Archives For Company Awards

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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On behalf of the LaFontaine Automotive Group, I’m thrilled to let you know that we’ve just been named one of the Nation’s Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies.

This award celebrates organizations that inspire and produce green technology to impact the industry and environment.

LaFontaine-National-Best-Brightest-Sustainable-Company-WinterWith LEED Certified facilities at LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMCLaFontaine Chevrolet and LaFontaine Volkswagen, the LaFontaine Automotive Group is a national leader when it comes to building “green” dealerships.

We’re honored to be included with fellow winners who are making their businesses more sustainable, the lives of their employees better and the community, locally and globally, more responsible as a whole.

The official press release from the National Association for Business Resources and this year’s winner are below.

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On behalf of the entire team at LaFontaine Volkswagen, I’m excited to let you know that the 2015 Volkswagen Golf was recently named the Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Motor Trend, which came in to being in 1949, was the first publication to ever recognize a specific vehicle as a Car of the Year.

Meet the team at LaFontaine Volkswagen

From left to right: Josh Pruett, John Rolig, Chris Dugan, Khary Fanning & Brandon Kaplan at LaFontaine Volkswagen

So it’s quite understandable why we’re so excited to see the Golf to win this award.

John Rolig, Sales Manager at LaFontaine Volkswagen said,

When it comes to the 2015 Volkswagen Golf family of vehicles, you can’t find a bigger bang for the buck. From it’s performance to it’s efficiency, the Golf is more than deserving to win the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award.”

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On behalf of the entire team at LaFontaine Toyota, I’m thrilled to announce that Doug Kropp has achieved the level of Master Diagnostic Technician (MDT) from Toyota.

We’re all so proud of Doug for being able to accomplish this rare certification.

Doug-Kropp-Toyota-Master-Diagnostic-TechnicianSo what exactly is a Master Diagnostic Technician and what does it mean to you? Simply put, MDT is the highest level of certification that any Toyota Technician can achieve.

Doug, and all MDT’s, have repeatedly shown the ability to tackle the most challenging repairs on Toyota vehicles.

Think of Doug like you would “Dr. House” (minus the cynicism and narcissism). If your Toyota has a problem that others can’t solve, Doug and the service team at LaFontaine Toyota will fix it when no one else can.

In order to achieve the title of MDT, a technician must:

  • Have 5 years of Toyota service experience.
  • Pass all the ASE certification tests.
  • Pass the same test that Toyota gives to it’s team of field engineers at 80% or better.

Being technically proficient is only part of what it takes to make Toyota technician a MDT. Along with technical skills, MDT’s like Doug must also possess excellent communication skills to effectively work with service advisors, fellow technicians and customers.

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When you work for an Automotive Group that carries vehicles from 17 different manufactures, it’s not uncommon for one or more of the brands to take home a prestigious industry award on a regular basis.

Today is no exception as Hyundai has just been named the top performing non-premium brand in 2014 JD Powers Initial Quality Study!

Hyundai-Tops-JD-Powers-IQS-Non-Premium-Brands

I know the LaFontaine Family is proud to tout the fact that 6 of the 10 vehicles in the Hyundai lineup ranked in the top 3 IQS positions by segment – with the 2014 Genesis, 2014 Elantra and 2014 Accent taking the #1 spot for their segments.

On behalf of the team at LaFontaine Hyundai, we’d like to congratulate Hyundai Motor America for achieving this honor – we’re proud to represent you and your vehicles here in Dearborn, Michigan.

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Four outstanding Dearborn Public Schools teachers were honored by students, parents, colleagues and community leaders on May 14 at the 2014 Alberta Muirhead Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony. More than 400 were at the event hosted by the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.

The Chamber’s Education Committee, chaired by Stefanie Stover, had the tough job of selecting four winners from a field of more than 900 nominated teachers.

Dearborn-Teacher-Of-The-Year-Award-Winners

Nominations received by the Chamber were first screened, sorted into four grade level groups: pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade; 3rd-5th grade; middle school; and high school.

All teacher names and references to schools were removed from the nominations and forwarded to the first group of judges who read and sorted them. The top three nominations from each grade grouping were then sent on to final judging before the winners were named.

Jim Kroll, General Sales Manager of the LaFontaine Import Super Center was invited to attend the event to help recognize the award winners for their accomplishments.

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It’s always nice to be recognized for your hard work and dedication, isn’t it?

Today I’m happy to let you all know that one of our own Business Marketing Representatives, Karla Griscom, was just named the Member of the Year by the Hartland Chamber of Commerce.

Karla-Griscom-Hartland-Chamber-Member-of-the-Year

Karla was bestowed this honor on Friday, February 21, 2014 at the Hartland Chamber’s annual awards dinner.

When asked about what makes Karla Griscom stand out from the crowd, Hartland Chamber Director Jana Warford said:

She’s active in all three local chambers. Plus, she’s active with her family and active with her career. Yet, she still finds time – she’s really spectacular.

Karla was surprised when it was announced that she had been awarded this honor for the Hartland Chamber.

