Friday, March 30, 2012

Apple Auto Group New Vehicle Highlights


Buying a new car can be very overwhelming. There are so many choices, so many recommendations, and so many things that the buyer needs to consider. Sometimes it feels like it is an endless process of talking to dealers and looking at reviews, but now we can give you a run-down of all the latest and best cars on the market all in one place. We will include the new technology, performance, and features, as well as the important stuff such as AWD, gas mileage, and warranty.

First, let’s start with the 2013 Ford Escape. This new model, coming this summer, has an all-new interior and exterior design. It comes with voice technology that lets you control your music with just a word, starts your car with the push of a button, and has a hands-free liftgate. Also, if you are one of many who suffer from the fear of parallel parking, this new Ford Escape does it for you! These helpful features combined with a 3-year full factory warranty and a 5-year powertrain warranty makes this vehicle a smart purchase.

Another vehicle coming this summer that is worth showcasing is the 2013 Lincoln MKZ. This sedan has an estimated 18 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. Also with an all new interior and exterior design, you can experience “exhilarating V8 power from an engine that sips like a V6” along with EcoBoost technology. It has an enhanced braking performance and great curve control, making it a safe and smart choice financially. It comes with a 4-year/50,000 mile full factory warranty and a 6-year/70,000 powertrain warranty.

Next, we would like to highlight the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze. Now available, the Chevy Cruze is ranked number 6 out of 41 in affordable cars and was given an overall 8.5 out of 10 by U.S. News Best Cars review. It has a great fuel economy with 38 MPG on the highway, and it comes with all the latest features such as Bluetooth and audio controls. Like the Ford Escape, it has a 3-year full factory warranty warranty and a 5-year powertrain warranty and meets all of the standard safety needs for a driver. This vehicle definitely needs to be on the list for all car shoppers.

Given a 9 out of 10 in safety, features, and quality by The Car Connection, the 2012 Buick Verano is also a vehicle worth mentioning. It has a great exterior design and pleased many drivers with a comfortable inside. Its fuel economy is about 21 MPG in the city and 32 on the highway and comes with a 4-year full factory warranty and a 5-year powertrain warranty. It is a great choice for a buyer looking for some peace and comfort, making it one of the best cars to buy in 2012.

Last but certainly not least, our suggestions would not be complete without including the Suzuki Kizashi. This mid-size sports sedan is great looking, comfortable, and has an impressive advanced AWD system. This AWD system comes with an I-VSP (Intelligent Vehicle Stability Program) making it one of the leading vehicles for safety. Often times, Suzukis are overlooked by shoppers but the Kizashi is a must see for anyone looking for a sporty and high quality sedan.  The Suzuki Kizashi was called a “Well Kept Secret” by The Auto Channel.

Overall, things are looking good for car shoppers considering these great choices that are joining the market and any smart shopper will add these vehicles to their shopping list! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dealership Service Department versus an Independent Shop

Many car owners dread the moment when they have to admit that it is time to take their car in to the shop. Suddenly they are forced to think about repair costs, how long they will have go without a car, whether or not they can trust the mechanic to do a good job, and it often leads to the question: should I take my car to be fixed at the dealer or into an independent shop? Here we will be talking about the benefits of taking your car to the dealer, and you see why from now on it will be an easy decision.

First off, lets talk about who will be working on your car. At a dealership Service Department, you will be putting your car into the hands of a highly qualified and trained technician who typically only works on your make of vehicle. This means that if you own a 2008 Ford F-150, it will be one of many 2008 Ford F-150s that your technician will look at this season. He or she will be familiar with its parts, how it runs, and the best ways to go about fixing a problem. At an independent shop, your 2008 Ford F-150 could be one of only a few 2008 Ford F-150s the shop sees this season and they will be basing their techniques off a general procedure rather than a specific one.

It is also common for the manufacturer to require that each dealership to stay up to date with the latest equipment, technology, and skills needed to make your experience and investment worthwhile. They do this by having regular programs where technicians refresh their skills and learn everything they need to in order to satisfy the customer, whereas, at an independent shop the technician may have less access to the latest trainings on the many technology changes and updates in today’s vehicles. 

Now, lets look at the equipment. Obviously, one of the most important parts about getting your car fixed is being certain that you will not run into the same problems again. One huge benefit of taking your car into a dealership service department is that the dealership will have access to all of the original equipment. Once again, your 2008 Ford F-150 will be taken care of and have all of its broken parts, replaced with original parts. Also, the parts are certified by Ford and match the original parts from the assembly line.  On the other hand, a competitive brand is designed to fit and work properly, but not certified and tested by the manufacturer.  An independent shop does not have this access to equipment and are forced to use aftermarket substitutes. You can request original equipment at an independent shop but you may have to wait for them to become available.

