Archives For Cars

If you haven’t heard Nissan just released the all-new, totally redesigned 2016 Maxima. With a bold exterior and premium interior, the new Maxima is certainly a thing of beauty.

We received our first batch of the Maxima’s last week, and I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas. But after spending ample time getting to know the new Maxima inside and out, I got to thinking…

2016 Nissan Maxima at LaFontaine Nissan

The 2016 Nissan Maxima has arrived at LaFontaine Nissan

Infiniti is the luxury brand for Nissan, so for the longest time whenever people have been looking for high-end, top-quality vehicles, Infiniti has been one of the names that gets brought up; and rightly so! From the Q40 to the QX80, there is nothing but luxury and style pulsing from these cars.

But let me ask you a question.

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Not too long ago I suggested a few Quirky But Beautiful Road Trip Destinations that you and your family might enjoy now that summer vacation season is officially underway.

Before you get too excited about mapping out your next road trip destination, let’s bring you back to reality for a few minutes.

The Zen of Road Trips: 5 Ways to Survive the Drive

Road Trips can either be amazing journeys that you remember forever or they can be the thing of nightmares that you’ll never forget (as much as you may want to).

Personally I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum, and I can tell you if you want to have a Zen-like vacation that’s free of stress it all comes down to preparing ahead of time.

So whether you’re hitting the road to visit your family or you’re diving off to experience something new – follow along with these 5 Ways to Survive the Drive and the odds of you having an anxiety free vacation are in your favor.

1. Prepare Your Vehicle Before You Hit The Road

OK, first things first. Your mind and body won’t be in a peaceful state if your vehicle isn’t prepared to handle the rigors of a long road trip.

Before you set out on your journey, make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Check your oil, tire pressure and all the vital fluids. If anything needs to be tuned up or fixed, schedule a service appointment before you head out.

And remember (and I speak from experience on this one), if the check engine light comes on during your trek, stop immediately and get it checked out (R.I.P. ’86 Chrysler Lebaron).

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On May 1, 1980 Mike LaFontaine Sr. purchased his very first car dealership. Exactly 35 years later I’m excited to introduce you to our newest family member, LaFontaine Ford of Frankenmuth.

On a beautiful spring morning in Frankenmuth, the LaFontaine and Galsterer families completed the sale of Galsterer Ford to the LaFontaine Automotive Group.

Introducing LaFontaine Ford of Frankenmuth

For nearly 100 years, the Galsterer Ford dealership has been a very large part of the Frankenmuth community. Taking care of their customers, employees and being good stewards in town was always important to the three-generation family.

As they began to ponder retirement and with none of their next generation interested in the car business, brothers Mike and Robert Galsterer searched for the proper partners as they prepared to turn over the family car dealership to new owners.

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Today I am pleased to announce that the Dwyer and LaFontaine families recently came together to officially transfer ownership of Dwyer and Sons Volvo to the LaFontaine Automotive Group.

Because of our desire to provide our guests with the intimate Volvo experience they deserve, we’re relocating our Volvo dealership from it’s current location in Commerce to Farmington Hills – just a few miles down the road.

Volvo Cars of Farmington Hills

Officially the dealership will be known as Volvo Cars of Farmington Hills (located at 24730 Haggerty Road) and will be open for sales and service on April 1, 2015.

Frank Dwyer will be personally involved in the daily operations of Volvo Cars of Farmington Hills, and I know he’s looking forward to carrying on the Dwyer tradition of customer service at our new location.

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The news it out, the jig is up, we finally found it. The Renegade, they had it made, and now you can buy it!

That’s right ladies and gentleman (and Styx fans all over the world), the 2015 Jeep Renegade has arrived at LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Saline, Michigan.

2015 Jeep Renegade at LaFontaine Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

We caught our first real life glimpse of the new Renegade at the North American International Auto Show and it certainly made a lasting impression.

With best in class 4×4, 9 speed automatic transmission, UConnect technology and over 30 miles per gallon – the Renegade is shaping up to be one of the best compact SUV’s available on the market today.

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Even though my vintage magazine collection is practically worthless in terms of monetary value, it is rich in content to post here on FamilyDealBlog.com (silver lining anyone?).

The past two months I’ve truly enjoyed flipping through these magazines and finding little nuggets of automotive advertising to share with you.

1983-Honda-Prelude-Ad-Medium

If you’ve liked what you’ve seen so far, you’re going to love knowing that I have stockpiled enough vintage ads to publish a new piece each week for the next 12 years.

Yea, twelve years!

Because the weather is starting to warm up here in Michigan, it truly feels like a prelude to spring. In the morning you can hear the birds chirp, the snow is starting to melt, and ever since we’ve sprung forward it’s staying light out later.

It’s because of this prelude that in only makes sense to share with you this vintage advertisement for the 1983 Honda Prelude.

Let’s check it out…

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When flipping though my vintage magazine collection looking for an interesting piece of automotive advertising to share with you, I stumbled across this gem of an ad for the 1978 Dodge Magnum XE.

It’s not the look of the ad that caught my attention, it’s the totally outrageous story that’s being told.

1978 Doge Magnum XE Vintage Magazine Ad

A well dressed man in a tuxedo approaches a beautiful woman at a roulette table (in what I can only assume is a swanky casino) and opens with “Ever been….car-napped my dear?”

Say what!? Seriously, Dodge?

If you were to play out this opening scene today, this guy would probably get maced, punched and promptly escorted off the casino’s premises with him asking himself aloud, “was it something I said?”.

But apparently in 1978, the appropriate way for this young lady to react is to say “Car-napped? How intriguing!” /facepalm

So now that I’ve set the scene, see how the story ends in this riveting piece of advertising, straight out of Mad Men, for the ’78 Dodge Magnum XE.

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A vehicle is usually the second most expensive item we’ll ever purchase in our lifetime. While getting The Family Deal on a new car is great, sometimes we tend to forget about the other costs associated with owning a new vehicle.

Things like financing, insurance, gas, state fees, regular maintenance and vehicle depreciation add to the overall cost of ownership of a vehicle.

And if you’re like me and not a fan of the math, the vast amount of numbers to crunch can become overwhelming.

That’s where Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Awards come in to play. KBB has done all the legwork and calculated the cost-to-own on all vehicle models for 2015.

Now that the hard work is done, you can take your time and browse the list of vehicles with the lowest 5-year cost of ownership listed below.

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The LaFontaine Automotive Group is showing customers its environmental credentials thanks to a new “Green Dealer Recognition” program through General Motors.

LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC and LaFontaine Chevrolet

According to the automaker, both LaFontaine Chevrolet and LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC have a proven track record in areas such as energy reduction, renewable energy use, water conservation efforts, recycling and community outreach.

Visit either dealership and you’ll find several environmental features on site, including:

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Each and every week I flip through my vintage magazine collection and search for interesting bits of automotive advertising to share with you. This time around I landed on this vintage ad for the 1974 Toyota Celica GT.

At first glance you might mistake the Celica for a Mustang from that era – long hood, short deck, 2+2 seating, sporty look and even the use of animal themed badge (a swan).

1974 Toyota Celica Vintage Magazine Ad

When you take a look at the ad copy you’ll see that Toyota’s position in the market isn’t all that different today than it was 40+ years ago.

Toyota has always been about maximizing your dollar so you get the most value possible.

So what do you get in a ’74 Celica GT with an MSRP of $3,569? Check out the ad below to find out!

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