Gearing Up for Classics & Camaro’s 2012 at Todd Wenzel Chevy

ImageWe are making final preparations for our third annual car show at our Chevy store and it’s going to be another great event! We’re expecting even more classic cars and hot rod’s to be on display, and can’t wait to see how many friends from our local Camaro and Corvette clubs join us. The afternoon engine rev is definitely going to require ear plugs this year!

So, we just have to decide what to serve everyone for lunch. Two years ago we had an array of footlong subs. Last year, we had amazing Asian-fusion tacos from a local food truck. Given our current options, we know lunch will be delicious, but are curious if you’ve attended other shows that have served a lunch that really impressed you.

There is still time to register your vehicle online at www.toddwenzel.com. And although the show doesn’t officially start until 9:00 a.m., you are welcome to arrive early to park your vehicle.

If you’ve never attended a car show at Todd Wenzel, take a look at our video from Classics & Camaros 2011. We hope to see you on the 14th!

Introducing the Todd Wenzel Platinum Program!

When you drive a Todd Wenzel vehicle, we want you to have a premium experience. That’s why we are excited to announce that starting today, all new and certified used vehicle buyers will be automatically enrolled in our brand new Todd Wenzel Platinum Program! This program offers our customers a buying and ownership experience unlike any other dealership in West Michigan. The exclusive benefits include:

  • FREE vehicle detail by appointment every time your vehicle is in service.
  • FREE service pickup and delivery within a 50 mile radius of our dealership.
  • New loaner vehicle available by reservation with any service appointment.
  • $19.95 oil changes for as long as you own your vehicle.
  • Exclusive promotions and special offers reserved only for our Platinum VIP customers.
  • Lowest Price Guaranteed – find a better price on a new or certified used vehicle and we’ll beat it.
  • Guaranteed highest trade-in value – we will give you more for your trade-in than any other dealer.
  • Rebate Protection – if GM increases their rebate offer within 30 days of your purchase, we will credit the difference to you.
  • FREE Certified Vehicle Maintenance Plan on every certified used vehicle. This two-year/30,000 mile standard vehicle maintenance plan includes oil changes based on your vehicles Oil Life Monitor System, tire rotations and Multi Point Vehicle Inspection. Plus a comprehensive 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Are you ready to be treated like a VIP? Visit Todd Wenzel Chevrolet in Hudsonville or Todd Wenzel Buick GMC in Grand Rapids!

The Volt Experience – week 3 and 4

In the final two weeks of our experiment, Ric and Leandro share their observations through written and video journals. Ric has definitely adjusted his driving style when he’s behind the wheel and Leandro is pleasantly surprised by the creature comforts the Volt affords. After a month of running on electric power and saving big at the pump, they regrettably return the vehicle to Todd Wenzel Chevrolet. Thank you Ric and Leandro, for sharing your Volt Experience with us!

From Ric
A favorite feature of the Volt is the touch screen display over the central console.  It is VERY EASY to change or select any display feature available, but I find myself changing very little while focusing on my driving.

I have virtually retrained my driving style to eliminate “jack rabbit starts” and screeching halts at braking.  I find myself taking it a bit more easy in my overall driving habits, particularly due to the fact that every move I make is shown in simple graphics on the display screen.  I feel a bit guilty if I am wasting energy by flooring the gas pedal or pumping on the brakes rather than downshifting into “low” for slowing or going through curves or when cornerning.

On my continued trips out of town for court appearances or meetings, the Volt consistently pleases me…a two hour trip to the east side of the state costs just a few dollars in gas and electricity…a far cry from the $100 plus fill up cost of my Mercedes SUV, diesel powered and very expensive to operate.  I have not forgotten to turn off the car when parking since my first mistake during week number 2.

We have had continued mild weather, and there has not been enough snowfall to coat the roads, at least in West Michigan. I was looking forward to seeing how the Volt handles on snowy roads. Entering into my final week of the Volt Experience, I might get a chance to see how it handles in the snow.