            Last, we should talk about the facilities. Dealerships definitely have the upper hand in this part of the experience. They have larger facilities with more service bays available, meaning there is less of a wait to make an appointment and a more efficient return time. They are often more organized and dealerships always have directly communication with manufacturers on equipment, recalls, and service tools. Overall, the experience is much more enjoyable at a dealership than at an independent shop.                                                                                                                                                               
            When you read about all of the benefits of having your car taken care of at a dealership service department, you can see why we recommend this decision to visit Apple Auto Group at Overall, you will be in better hands, be fixed with better parts, and be ready to drive sooner. So now when you have the dreadful moment of realizing its time to bring your car in, you will have a lot less to worry about with Apple Auto Group!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

39th Annual Twin Cities Auto Show: Apple Auto Group Products

Apple Auto Group,, consists of 5 brands including Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Buick, and Suzuki.  Below are some of the model highlights from the 39th Annual Twin Cities Auto Show.  This is the 39th consecutive Twin Cities Auto Show, and every year it keeps getting bigger and better. Featuring an estimated $15,000,000 in new vehicles, and filled with amazing new displays this is the 7th largest Auto Show in the nation. You are able to view vehicles from almost every manufacturer in the world, but you only like the 5 brands Apple Auto Group provides, right?  Apple Auto Group's brands are the best, however we may be bias.  Go to or to get directions to the store to pickup your discounted Auto Show tickets.  Do not forget to stop by the Suzuki booth with represenatives from Apple Suzuki Shakopee to assist you,
Ford 2012 Fusion
You can tell at first glance what a driver's car is all about before you ever get behind the wheel. Its exterior styling is dynamic and fluid, in motion even when standing perfectly still. And when you look inside, its upscale design breathes quality craftsmanship throughout. Of course, underneath it all are the components of a precisely engineered driver's car. Fusion gas-powered and hybrid models deliver plenty of performance. Impressive fuel economy, too. So you can enjoy a car that is responsive to the driving enthusiast within you – and all the while be assured that you're doing right by the environment.
Lincoln 2012 MKZ
Lincoln MKZ is powered by a 263-hp 3.5L Duratec® 24V V6. This engine generates smooth and responsive performance while achieving excellent fuel efficiency. The 6-speed SelectShift™ Automatic™ transmission is designed with a wide range of gear ratios for low-speed acceleration and excellent fuel economy. It also has a manual mode that lets you shift the gears like a manual, but without the clutch, for that added performance feel.  Lincoln MKZ delivers a comfortable driving experience without sacrificing precision or responsiveness, gliding over bumps and through corners confidently. For even sharper handling, a sport-tuned suspension is included in the Sport Appearance Package.
2012 Chevrolet Impala
For more than 50 years, Impala has delivered proven excellence in a sedan millions have come to rely on. But we don't rest on that reputation year after year — we continue to earn it. Impala brings a new blend of full–size car comfort and midsize car efficiency, offering up to 30 MPG highway. The new 3.6L V6 engine and 6–speed automatic transmission combine for luxurious smoothness in all conditions, along with more power, making passing and merging effortless. Put simply, Impala is the right choice. Dual rear exhaust tips add to the aggressive rear fascia. And beneath the flowing backlight, Impala hides a full 18.6 cu.–ft. of trunk space.
2012 Buick Enclave
The 2012 Enclave was crafted to never blend in—to stand far apart and catch attention. Curves sweep from one end to the other. Up front, wraparound high-intensity discharge xenon headlamps provide a brighter light than halogen to help you see road signs better. From there, the signature waterfall grille, chrome portholes, and sculpted lines flow undisturbed into three-dimensional, multi lens taillamps.  The 2012 Enclave is proof that bigger SUV doesn’t have to spell trouble at the pump. In fact, this finely-tuned machine uses an intricate powertrain system to achieve better highway fuel economy than most other eight-passenger crossovers — an EPA-estimated 24 MPG hwy for the FWD model.
Suzuki Kizashi
The highly acclaimed Kizashi has been hailed by the press as a "hidden gem" that delivers exhilaration behind the wheel while causing onlookers to do a double take, helping it earn a Consumers Digest Best Buy. Meanwhile, its powerful engine, elegant cabin, handsome styling and autobahn-proven handling have consumers raving as well. They rated the Kizashi "Highest Ranked Vehicle Appeal among Midsize Cars" in J.D. Power and Associates' 2011 APEAL Studysm, and it received top honors by its owners as the most satisfying midsize sedan to own, for two years in a row, in AutoPacific's 2010 and 2011 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.   TIME magazine ranked us one of the 10 most exciting cars for 2010.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Barrett-Jackson Wounded Warrior
Col. John Folsom and Barrett Jackson team up to raise miles of money for Wounded Warriors Family Support.
-In 2003, Col. John Folsom was recalled-again-to active duty. Col. Folsom had spent several years on active duty as a helicopter pilot and 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. But immediately after the attacks on 9/11, he was recalled to active duty and assigned to Marine Forces, Pacific, for some 11 months, until August, 2002. Later that same year, his country called again, this time assigning him as the Marine liaison officer to U.S. European Command.
“When the ground campaign kicked off in March of 2003, I was monitoring Marine casualties,” Col. Folsom said. “The first stop for casualties from Afghanistan and Iraq was the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, which was not too far from the European headquarters in Germany. Although the hospital was doing a great job in medical care, it needed help in terms of providing morale and comfort needs” Col. Folsom “passed the hat” and used the money he collected to buy televisions and DVD players and for clothing so that wounded warriors wouldn’t have to wear hospital gowns all of the time. Later, Col. Folsom would service in Iraq, from February 2005 through February, 2006 and from July, 2008 to February, 2009, first as a liaison officer for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and then as “Air Boss” at the Forward Operating Base Camp Korean Village near Ar Rutbah, where he was in charge of all Marine attack and Army Medevac helicopter operations in the area. Finally he served as camp commandant at Camp al Taqaddum.
While in Iraq, Col. Folsom continued to raise money to help support the wounded. But he also learned how many families back in the United States were having trouble adjusting to having family members away and in combat, how children were having difficulty dealing with life with a parent gone-too often, gone forever-or even to making the adjustments needed when a parent  returned home, especially being wounded. Finally, retired from active and reserve status, the colonel returned to his home in Nebraska and founded Wounded Warriors Family Support with the goal of helping families mend relationships.
Wounded Warriors Family Support provides places for families to stay while on vacation visits to the various attractions at Orlando, Fla., to the Gulf of Mexico shores at Galveston, Texas, or to Shenandoah or Yellowstone National Parks. It works with Take Flight Farms to help children deal with anger, grief, confusion and anxiety. It also works with other support groups, such as the Fisher House Foundation and the National Military Family Association.

