Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beat the Heat!

Here are some tips for keeping your car cool(er) during the Arizona summer, in order from least expensive to some more pricey options for the desperate.

Here's a freebie for everyone: park in the shade. Temperatures are 20 degrees cooler in the shade. Don't believe me? Try it. It might be worth walking the extra 50 yards.

In addition, when you start up your car, don't engage the "Recirculate" button on your A/C. Instead, take in the outside air and roll down your windows a few inches. In so doing, your car actually pushes the hot air out as it attempts to pressurize within the cabin. After a few minutes (or as soon as your A/C begins to blow cold), switch from outside air circulated air. Follow this advice from a master technician and merge onto the expressway to colder air.

One of the least expensive buys out there is a $15-$25 windshield shade. You can find these nearly anywhere, and they help prevent you from burning your hands on the steering wheel or dash controls.

Window tinting, as nearly everyone knows, is a somewhat inexpensive way to keep your car a little cooler. Here at LeSueur's, we can help you get your windows tinted at wholesale prices. We tint nearly all of our cars with limo tint in back, and the Arizona legal limit in front.

Another option is installing a remote start in your vehicle. By so doing, you give yourself the option of starting the car before you get in, allowing the A/C some time to cool down. Often times, they have a significant range, allowing you to turn on your car from the checkout line in the grocery store. At $400-$500, it's not the cheapest option out there, but many people swear they won't ever drive a car without it. We can help you get one installed, if that's something you seek.

And for the desperate in search of that oasis in the desert, sell your dark colored car and buy a white one. After having a little fun with a laser thermometer, I was able to record some interesting data.

It really is about 20 degrees cooler in the shade. White cars are not nearly as hot as black cars.

I tagged a black colored car in direct sunlight, and found it to be more than 170 degrees Fahrenheit, which is enough to cook a steak to well done status (I prefer medium, personally). The white car right next to it, in the same direct sunlight, was only 125 degrees. That's a difference of more than 45 degrees!

On the inside of the car we find a similar story unfolding. By measuring the headliner inside the car (the fabric above your head), there was a noticable 10 degree difference when comparing a black and white car. The benefit to having a white car? Personally, I think it looks better, and second, it cools down faster than a darker car.

Whatever you decide to do, take action NOW! It's too hot in Arizona not to try one of these methods. Save yourself the sweaty clothes, the heat wave headaches, and utter frustration. Don't wait until desperation sets in; get out there and do your part to stand up to triple digit temperatures. Tell them, "Keep the heat, I don't want it."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cash for Clunkers?

Here's the deal with the Cash for Clunkers stimulus that the government has passed.

First off, it begins today. It serves as motivation for Americans to get rid of their old, gas-guzzling cars. The motivation? Anywhere from $3,500 to $4,500 in government (aka your) money, taken off the immediate price of the New vehicle. In a nutshell, your "Clunker" must be rated at 18 mpg (miles per gallon) or less, and the new car you purchase has to achieve at least 22 mpg. Meet that requirement and you're eligible for $3,500 bucks. If your new vehicle surpasses the old car's mpg by 10 or more, congrats, you get $4,500. Different but similar rules apply for SUVs and trucks.

But is it really as good as it sounds? Sure, the money is there, ready for the taking. $1,000,000,000 of it (that's a Billion). But does that really make it worth it to you? Not necessarily. Think of it as Uncle Sam sending 250,000 referrals to bankrupt dealers across the country, and paying for it. But we know who really pays for it.

When you "trade" your clunker in the "Cash for Clunkers" deal, you are not getting a trade-in value for your car. Instead, your car is to be scrapped, never to see asphalt again. Your trade, if the dealer is honest enough to do so, will earn you a few hundred bucks for the scrap metal. When you trade in a car, you save money on the tax value for the said car, but in "Cash for Clunkers," you miss out on that opportunity.

New cars depreciate exponentially within the first couple of years, and depending on the car, that depreciation will be much more than the $3,500-$4,500 that you "saved" when rolling off the lot.

Instead of being allured by promises of "free money," be smart and save even more money by purchasing a pre-loved vehicle. Save yourself the stress-induced headache as well by coming to LeSueur's.