Trips to the mall and to various retail outlets over the past week after Thanksgiving has given me a lot of opportunities for short trips, always on electric power. The Volt still draws stares and comments from fellow drivers and shoppers. It’s with a sense of pride and environmental responsibility that I have enjoyed this unique vehicle for the past month.

This past Sunday afternoon, we went to Squires Tree Farm in Rockford for a Christmas tree. Not wanting to mess up the spacious interior with pine needles or the roof with pine pitch, a friend accompanied us and we put our tree in the back of his GMC pick up truck. Two 7 foot Frasier fir Christmas trees were gulped up in the spacious truck bed, and I was glad that we did not try to use the Volt as a truck. But for shopping trips and lots of packages, whether to Costco or to Macys, the Volt has an amazing amount of cargo space, plus room for additional passengers, or one lucky Scottish Terrior named Barney who loves the ride!

The battery problems are dealt with by GM with a buy-back program, but in a recent Grand Rapids Press article, one featured owner has no plans of returning the vehicle. If I were an owner at this point rather than driving the Volt as a demo, I would most certainly stick with the Volt. It’s been a great experience.

From Leandro
For a month I drove the Volt from Grand Rapids to GVSU in Allendale. In the beginning I was quite nervous because I did not understand the fact that the car would stop running on battery power and switch to electricity generated by gas after 36 miles. That happened the first time I drove it and it went so smoothly I almost did not realize it. I find many people like the design of the Volt, as I got lots of compliments from people at GVSU and while driving around Grand Rapids. I feel fortunate for having had the opportunity of driving the car of the future.

The overall experience could not have been better. While I was driving it I felt secure. It did not take me long to figure out how the car works, because it shares similarities with my other car, a Chevy Equinox. It is really cool to drive and you feel you are not contaminating the planet! The Volt hardly makes any noise when it’s running on battery power, and when it switches to gas there is a vibration, but it’s minimal.

The navigation system is nice, and so is the sound of the stereo. The touch screen has the same logic of my iPad, so it is quite handy. The car has two digital screens, but only one is touchable. I thought that issue was going to be somehow distracting, but that did not happen at all.

I was concerned to hear about the battery issues, but our experience was without issue. The car worked as promised 100%. It is a great car to travel in…I drove pretty fast regularly and I did not feel the Volt was any slower than other cars. Of course, as an electric car, it takes a couple of seconds longer to increase the speed, but nothing considerable at all.

The interior space is great, and there is room for 4 adults. The electronic system is also great, for example you can program the car to heat up the seats every time you start the car. The graphics of the screens are tasteful and sleek, which is exiting to watch. I would buy it no question at all!

The Volt Experience – Week 2

Week 2 of the Volt Experience has our driver enjoying his electric vehicle and avoiding the pump!

Week Two:

Routine trips around Grand Rapids challenged me to keep the battery charged as I tried to avoid gassing up.
My daily commute to my office 3 miles from my home resulted in a nearly seamless electricity experience.
I always thought it humorous to see the Volt in my garage each morning, orange 110v power cord plugged in and fully recharged each morning. I’m not sure why it looked so funny other than it’s such a novel sight to see a car plugged into an electric source.

Just a normal workday for Ric. The Volt got him to a live interview on legal topics for the Fox 17 Morning Show.

The weather stayed unseasonably warm, no threats of snow and very little icy roads through the week. The Volt continues to handle well and continues to impress me with it’s silent ride, consistent power, and overall great transportation consistency. When the battery runs out of charge and the gas engine takes over, it is imperceptable and seemless. I rarely notice when the change-over takes place unless I remind myself to look at the graphic display showing power usage. The overall mileage averages about 140 mpg which is unheard of.

