four days before the consumer show. It's B2B show. It's also formerly known as our press and trade days. So this is when we have our conference on Tuesday, and then Wednesday and Thursday is when we have the vehicle debuts, so think sheets coming off of cars, really cool spectacles for all major OEMs. Tom Smith: And if you want to get invited to that kind of thing, you just start up some kind of iDriveSoCal like Podcast and you can go. Tom Smith: Alexis thank you for joining me. Alexis Evans: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. Tom Smith: So, and the focus of this podcast is going to be not only the AutoMobility LA portion, but a piece of that, and that is the all exciting hackathon. You guys have done this for how many years now? Alexis Evans: We've done this for a couple of years. We actually, it's kind of an interesting story, because we kind of got pulled into being a part of a hackathon a couple of years ago, I want to say in 2014. Automotive Hackathon Beginnings Ford was actually one of the first automakers to do some type of automotive type hackathon. They started at CTIA. Tom Smith: CTIA. Alexis Evans: Which is its kind of like a tech conference that takes place every year. I believe it's in Vegas. I would have to double check that. Tom Smith: Okay. So Ford started the hackathon at another conference, called CTIA? Alexis Evans: Correct. And then they did another one that they took that same hackathon and they brought it to connect a car expo, which is now known as AutoMobility LA. Tom Smith: Got it. Alexis Evans: So, from there, that's kind of how we got tied into it. And then we would have hackathons at Connected Car Expo, AutoMobility LA, through Mojio, Mojio would have their hackathon on our site. Tom Smith: Mojio. Alexis Evans: It's another- Tom Smith: Is that an acronym as well? Alexis Evans: No. Tom Smith: How do you spell Mojio? Alexis Evans: M-O-J-I-O. Tom Smith: Okay. Alexis Evans: So, they would hold their hack event at Connect A Car Expo, and then we obviously changed, we rebranded ourselves to AutoMobility LA. And then last year was the first year where we actually hosted our own hackathon. Tom Smith: Okay! Alexis Evans: So, we put everything together. It was presented by Honda Innovations, and it ended up being a huge success. We had a little over 100 people, hackers who came in and last year's theme was about a driving experience and trying to make things a little bit easier when you'r... The LA Auto Show always delivers something for everyone and lately that’s been expanding to even include the Silicon Beach set with the addition of an annual hackathon!

It’s being called Code AutoMobility LA and it’s an automotive and technology industry facing convergence event that’s ultimately meant to make all of our driving lives easier in Southern California and beyond.

I grabbed some time from Alexis Evans, Director of Communications for the LA Auto Show and AutoMobility LA to hear more about the hackathon event, how it might one-day help transform our precious windshield-time and what’s at stake for the winning hackers.

Tom Smith of iDriveSoCal sits across a conference table from Alexis Evans of Code AutoMobility LA & the LA Auto Show

***Transcription***

Recording date – November 2, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA

Calling All Mobility / Automotive Hackers

Alexis Evans: We’re not calling it a hackathon this year. We’re calling it Code AutoMobility LA. Anyone can participate… the theme this year is… getting drivers from point A to point B safely, as well as coming up with seamless, in-car payment solutions.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal the podcast about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California.

Tom Smith here and today I am at the LA Auto Show headquarters, the office, downtown Los Angeles as we prep for the LA Auto Show and joining me is Alexis Evans, who’s the Director of Communications for the LA Auto Show as well AutoMobility LA, which is kind of like the industry shindig that happens before, it’s all before right?

Artsy LA Auto Shot Entrance sign

Alexis Evans: It’s all before. So it’s four days before the consumer show. It’s B2B show. It’s also formerly known as our press and trade days. So this is when we have our conference on Tuesday, and then Wednesday and Thursday is when we have the vehicle debuts, so think sheets coming off of cars, really cool spectacles for all major OEMs.

Tom Smith: And if you want to get invited to that kind of thing, you just start up some kind of iDriveSoCal like Podcast and you can go.

Tom Smith: Alexis thank you for joining me.

Alexis Evans: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Tom Smith: So, and the focus of this podcast is going to be not only the AutoMobility LA portion, but a piece of that, and that is the all exciting hackathon. You guys have done this for how many years now?