"New car standards, used car prices," is our standard. Not only are you saving thousands on a used car, you're also getting a real trade-in value for your clunker (but we won't offend you, so we'll call it a car, instead). On top of saving more than $4,500 on a used vs new, and getting money for your car (plus the tax you save on the trade), you also save by paying the lowest tax in the valley, and fees so small your wallet won't scream at you from beneath your bum.

But, in the end, it's your clunker (I meant car, sorry). If you can send that poor car off to be flattened, and still sleep at night, more power to you. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mini Cooper Pop Culture

Since the release of the Italian Job remake in 2003, Mini Coopers have grown in popularity in a new niche of the car world. Highly customizable, Mini Coopers are about as diverse as Harry Potter's every flavor jelly bean: you never get the same one twice.

The Mini Cooper is like In-and-Out Burger: there are few menu choices, but veterans know that behind the scene, there's a secret menu. There are only the Cooper S and "non-S," and convertible versions of both. But ask about color combos, racing stripes, interior trims and colors, and accessories, and you'll feel like you're drinking from a fire hose.

There are 10 Million possible configurations, according to Mini. And that's just what you can get from the manufacturer. The Mini Cooper is one of the smallest cars out there, and appropriately achieves phenomenal gas mileage, 37 on the highway. The Mini Cooper S is the turbocharged menace of the family. Rated at 180 horsepower (for a small 4 cylinder, that's a lot), the S feels like a go-cart on steroids. It's an absolute kick to drive.

If customization is your thing, forget the Scions. Sure, they're cheaper, but....well, they're cheaper. Scions are cool and all, but they don't come close to the Mini Cooper when it comes to expression of self. If you're really looking to stand out, wanting to be noticed, craving some serious personality projection, then the Mini Cooper is for you. There is nothing like it out on the road today.

If you haven't experienced the Mini Cooper, swing on by LeSueur's. We have over two dozen of the things lined up, looking shiny, begging for a driver as unique as they are. You won't find a selection as large as ours anywhere else....ok, except maybe at a Mini Cooper Convention.
They're cute as a button, and bad to the bone at the same time.
Ironic? Yes.
Impossible? Nay.
Chances are, we have your flavor. Unless of course you like the booger or vomit flavored ones....yuck.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It's Convertible Season!

Get a tan while driving, what an exciting prospect!

Whether or not the weather is good, your kids are moving on to college this year, or you just want to get out and enjoy the thrill of a roadster, we've got what you're looking for.
Here at LeSueur's we have a diverse and exciting inventory, and we pick and choose our cars carefully to get the best cars at very good prices. Whatever you're looking for, chances are we probably have it.
Starting off the top-down lineup is a 2007 Volkswagen Eos. Not necessarily a Roadster, the Eos is a little more refined and spacious. It shares many components with it's cousin the Audi A4, including the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and the groundbreaking DSG (dual clutch) transmission. The engine shifts so smoothly that you hardly notice it, and neither will your three friends who are along for the ride.

When conditions don't allow for the top down, the car transforms with the push of a button and produces a hardtop seemingly from nowhere. If you don't want the top down but prefer extra sunlight, the large panoramic moonroof is there for you when you need it.

Next up is our 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5. Famous for it's "zoom-zoom" capabilities, the Miata is a favorite among car testers and reviewers. Like a true roadster, the Miata is rear wheel driven, powered by a peppy 2.0 liter four cylinder engine. It's go-cart like handling is possibly the best characteristic of this loveable car. If you love twisty roads and carefree pleasure, this is the car for you!

But if power is your thing, consider the 2006 Chrysler Crossfire. Don't let the manufacturer fool you; this bad boy is a Mercedes wolf hiding in sheep's clothing. Its 3.2 liter V6 puts out 215 horsepower and nearly 240 ft/lbs of torque, enough to get those rear tires nice and smoky.

Being built hand in hand by Chrysler and Mercedes, the Crossfire (funny, almost sounded like cross-bred in my head) is a fun and exciting roadster sure to put a grin on anyone's face. At speed, a spoiler rises from the rear end of the car, giving the car additional downforce which sticks it to the road and improves handling. In a straight line, the Crossfire will outrun both the Eos and the Miata, but if pure performance is what you're after, check out our last contender: the 2006 Honda S2000.