The Volt Experience – Week 1

Ric Roane at Todd Wenzel Chevrolet with the Volt he's driving for the next 30 days as part of the Volt Experience

Ric Roane, friend of our dealership and attorney in Grand Rapids, has parked his personal vehicle for the next 30 days to participate in the Volt Experience. We’ve asked him to put the Chevy Volt to the test – to complete missions around the city – and report his stories, observations, photos and videos.

Read on to see how week one with the Volt proves to be a pleasant surprise for Rick…

Day One

Picked up the 2012 Chevy Volt at Todd Wenzel Chevrolet in Hudsonville. After an hour orientation with Bob and I think I can operate this complex vehicle. I’m quite excited.  Driving carefully away from the dealership, the control and video panel displays my every move and habit…no more jack rabbit starts or slamming on of brakes. The battery is fully charged and has a capacity of 35 miles. It’s about 30 miles to my house, and I decide to take the expressway rather than surface roads. Pulling onto the e-way, the car has great power and pick up as I merge into traffic. I set the cruise control at 65 miles and cars whiz past me, but I happily drive on electricity the whole way home. Bit by bit, the battery gauge shows depletion and I pull off at my regular exit. My nightly routine usually includes a stop at the grocery store on the way home for just the right item for dinner. I pull into the Family Fare parking lot, dash in for a few things, and come back out to the Volt, gleaming black under the florescent lights of the parking lot. The gauge shows 2 miles of battery life left, and I am one mile from home. I pull into the garage and shut the car down at 1 mile remaining. Using the handy 110v power cord, I plug the Volt into my wall outlet for the night. One display feature tells me that the car will be fully charged by 8 am on 110, or by midnight on 240v which I do not have (yet). What a ride!!!

Ric's Volt, looking sharp under the lights at Family Fare

Day Two

Eight a.m. and it’s time to leave for my three mile one way commute to work. Sure enough, the battery has fully charged and is ready to go. I drive down Fulton Street into downtown. The Volt handles beautifully, giving power when needed. I am re-learning how to drive, using the low gear for slowing down, cornering and coming to stop lights. I park in the Ellis lot at my office in the Warner/Fifth Third buidling and wish that I could plug the car in to an EV charging station as I work all day. Something to put on my to do list…ask Mike Ellis to insltall an EV Charging Station in the parking garage.

Day Three

I have a two day seminar in Plymouth, MI, a 141 mile drive away. I carpool with one co-worker, and she is fascinated by the technology and the concept of a green drive across the Motor State…I called ahead to the conference center asking if they have an EV Charging Station on premises. They do not, but suggested that I fill out a suggestion card and leave it for their management. I ask politely when are they going to get into the 21st Century…The back cargo space has enough room for two suitcases, two briefcases, and two suit bags, with plenty of room to spare. Of course, we are on gasoline power most of the way to Plymouth.

Day Four

I grab three conference attendees and we head out for dinner after a day long conference.  We drive through the neighborhoods into the commercial district of Livonia, and park at Mitchell’s Seafood restaurant. The Volt is the only in the crowded lot. The valet attendant is fascinated by the car, and it gets a lot of additional stares from other diners. After dinner, we head back to the conference center. The temperature has dropped dramatically and I turn on the defroster and heat and the car warms us up in about 1 minute.

Day Five

Conference ends at noon and we head back to GR on gasoline power. I am becoming more familiar with the features, and particularly enjoy the display of power usage and the navigational system which is light years ahead of the Nav system in my 5 year old Mercedes SUV.

Day Six

Sunday and the weather is 60. We did yard work and left the car in the garage all day long.  Fully charged but we drove nowhere all day. That was a really green day!

Day Seven

Roadtrip to Court in Charlevoix. Smooth on the expressway, great mileage, gas power the whole way. I stopped to refuel and spent $28.00 for a 9 gallon of premium. A far cry cheaper than filling the 27 gallon tank on the Mercedes SUV with Diesel which topped $4.19 a gallon this week. I parked the car at the lot at the courthouse, and 3 hours later came out and the car was running. It is so quiet that somehow I forgot to turn it off and it sat there, running in silence all that time. Dumb, but it worked out.

