Nissan Hosts September
Luncheon. Members get an in-depth look at the Nissan Versa
By Giulianna D. Levin –
Photos by Pepe Delfino
full house was in attendance at Sra. Martinez restaurant in the Miami
design district for the September SAMA luncheon sponsored by Nissan. In
fact, the 51 members and guests present for the event just may have been
our largest attendance yet for a regular monthly event!
After a delicious lunch featuring plate after plate of tapas, members got
a preview from Mark Perry of Nissan’s new Versa sedan as well as receiving
an update on what Nissan has planned in the future.
Perry, Director of Product Planning for the manufacturer, reported that
Nissan’s market share was up 0.4 percent for 2010 with North American
sales up 18.0 percent. In the calendar year through June 2011, sales are
up 16.5 percent.
Among recent awards, the Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle was named 2011 World
Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show, and the city of New York
selected Nissan NV200 as is “Taxi of Tomorrow.”
Perry also presented the 10 things you should know about the all-new 2012
1. Versa carries an MSRP of $10,990
2. That gives it the lowest starting price of any of its competitors but
is a “real car” with A/C and radio standard.
3. EPA ratings are 38 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined highway and city.
4. It has more space-per-dollar in class, with best-in class rear legroom.
5. It has best-in-class trunk space.
6. It is built on Nissan’s new global “V” platform (about 150 pounds
lighter than the previous generation.
7. The engine is a new 1.6-liter with dual fuel injectors, twin CVTC.
8. The engine is mated with a new 2nd generation CVT with sub-planetary
9. The new Versa is the first U.S. product to wear PUREDRIVE badge (cars
with better than 35mpg)/
10. The Versa features a high level of comfort, convenience, available
By using a smaller engine (without sacrificing power), the new Versa has a
shorter front, and longer rear, providing ample space in the second row,
without giving up trunk space. The second row seating is said to provide
more legroom than the Lexus LS460, BMW 5-Series, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
In a brief business session, President Paul Borden reminded members that
nominations for 2012 officers will be in October. Members are encouraged
to get their nominations ready. Paul will not be eligible to serve as
president next year per SAMA by laws.
Treasurer Marcello Serrato informed the members that the treasury is doing
well and we have two new members, Monica Puig of Latin Biz magazine and
Michael Block of Orlando Auto Examiner. Marcello is also working hard with
the board members on confirming a date and location for the SAMA holiday
party. It is fairly certain we will be returning to the Red Fish Grill,
where we were last year!
We have two busy months coming up. Dick Kelley announced he is arranging a
ride-and-drive event featuring the new Toyota Camry early in the month.
Lunch and an afternoon of driving will be offered members on one of two
days (October 10 or 11).
The South Florida International Auto Show is coming up later in the month.
The annual SAMA preview luncheon sponsored by the South Florida Auto
Dealers Association will be October 20. John Kiskinis says we are 99
percent confirmed for Joe’s Stone Crab. Details will be available in the
usual email invitation. RSVP early after you receive it as spots will be
Media day for the South Florida Auto Show will be October 28 and feature
our annual awards luncheon. Teresa Bravo once again is in charge of the
event, which will be sponsored either by GM or one of its divisions. This
was a great hit last year with a big turnout. Ron Beasley and his
committee will select winners for our annual auto show awards, which will
be presented at the luncheon along with the announcement of the recipient
of the annual Terry Jackson Award.
Tony Lesesne wanted to remind everyone that the annual Auto Focus awards
will be held on October 29. For more information, please contact Tony.
Past winners of the Auto Focus award are Marcello Serrato and Ron Beasley.
That completes October, but November is going to be an important month as
Vice President Bill Adam, who is back from his annual Canadian vacation
but could not attend the September luncheon because of a previous business
commitment, sent along a reminder that it is not too early to think about
the annual Rides N’ Smiles event Homestead-Miami Speedway. The date for
the event will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26.
Bill serves as chairman of the event and will select drivers for the day,
but volunteers are needed to help with many details of the day-long affair.
Members are encouraged to contact Bill at
email@example.com if they are
interested in volunteering at the wonderful event. Tasks will be assigned
based on your replies.
Media coverage from members also will be welcome at Rides N’ Smiles.
That’s a very busy calendar for our growing and vibrant organization.
See you next month!
Marcello Serrato, Steve Parrett, Tony Serrato, and Mark Perry
Jeffrey Ross and Pepe Forte
Debra Koebel and Marissa Osborn
Odette Jimenez and Martha Gomez
Ron Beasley, Ray Mummery, and Rich Babl
Mark Perry, Director of Product Planning, Nissan
Giselle Delgado and Jose Castello
Steve Parrett (Nissan) and Mark Perry (Nissan)
Angelo Serrato and Paul Borden
Steve Parrett, Tony Serrato and Mark Perry
Pepe Forte and Ron Beasley
Angelica Willard, Paul Borden, and Odette Jimenez
Daniel Romagnoli, Maria Ravani, and Daniel Alvarez
Pepe Forte, Marcello Serrato, and Pepe Delfino
Marissa Osborn, Debra Koebel, and Steve
Dick Kelley, Angelo Serrato, and Giselle Delgado
Angie Diaz and Stephanie Camargo
Javier Mota and Johnny Tapanes
Jeffrey Ross, Luis Gonzalez, Joe Willard,
and Rick Green
Dick Kelley, Giselle Delgado, Teresa Bravo,
and Jose Castello
EmeritoPujol, Marlen Bedoya, and Giulianna Levin
Javier Mota, Jorge Koechlin, and German Botero
Odette Jimenez and Jaime Gabaldoni
Jaime Gabaldoni and German Botero
Dick Kelley and Angelo Serrato
Joe Willard, Pepe Forte, and Angelica Willard