The S2000 is the only car of the bunch that comes with one transmission option: the 6-speed manual. This car is for the purest, the thrill seeker, the wild one. You feel it in the first push of the ignition button, colored Red for good reason, as if asking "Are you sure you want to push me?" It's 2.2 liter four cylinder engine produces the highest output per liter than any production car. At nearly 240 horsepower, giddy-up is an understatement.
Though tight on interior space, the S2000 is excessive in it's performance. It has been heralded as one of the best performing roadsters of all time, acheiving remarkable balance and stunning track times that few in it's class come close to matching. The engine revs to an astronomical 9000 rpm, singing sweet exhaust notes more enthralling than the Sirens in ancient Greek mythology. Can track ready and street legal really coexist? You bet. You getting excited yet? You should be.
The S2000 launched in the year 2000 and has been relatively unchanged since then, proving that perfection cannot be perfected. With 2009 being the last year of production, you should grab yours before it's too late. With a price tag of $35,000 new, you might hesitate. Let someone else pay for the depreciation: buy used.
All of these fantastic cars have low miles and manufacturer warranties to accompany them. If your desire is to experience them, then get over here before they're gone. Like I said, it's convertible season! Time to get that golden brown tan from your aviator sunglasses as you cruise around. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Meet the Gang...er, Staff.

Well, by now I'm sure you've figured out that we're family owned, run, and supervised. Here's a little more information about us:

Warren LeSueur started the business back in 1975, and has been in the same place since then. Having restored over 5000 classic Volkswagen Beetles, Warren knows his Volkswagens well. He is always out buying cars, and leaves the lot in the hands of his sons. When he's not working, Warren enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and seeking after anything good or praiseworthy.

Leading the team at the lot, we have three LeSueur sons, Kris, James, and Steven.

Kris, the eldest, is very active in running, swimming, and biking. He participates in all kinds of triathlons and races, and consistantly finishes in the top of his age group. At the lot, Kris is the "go-to" guy as well as the one who is usually buying cars at local sales. He is married with two young daughters.

James, also known as Jimmy, takes care of nearly everything "behind the scenes." He is instrumental in keeping the business running. James is also extremely knowledgable on obtaining financing for customers, as well as being familiar with the ins and outs of registering and titling a vehicle. Recently married, James enjoys spending time with his wife and two fast-growing puppies.

Steven is in charge of the inventory and is responsible for most of the sales here at LeSueur's. He keeps his eye on market prices and everyone else's prices in order to assure some of the most inexpensive cars in the valley. Steven has nearly the entire inventory memorized, from stock number to mileage. He speaks a really well known language in these parts called Visayan! It is a Filipino dialect in the Visayas island! When he's not selling, Steven is raising his two young kids with his wife and enjoys paying for doctor visits when his children have ear infections....no, not really.

Also working in the sales office are Ryan LeSueur (nephew of the owner), David Tracy, and Ryan Biggs. Ryan LeSueur helps Steven keep the inventory updated and detailed and is an experienced sales consultant. He loves to learn and speak languages (Spanish, Portuguese, and currently sign language), play soccer, and skateboard.

David Tracy probably knows everything there is to know about Volkswagens and Audis, having personally owned more than 30 VWs (he's only 29) in his lifetime. His current restoration project is the yellow 1973 Karmann Ghia which is the very same car that brought him home from the hospital the day he was born. He just picked up a classic 1966 Porsche that he plans to fully restore as well. He has been working for and with LeSueur Car Co for several years, and has been involved in many aspects of the car business, from sales and service to aftermarket modification.

Rounding off the sales consultants is Ryan Biggs (a.k.a. me) as the newcomer. Though I've known the family for 13 years, I've only been at LeSueur's for about 5 months. When I'm not working I write short stories and articles, speak Portuguese, enjoy spending time with my wife, and day-dream about my future Porsche which will be funded by hopeful best-selling novels in the works.

In addition to our office staff, LeSueur's boasts an expertly run service department with some of the best technicians in Arizona. Doug, Jack, and Rob are each experts in their fields with dozens of years of combined professional experience. Lavery and Sean are both great service writers and excellent mechanics. We also have a crew of great lot attendants who actively detail, organize, and maintain our inventory of nearly 300 cars.

Now that you've met us, we'd love to meet you! Come and get to know the family, and make yourself at home! We're not like the other guys... just ask any of our thousands of pleased customers. It's definitely a new flavor of car buying. Give us a call! 480-968-6611

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What you may not know about the Car Market

Talk about the New Car market to anyone and they know that New Car sales are down, and have been for more than six months. New dealers are going out of business left and right, and even car makers are dropping like flies.