Where will Ric and the Volt show up next? What are his favorite features? Stay tuned for more updates from Ric and his Volt Experience!

October is Storm Chasers Month at Todd Wenzel GMC!

As the official vehicle partner for the Dominator Team from the Discovery Channel series, Storm Chasers, we thought October was a great time to celebrate our partnership, our vehicles, and the debut of the new season!

Throughout the month, Todd Wenzel GMC will feature contests, giveaways and events with Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick – founders of TornadoVideos.net and stars of the popular TV show.

If you’re a fan of the show,  you’ll appreciate the opportunity to interact with Timmer and Chittick on our social networks, including Facebook (facebook.com/toddwenzelautomotive) and Twitter (@toddwenzelauto).

Every Monday, Timmer will post a question on our Facebook page about the previous night’s episode. The first 5 correct answers will win an autographed 2012 calendar that features stunning photos of the teams’ extreme tornado intercepts. Plus, Timmer and Chittick will host a Q&A event on our Facebook page on October 20 at 11:00 a.m. EST, giving fans the opportunity to post questions directly to the storm chasers. The top five questions – as chosen by Timmer – will receive an autographed copy of his new book release, “Into The Storm”.

In addition, we are holding a special Drive a Dominator Test Drive Promotion. And while you won’t need to drive our Yukon’s into extreme storms to gauge performance, when you test drive it, or any new Todd Wenzel GMC vehicle, you will be entered to WIN a 32” flat screen TV!

Finally when you lease or purchase a 2011 or 2012 GMC Yukon Denali or Yukon Denali XL – the brawn behind the extreme storm chasing vehicle, Dominator 2 – you will receive a special gift from Todd Wenzel.

The month-long campaign will culminate on November 14, when we host a special open house event  with Reed Timmer and the entire TVN team as they bring the Dominator 2 to Todd Wenzel GMC!

For additional information and event updates, please visit our website or Facebook page.

Todd Wenzel Automotive Celebrates 10 Years in West Michigan

Wow! Today we are celebrating 10 years as West Michigan’s premier General Motors dealer! When Todd Wenzel set his sights on moving back to Michigan in September of 2001, he purchased Todd Wenzel Pontiac GMC (formerly known as Orson E. Coe) on 28th Street.

This photo takes us back…do you remember when?

Three years later, in June 2004, Todd Wenzel purchased Todd Wenzel Chevrolet, in Hudsonville, from previous owner Serra Chevrolet.

We updated our Pontiac GMC facility in Novermber 2005, building a new customer lounge in the Service Department. And due to tremendous growth, we had the opportunity to add our Buick franchise in December of that year, which changed the store name to Todd Wenzel Buick Pontiac GMC.
In 2007 we expanded our Chevrolet store – adding a new Used Vehicle building and new state-of-the-art body shop. In June 2009, both Todd Wenzel Chevrolet and Todd Wenzel Buick GMC were selected as preferred dealers to represent the New GM. Also, in June 2009, came the announcement of the loss of Pontiac.

Finally, in 2010 we remodeled both of our dealerships to reflect the new GM, and provide you, our valued customers, with a environment that makes the purchase and maintenance of vehicles a more comfortable experience. This is how we look today…
We’ve come a long way in ten years, and are looking forward to the next ten. It has definitely been exciting and rewarding, and we owe it all to our talented staff and our wonderful customers! 

New 2012 Buick LaCrosse V-6 arriving soon!

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse is on its way to Todd Wenzel and is now available with a new, more powerful and fuel-efficient version of its direct-injected 3.6L V-6 engine! And, this engine is a no-additional-cost alternative to the standard 2.4L four-cylinder on select trim levels with eAssist.