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Memories of the North American International Auto Show are still fresh with us (and they were pretty darn great!). Now that the pizzazz of the concepts and the pristine wonder of the new vehicles have come and gone, it’s time for the accolades; or as we should call it, the Chevrolet Praise Awards.

Chevrolet-Sweeps-North-American-Car-And-Truck-Of-The-Year-Awards

Chevrolet won the 2014 North American Car of the Year award with the beautiful new Corvette Stingray, as well as North American Truck of the Year with its rugged Silverado.

With so many people speculating on how Chevy managed to win both awards among such fierce competition, we sent our Digital Marketing Team downtown to investigate just how Chevy Rocked the Auto Show.

1. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – North American Car of the Year

Chevy took a risk that paid off 

The expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind when thinking of the transformation of the Corvette Stingray. With such a popular and classic car loved in its current state, some might find breaking tradition to be a sign of trouble.

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Once known for being the car your grandfather drove, Buick has been making bold statements lately with their design, technology, safety and overall luxury (you know, things that people of all ages can appreciate)

We’ve seen it here in the dealership ever since the redesigned Buick LaCrosse hit our showroom in 2010 and since then, Buick has been putting out vehicle after vehicle that is setting a new standard for affordable luxury.

From the Regal and Verano to the Enclave and Encore – Buick now boasts an all-star, luxury lineup.

Obviously we’re a little bit biased having Buick Dealerships in Ann Arbor and Highland (and for full disclosure, I drive a Buick Verano myself).

So don’t take my word for it, take the word of one of the most respected 3rd party names in the automotive retail industry – Kelley Blue Book.

The 2014 Buick Enclave, Encore & Verano each just won a KBB.com 5-Year Cost To Own Award.

Buick-KBB-5-Year-Cost-To-Own-Awards

These awards are based on KBB’s analysis of the 5-year ownership costs of all 2014 model-year vehicles available for sale in the United States. The analysis considers every key criterion that figures into the overall cost to obtain and operate a motor vehicle over a five-year period.

Included among the factors are financing costs, insurance costs and state fees plus the anticipated costs of fuel, scheduled maintenance and repairs. Also included are the critical factors of purchase price and projected depreciation.

Now that you know how each of the vehicles were graded, let’s take a look at the vehicles to see why and how they won a KBB.com 5-Year Cost To Own Award.

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Maureen LaFontaine will be one of four women to recieve the 2014 Women’s Automotive Association Spirit of Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding professional achievements and contributions to the growth, stature and progress of the automotive industry.

“The women we’ve chosen to honor are noted not only for their extraordinary careers, but also as role models and mentors in the automotive industry and their community,” said Lorraine Schultz, WAAI founder and CEO. “They truly embody the spirit of leadership, and we are proud to recognize their accomplishments.”

Maureen LaFontaine, stands in Lady La's Boutique, located inside LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC. Photo Credit: / Hal Gould | Staff Photographer Hometownlife.com

Maureen LaFontaine stands in Lady La’s Boutique, located inside LaFontaine Cadillac Buick GMC in Highland, MI. Photo Credit: / Hal Gould | Staff Photographer Hometownlife.com

Established in 1999, the WAAI’s “Spirit of Leadership” award is presented annually to professional women in the automotive industry in recognition of their significant accomplishments in their profession, community, and family.

These women have dedicated their life to their profession and to giving back to others; and they serve as mentors and are role models to us all. Sustained superior performance, community involvement, influence and support of other women within the automotive industry are just some of the qualities these women possess.

Maureen and the other nominees will be honored at the 15th Annual Spirit of Leadership Awards Reception on Jan. 25 that takes place during the 2014 NADA Convention in New Orleans. A portion of the event proceeds will be contributed to the WAAI International Scholarship Program, which provides tuition assistance to qualified students pursuing careers in the automotive industry.

About Maureen LaFontaine

As Dealer Principal of the LaFontaine Automotive Group, Maureen LaFontaine is co-owner of this Michigan family-owned company, in partnership with her husband Michael LaFontaine. While raising a family, Maureen started selling Toyotas on a part time basis, honing her sales skills and learning the many facets of the auto dealer business. She soon became top salesperson of LaFontaine’s first Cadillac Pontiac GMC store in Milford, visiting local businesses to promote the benefits of their dealership.

Maureen further demonstrated her initiative and determination by attending the Harvard Business School in Boston. Her vision led the company to become General Motors’ first L.E.E.D. Certified dealership. Maureen is a dynamo, who ensures the “LaFontaine” name is a strong presence in local communities through sponsorships at business expos, Chambers of Commerce, community and social events. She has led the way in volunteer efforts to benefit a variety of charitable causes and non-profit organizations that promote the health and well being of people nationwide. An active participant in a variety of automotive, business professional and non-profit organizations, Maureen has served as president of the Cadillac Dealers Association and executive board member of the Automotive Women Alliance Foundation.

Thanks to DBusiness Magazine & AskPatty.com for contributing additional details included in this article.