But what about used cars? Often times people assume that we're in the same boat as the new guys. Actually, we're in Noah's Arc, and they're....well, they're not really in any boat at all. The truth is that auctions have reported a steady increase in used car wholesale values for the last six months. But wait, prices going up? That's bad, right? Rest assured, it's not because dealers are trying to gouge you on used car prices; it's actually a simple case of supply and its sidekick known as demand.

According to New Car dealers, nearly 2/3 of all new cars sold have a trade-in attached to the deal. With new car sales plummeting, there is a dramatic reduction of trades entering the used car market. As the supply decreases, dealers must fight more fiercely to purchase these cars at auctions. Remember when the Nintendo Wii came out? There were not enough Wii's to go around, not even close, and some people were desperate enough to pay twice what they were worth on sites like eBay and Craigslist. It's a similar situation here, and at times, dealers are buying cars for MUCH more than normal wholesale prices.

During times like these it becomes difficult to purchase cars at auction and still maintain prices low enough to compete or beat the competition. While other dealers out there are paying too much and selling for WAY too much, we have kept prices as they were more than 6 months ago. We're not rising with the tide; we're firmly anchored at where we believe prices should be, not where other dealers are pricing their cars.

So, if you think that the Used Car market is suffering, think again. Our sales are actually up from last year. Why? Well, we refuse to raise our prices like everyone else. We never liked the "cool crowd" anyway. Why would we want to be like them? So if you're looking for deals, look no further. We have some of the lowest prices in the Valley, and we sell many cars to buyers from other states (I guess they can see the good prices, even from far away). Our fees are lower, our tax is the lowest (only 6.3%, compared to 8.1%+), and we're the most laid-back, friendly environment you've ever experienced. Come try this new flavor for yourself....you'll be glad you did. Thanks for reading!
http://www.usedvwaudi.com/, check it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Closed Sundays.....what? Why?

Why are we closed on Sundays? Well, believe it or not, we're human, and we need time off, too.

I remember telling a customer we were closed on Sundays, and with a smile he said, "Just you guys and Chik-fil-A." It made me laugh. He was right; there aren't many places out there that close on Sunday. For most places, its the busiest day of the week, and the third and final day to the all-important weekend.

For us, we like to follow the small-town rule of thumb. Visit just about any smallish town in America and you'll find that everything but the gas station is closed on Sunday. In the olden days it used to be a family day, and since we're all family here, we need our day too....away from each other. Haha, only kidding.

We enjoy family values here, and one of those is our conviction that Sunday is a day for families, not for working. But don't worry, we'll be back bright and early on Monday morning. I know, we missed you too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Big Guys and Little Guys

Having worked at both "Big" dealers and "Little" dealers, I like to think that I'm informed enough to write an article on both of them. I've also purchased my own personal vehicles from large and small dealers, and I'd like to dive into my related experiences. (Photo is for humor only)

First off, I ask that we give the white-shirt-and-tie wearing salesmen a break. Their hungry stares, pushy attitudes, and abilities to stick to you like velcro are mostly products of the sales managers and other people in high places. Sales managers will put on a show, making it seem like you can make tons of money and live a great life, only to turn against you once you're hired, when they demand one thing from you, and one thing only: numbers. All they want to see are the numbers which make it to the whiteboard, the cars sold. They don't accept excuses, and they want you to push the customer into a sale any way you can, which often frustrates Mr. Customer. If you can't get them to commit, you "turn" the customer to the "turn guy" and have them bombard the customer anew. The salesperson will do this out of fear; fear that his boss will yell at him, tell him he's no good, or even threaten to send him home. If a salesman goes home, there's no money to be made.

The problem is, Mr. Sales Manager, that people are tired of being treated like they're stupid. The average Joe is likely to be just as educated about cars as his salesman. Sales tactics that these Managers were taught back in the 1970s don't really work nowadays. With Al Gore's invention called the Internet, people are now extremely well informed, and frankly, people just don't like being herded around like cattle.