Alexis Evans: We’ve done this for a couple of years. We actually, it’s kind of an interesting story, because we kind of got pulled into being a part of a hackathon a couple of years ago, I want to say in 2014.

Automotive Hackathon Beginnings

Ford was actually one of the first automakers to do some type of automotive type hackathon. They started at CTIA.

Tom Smith: CTIA.

Alexis Evans: Which is its kind of like a tech conference that takes place every year. I believe it’s in Vegas. I would have to double check that.

Tom Smith: Okay. So Ford started the hackathon at another conference, called CTIA?

Alexis Evans: Correct. And then they did another one that they took that same hackathon and they brought it to connect a car expo, which is now known as AutoMobility LA.

Tom Smith: Got it.

Alexis Evans: So, from there, that’s kind of how we got tied into it. And then we would have hackathons at Connected Car Expo, AutoMobility LA, through Mojio, Mojio would have their hackathon on our site.

Tom Smith: Mojio.

Alexis Evans: It’s another-

Tom Smith: Is that an acronym as well?

Alexis Evans, Communications Director for the LA Auto Show & AutoMobility LA is interviewed by Tom Smith

Alexis Evans: No.

Tom Smith: How do you spell Mojio?

Alexis Evans: M-O-J-I-O.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Alexis Evans: So, they would hold their hack event at Connect A Car Expo, and then we obviously changed, we rebranded ourselves to AutoMobility LA. And then last year was the first year where we actually hosted our own hackathon.

Tom Smith: Okay!

Alexis Evans: So, we put everything together. It was presented by Honda Innovations, and it ended up being a huge success. We had a little over 100 people, hackers who came in and last year’s theme was about a driving experience and trying to make things a little bit easier when you’re trying to get to a major sporting event, so you can think about-

Tom Smith: Wow that was pretty specific, huh? Alright.

Vehicle Technology & Major Events

Alexis Evans: Well I mean you think about major events like FIFA, like assume that they had decided to come to LA or the Olympics, that has been a huge topic.

Tom Smith: Or the World Series here that the Dodgers just-

Alexis Evans: Or the World Series that the Dodgers sadly blew, much to my husband’s demise. He’s not exactly happy about that still, and he’s still recovering. But yeah, huge sporting events. How can you get from point A to point B safely?

Alexis Evans: Last year’s winner was a company, a startup I believe, by the name of Tribal Scale and what they developed was a safe driver experience, and it was an application that they developed where the city of Los Angeles could pretty much predict a collision and in 30 minutes somebody would be there to help out, whether it’s-

Tom Smith: Predict a collision based on traffic patterns?

“…they took that same hackathon and brought it to connect a car expo, which is now AutoMobility LA.”

Alexis Evans: Correct.

Tom Smith: So, traffic’s getting so congested, this is a spot, or this is a-

Alexis Evans: This could have the potential of causing an issue for the guy in Honda and the guy in the Mercedes in front of him. You know this could be a potential-

Tom Smith: Did that become a thing?

Alexis Evans: I don’t know actually.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Alexis Evans: But they, it was the idea and we all know, if you’ve been to LA, you know that there is an unbelievable amount of traffic.

Tom Smith: A great time getting around. Awesome time. Love it.

Alexis Evans: It’s super simple to get from point A to point B.

Tom Smith: No problem.

Alexis Evans: Not a problem at all.

There’s No Traffic in LA – Right!

Tom Smith: Get in your car and don’t plan on getting frustrated at all, because it’s just going to be smooth sailing.

Alexis Evans: You’ll be there in 20 minutes or less. Everything in LA takes 20 minutes. That’s the story I’m going to tell for the rest of my life.

Tom Smith: 20 minutes to get to your car.

Alexis Evans: Exactly. exactly. So it was a really, it’s a very, very cool idea, and I think that was why they were the winners. The prizes were, the grand prize winner was $7,500. So they got a check. There were some pictures taken, and that was it.

Tom Smith: Okay.

Alexis Evans: This year, it’s gotten a lot bigger. We have huge players that wanted to be a part of this event. And we’re extremely pleased about it. So this year’s sponsors are Visa and General Motors.

Tom Smith: Alright. A couple of small companies there.

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