The 3.6L V-6 with variable valve timing delivers a SAE-certified 303 horsepower (223 kW) on the front-wheel-drive LaCrosse – an increase of 23 hp (17 kW) – and 264 lb.-ft. (358 Nm) of torque.

The change engineers made were simply refinements to an already amazing vehicle. They used lighter-weight components and made enhancements to improve the luxury sedan’s performance with no loss in fuel efficiency (17 mpg city / 27 highway).

Are you a LaCrosse owner? If so, tell us why you love your LaCrosse. And if you haven’t driven one yet, visit us to experience the performance and luxury enhancements for yourself!

GMC’s Residual Value Performance Outpaces the Competition

Great news out of Detroit! The overall residual value of GMC vehicles - what a vehicle is worth after three years on the road - is outpacing the competition and reducing the total cost of ownership for GMC owners.

According to General Motors’ Residual Value Management’s performance report based on ALG’s 36-month data for July/August, the forecasted depreciation for GMC vehicles is lower than its competitors and lower than the same time a year ago.

The importance of the resale value of our GMC vehicles is crucial, as it can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your vehicle.  Vehicles like the Acadia, Terrain and Yukon offer great residual value.

2012 GMC Acadia SLT

GMC’s 2011 model year residual values beat its competitive set by 0.6 points and improved by 0.5 points over the brand’s 2010 average. The improvement is due in part to a strong performance by GMC’s smaller SUV and crossover models, Terrain and Acadia.

Acadia earned a 3.2-point improvement compared to the average of its competitors, including Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Ford Flex. Terrain earned a 1.2-point lead over the average residuals for its competitive set, including Nissan Murano, Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Edge.

2012 GMC Terrain SLT

GMC’s improved residual value performance has been acknowledged externally as well. Kelley Blue Book named the Acadia the best resale value in the full-size utility vehicle category for 2011.

In addition, GMC earned the top truck brand honor in Vincentric’s seventh annual “Best Value in America” awards, based on calculations of total cost of ownership relative to price within industry segments. Vincentric also recognized Sierra 2500HD as the top heavy duty three-quarter-ton pickup, beating such models as Ford Super Duty F-250 and Dodge Ram 2500.

In February, Yukon earned IntelliChoice’s “best value” pick among full-size SUVs, based on its analysis of ownership costs, including depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing and insurance.

If you’re driving a GMC product, tell us why you love your vehicle!

Storm Chasers Timmer, Chittick to appear at Todd Wenzel GMC July 15, 2011

Be sure to stop by Todd Wenzel GMC this Friday, July 15 to meet Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick from the Discovery Channel series, Storm Chasers and founders of TornadoVideos.net. The team will be on site from 11-2 with the Dominator 2, their brand new tornado-chasing machine – a Todd Wenzel Yukon GMC XL.

Todd Wenzel provided the TVN team with the 2011 Yukon XL, which was transformed into the Dominator 2 tornado-chasing and storm research vehicle. Modifications include a state-of-the art armored shell to protect it, and passengers, from 100+ MPH winds and flying debris. In addition, various radars and probes have been installed to help them collect important data and insight into the destructive twisters they eagerly drive into.

Timmer and Chittick both hail from Grand Rapids and have had great success chasing extreme storms in a GM product. The team has driven over 50,000 miles every year from the Mexican Border to Canada, and has captured over 200 tornadoes on film. In addition to storm chasing year-round, Timmer is currently working toward a PhD in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. Timmer has been invited to the Jay Leno show multiple times, and the teams’ storm video footage can be seen on networks nationwide.

Meet the team, check out some merchandise and get photos with your favorite storm chasers!

When:  Friday, July 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:  Todd Wenzel GMC
2727 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids

Find out more at:  www.toddwenzelgmc.com

If You Love Cars, You Don’t Want to Miss This Event!

Our annual Classics and Camaro’s show is coming up on Saturday, July 16 at Todd Wenzel Chevrolet! Join us from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. as we showcase beautifully restored classic cars and custom Camaros.