One family told the colonel that they merely wanted to be able to take a road trip, to pile into the car and see “our great country”. That got him to thinking and led to the High Five Tour and an ambitious fundraising effort that culminates at the Barrett-Jackson auction several weeks from now at Palm Beach, Fla. Col. Folsom bought a car and set off to visit all of the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia, to raise both money and awareness. But he didn’t select just any vehicle for what he called “street level engagement” with the American public. He bought a 2011 Shelby GT500 Ford Mustang.

“The Ford Mustang is a great American car, an icon, and so symbolic-the Mustang wild and free, a symbol of the American spirit”, Col Folsom explained. “That’s why I chose the Mustang, and it was suggested to me that the Shelby really represented American Muscle. It’s an unapologetic Muscle car.”
Col. Folsom said the High Five Tour-so named to thank the American people for their support-was a way to get the word out and to enlist support, “to let folks know what we’re doing and to thank them for their support, to let folks know what we’re doing and to thank them for their support of military families.” “One thing all of us need to realize in the non-profit world is that with all the great ideas we have, nothing happens unless the American people step up and support it.” The Mustang was wrapped in patriotic red/white and blue vinyl so it could be autographed by those the colonel met along the way. Thousands signed, including people who had lost family members to combat. Col. Folsom’s drive is chronicled on the website. Wounded Warriors Family Support also has a website, “It’s a real honor for Barrett-Jackson to help and support in any way our military and the families,” said Barrett-Jackson President Steve Davis, who first became aware of the High Five Tour when the colonel and the Mustang came to Phoenix, stopping at Sanderson Ford last July. The patriotically colored and well signed Mustang will be displayed at West World during the Scottsdale auction, and then will cross the block at Palm Beach. “We not only raise money on the auction block,” Davis said, “but want to create awareness for people who may not be able to write a big check but who can still make a $5 or $10 contribution.”
The car will be sold with around 16,000 miles on its odometer, and Col. Folsom has many memories of his long drive throughout the country. One of the most poignant of them came at Montpelier, Vt., where the car was signed by Stephen Gray, whose son, Staff Sergeant Jamie Gray, was among the first from that community to be killed in Iraq. “Kids signed it. Older people signed it. People expressed their heartfelt sentiments. They’d lost sons and nephews,” Col. Folsom said. “Their signing the car made the car more than just a 2011 GT500.” Another and perhaps less heartwarming but certainly heart-racing moment for Col. Folsom came right here in Arizona, as the colonel and his car were traveling on an empty and arrow-straight highway in the northern part of the state. It was a road, Col. Folsom said, “where you could finally unwind the Shelby.”