It's thanks to these "Big" dealers that we "Little" guys get a bad rap. Thankfully, LeSueuer's rescued me after two weeks of horrible servitude at a large Japanese car dealer. During my stay there I met a number of good, genuinely nice people. In hindsight, these people were the newer salesman who hadn't been selling long. You could tell they were new to the industry like I was. I watched as they struggled to be friendly yet forceful into making a sale, and I'm sure I looked just as awkward, chasing Mr. Customer and doing everything short of begging at his feet. The tactics they taught us were splitting us down the middle; common sense told us to be nice, but our boss was beating up common sense on the playground after school.

I understand what buyer's remorse feels like. It's one of the worst feelings in the world when you find out that you've paid too much for something, or you come to learn the fine print, nitty gritty details weeks or even months later. My wife and I bought her car from one of the big guys, and boy did that leave a bad taste in our mouths. We were suckered in by the "Certified Used" warranty and ended up being pressured to pay too much. I would never recommend that dealer to anyone, nor would I ever return, even for service or warranty work.
When I bought my car from LeSueur's (before I started working here), it was the easiest and most pain-free experience I've ever had. I love my car, I enjoyed the experience, and I'll recommend everyone to come here. And when I'm done working at LeSueur's, I don't think I can muster up the courage to buy anywhere else.

I was so relieved to be able to switch to a place that appeared to be allergic to pressured sales. The great thing about LeSueur's is that people can feel at ease, and walk and explore at their leisure. We just barely sold a customer his first car, even though he'd been coming here every month for the past 3 years, having driven one or two cars on each visit. Most people tend to give us funny looks as we approach in our t-shirts, khaki shorts, and sandals, trying to decipher whether or not we even work there. Our place isn't much to look at, but it sure beats being hunted by a pack of piranhas and pulled into the sales office with forces comparable to black holes.

Compared to the "Big" dealers, we're actually not small at all. The Japanese dealer that I worked at had an inventory of 500-600 cars, which is quite large. Here at LeSueur's we strive to keep an inventory of 300 cars, and for a used car lot which feels small and down to Earth, that's a BIG used car dealership. Just yesterday I stopped by an American new car dealer and the salesman was shocked to hear we had such a large inventory, especially since his was only around 200 or so. He actually asked for my card after talking about our place for a few minutes.
Fact is, we probably have the largest inventory at one location within the Phoenix Valley, and possibly, the state of Arizona. Another fact: our tax rate is one of the lowest in the Valley! Oh, and another fact: unless you've been here before, you've never experienced car-buying the way it was meant to be experienced. The overwhelming majority of our customers tell us, after visiting dozens of other dealers, that their experience with LeSueur's was "A lot better," when compared to previous experiences. But don't just take my word, check out our perfect rating on Dealerrater by following this link http://www.dealerrater.com/dealer/LeSueur-Car-Company-review-8372/.

We may look and feel small, but truth is we're one of the biggest used car lots in the state. Give us a chance, check us out, and don't run away at first glance, it gets better... trust me. There are no sales managers behind mirrored glass, and no pushy salespeople; just friendly, young men who are as laid back and genuine as they look. There's really no comparison. Come try this new flavor of car buying for yourself.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BMW 335i, the Ultimate Driver's Toy

Currently, LeSueur's has a collection of six BMW 335i coupes and sedans. The BMW 3-series is envied and beloved by many, and is often the mark that other car manufactures attempt to match. Within that series, the 335i is the top of the line, and swats the opposition aside like the gnats they are.
Powering this beautiful bimmer is a new 3.0 liter, twin-turbocharged six cylinder engine, which produces 300 horsepower and a staggering 300 ft/lb of hefty torque. It has the subtleness of a refined daily driver, and raw raging power sufficient enough to throw even the most stubborn cowboy off its back. Truly, the 335i is in a league of its own, and if you can pay the $50,000 for a new one, it's arguably the best car for the money. However, you need not worry about that astronomical new car price when you come to LeSueur Car Company. We have three sedans and three coupes, priced from $29,895 to $36,995. These prices are a fraction of not only retail values, but thousands below wholesale values!
Two of our coupes are fitted with the sickly 6-speed transmission, allowing enthusiasts to find pure elightenment and become one with the car. Some have navigation systems (for those of you who are prone to be lost forever, fear no more!), and all have both Premium and Sport Packages, which include things like upgraded wheels and sport seats with the famous thigh-supports. Give us a call or stop by for a visit; you won't be disappointed.