FULL HOUSE FOR FEBRUARY 2012 SAMA
What a way to get started!
A full house of 54 members and guests attended the first SAMA luncheon
of the year, hosted by Buick at the Soyka Restaurant near Miamiís Design
District on February 29.
Extra tables even were set up to handle the crowd. No empty seats at
Representing GM were Araba Dowell and Katie Maltais, who has been at her
new job for only a month but already is up on the product, and, from the
Axis Agency, Stephanie Camargo and Melissa Galarza.
Stephen Poulos, who is the Global Chief Engineer, eAssist and Battery
Electric Propulsion, was the program presenter, and though the new Regal
GS, Verano, and Lacrosse were just outside, his talk was concentrated on
GMís eAssist system, currently a standard feature on the LaCrosse and
soon-to-be available on other Buick models.
Essentially, eAssist uses a familiar lithium-ion battery system to
provide improved fuel efficiency, up to 20 percent on the highway and 32
percent in the city over previous models, giving the 2012 LaCrosse
mileage ratings of 36 mpg highway and 25 mpg city.
It also provides a boost of up to 15 horsepower at launch, during grade
climbing, and entering a freeway on-ramp.
Though it is technically a hybrid gas-electric system, Buick is not
billing it as a typical hybrid so as not to confuse buyers. This is a
milder version of a hybrid that we have become familiar with.
In place of the usual alternator, GM has put a belt-driven electric
motor linked to the lithium-ion battery underneath the backseat. The
system cuts off fuel flow during deceleration, helping improve mileage,
and immediately restores it when the accelerator is pressed again.
The system also is activated and provides a bit of extra boost on
moderate or steep grades. When the vehicle is stopped at an
intersection, for instance, the motor-generator continues spinning along
with the engine to provide immediate power at takeoff.
Itís an interesting concept that addresses a what is becoming a critical
need -- better fuel mileage -- with todayís rising fuel prices.
During her presentation, Katie Maltais noted Buickís growth with its
impressive new model lineup. In 2011, retail sales were up 15 percent
and Buick was outselling competitors like Audi, Acura, Infiniti, and
Before the luncheon, President Jaime Florez conducted the brief business
session, welcoming all.
Treasurer and Membership Chairman Marcello Serrato reported the finances
in good shape for the start of the year and reminds those who havenít
paid their dues to do so now.
He also welcomed three new members, Benjamin Greene of Dupont Registry,
John Kucek of Speedsportlife.com, and Lance Joseph.
Paul Borden, who is working with Marcello on plans for the second
edition of Topless in Miami, announced that one of the activities for
this year will be a welcoming party for members the night before the
Dick Kelley has agreed for Toyota to sponsor the party, which, weather
permitting, will be scheduled for the patio area between the beach and
the hotel building at the Ritz-Carlton.
Mercedes-Benz will sponsor the Awards Dinner and Reception, and GM will
provide the lunches during the busy day of judging.
The date has not been firmed up yet, but we are looking at an
early-to-mid May time frame.
More details will be forthcoming.
We want to thank Buick and GM for sponsoring our initial luncheon for
2012 and are looking forward to working with the company on future
events. GM and its various brands have been a strong supporter of all
SAMA events since the beginning five years ago.
The date and site for the March luncheon have not been set, so watch
your email for further details! Donít dally. We have been filling up
rather quickly and you donít want to be left out.
Click here to view larger images.
Photos by Pepe Delfino
Stephen Poulos, Araba Dowell, and Angelo Serrato
Pepe Forte and Luis Fernandez
Stephanie Camargo and Araba Dowell
Pepe Delfino, Joe Willard, Marcello Serrato, Pepe Forte, and Ron Beasley
Pepe Delfino and Pepe Forte
Angelica Willard and Stephen Poulos
Daniel Alvarez and Angelo Serrato
Marissa Osborn and Johnny Bond
Diego Cichero, Jaime Florez, and Marcello
Daniel Romagnoli, and Luis Fernandez
Tony Serrato and Johnny Bond
Angelica and Joe Willard
Woodie Lesesne, Tony Lesesne, and Araba Dowell
Ed Williamson and Stephen Poulos
Giulianna Levin, Gaby Delfino, Johnny Bond, and Thelma Urbina
Pepe Forte, Luis Fernandez, Maria Ravani, Ady Coutinho, Giulianna Levin,
and Gaby Delfino
Melissa Galarza, Tony Serrato, and
Marcello Serrato and Pepe Forte
Phillippe Daix and Pepe Forte
Angelo Serrato and Jaime Florez
Ron Beasley and Paul Borden
Maria Ravani and Martha Lucia Gomez
Emerito Pujol, Ray Mummary, Ron Beasley, and Paul Borden
Pepe Forte, Diego Cichero, and Katie Maltais
Arturo Duran, Phillippe Daix, and Marcello Serrato
Tony Lesesne and Marcello Serrato
Rick Green, Tony Lesesne, Ron Beasley, Paul Borden, and Phillippe Daix
Johnny Bond and Jaime Florez
Ed Williamson and Stephen Poulos
Martha Lucia Gomez, and Pepe Forte