SAMA members get a quick course in diesel technology
By Ric Green

A large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Standard Hotel on Miami Beach ’s Lido Island for the October SAMA luncheon to meet representatives from Mercedes Benz, sponsor of the meeting. 

Members and guests were not disappointed as Geoff Day, Joe Richardson, Greg O'Shea and John Shipley put together an informative and entertaining presentation.SAMA President Ron Beasley opened the meeting by thanking Mercedes Benz for their support and noted that a check had been received for the company’s corporate membership. He also acknowledged the following new members in attendance: Specialty Transport regional director Corey Proffit and the new South Florida regional manager Alex Madeja; Justin Bell and Mark Ramsey from; and Alex Kosyk, editor and publisher of The Lifestyle Magazine.

Arriving late was Joe Castello who joined SAMA at the meeting. Joe hosts the nightly show Powershift on XM Satellite Radio #144.

While those in attendance dined on the first course of a fantastic meal, Ron reviewed SAMA business and upcoming events. 

The South Florida Auto & Truck Dealers Association and General Motors will jointly sponsor the October luncheon and GM will have the exciting new Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle on display for our inspection. So, mark your calendar for October 18, and remind yourself to come to the luncheon at the beautiful Raleigh Hotel on South Beach.

Plans for our South Florida International Auto Show kick-off breakfast on November 9 are going smoothly. The event will be sponsored by GM, and regional public relations executive Alex Vitale is working to secure a high-level GM official as the featured speaker. We are expecting 75 to 100 attendees and hope all SAMA members will attend, as the event will double as the SAMA  November meeting. Bill Adam is procuring the trophies, which we will present to the “Star of the Show” and “Best Concept Vehicle in the Show” (as selected by a team of SAMA members) at the kick-off breakfast.

A Holiday Party is in the planning stages and will be sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales. Information on the date and location will be available shortly.
Beasley thanked Pepe Delfino for maintaining the SAMA website and asked members to submit vehicle reviews, travel stories and interesting pictures for the site. Be sure to include short cutlines and IDs with your pictures. He noted that Spanish-language material is welcome. Ron also thanked Pepe Forte and Angelica Willard for shooting the monthly luncheon meeting photos that are posted on the website.

The folks from Mercedes Benz then took the floor. The first part of the program focused on the company’s BLUETEC diesel program. John Shipley, Mercedes S/CL/SL Class
Product Specialist, explained that BLUETEC combines several technologies to reduce exhaust emissions. He showed how the system is built on a foundation of advanced engine design that includes four valves per cylinder, centrally located Piezo-electric injectors, and the latest CDI direct injection, a turbocharger with variable nozzle turbine and exhaust gas recirculation. A question-and-answer session worked its way through the presentation. 

Then, after everybody enjoyed the meal’s main course, Corporate Communications and Events Director Geoff Day gave an over-view of what is on the horizon for Mercedes and wrapped up with a look at the F700, a concept vehicle unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show earlier in the month.

The meeting closed with Ron reminding every one about next month’s gathering, Oct. 18, at the Raleigh Hotel on South Beach. Mark your calendar. It should be another great SAMA meeting!