Just look at some of the amazing vehicles from last year…

We have a great day planned for everyone – The Winchester’s What The Truck will be on-site serving lunch to our participants,  JQ 99 will be broadcasting live from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with morning show hosts Chris and Emilee, and the Grand Rapids Social Diary will be here to capture amazing photos of all the cars and participants.  We’ll even have an ice cream truck serving up the sweets, raffle items, giveaways and so much more! And remember, this is a FREE event!!

If you have a classic car you’d like to show off you can easily register on our website. We hope to see you on the 16th!

Todd Wenzel Chevrolet Chosen as Location for GM Photo Shoot

Yesterday was an exciting day at Todd Wenzel Chevrolet! Our store was chosen as the location for a General Motors photo shoot! GM’s agency, Jack Morton Worldwide,  was on-site shooting photos that will be used in dealership training materials across the country! We’re told that the photos taken yesterday will be released later this year. Here is a sneak peak behind the scenes….

Demonstrating a new vehicle delivery, and vehicle overview

Setting up a shot in the service lane

Reviewing a repair order with the customer

We had a great time with the Jack Morton staff. They shot throughout the day in all areas of our newly renovated facility, and it was so interesting to see how a project of this scope comes together. We can’t wait to see the finished product!

Todd Wenzel Buick GMC a sponsor of Grand Rapids’ largest street party!

Mark your calender for the 8th Annual Local First Street Party presented by Founders Brewing Co. - a celebration of all things local, featuring the best of local food, beer and music!

Join us on Saturday, June 11 from 4 p.m. to midnight, outside Bistro Bella Vita on Weston and Grandville Avenue downtown for this must-attend event! We’ll have the hottest GM vehicles on display AND one lucky person will have a chance to win a $250 Todd Wenzel Gift Card!

More than 10,000 people attended last year’s Local First Street Party, and we expect this year to be even bigger!

10 Tips That Could Save You $100 a Month at the Pump

OnStar data shows mileage of drivers in identical cars can vary by 75 percent!

With Grand Rapids residents paying an average of $1 more per gallon of gasoline than a year ago, many drivers are looking for ways to improve their fuel economy during the Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of the summer driving season.

To demonstrate 10 common mistakes drivers make that affect their fuel economy, we recently partnered with Chevrolet to drive two identical compact cars on a typical workday commute. The results show that sweating the small stuff could save you as much as $100 a month at the pump.

For the drive, GM fuel-economy engineers Ann Wenzlick and Beth Nunning drove identical Chevrolet Cruze LTs, which the EPA estimates get 27 mpg city, and 36 mpg highway. For the route, they drove both cars for 20 minutes, including city and highway driving as well as a coffee stop.

Wenzlick averaged 37 miles per gallon using efficient driving habits in a properly maintained Cruze. Driving inefficiently and ignoring common maintenance, Nunning managed only 21 miles per gallon.

The difference means Beth would get 250 fewer miles per tank of gas, while Ann would save $100 a month – or $1,200 a year – assuming 15,000 miles and $4 a gallon for gas.

Here are five things Ann did to drive more efficiently in her Cruze:

  1. Get out of the drive-through lane. “While Beth waited in the drive-through with her car running, I shut off the engine and went inside for my morning coffee. Idling for 15 minutes burns through an average of a quarter of a gallon – adding another $1 to the cost of your latte.”
  2. Take it easy. “In the city, I accelerated smoothly while Beth demonstrated one of the most common mistakes we see on the road, jumping on the gas at every light, only to hit the brakes as she caught up with the traffic ahead. Such aggressive driving isn’t going to get you home any faster, while driving smoothly can improve your mileage by 20 percent.”
  3. Driving 70, not 80. “On the highway, I drove 70, compared to Beth’s 80. Again, a 10-mph difference likely won’t add much time to your daily commute, but it will save you up to four miles per gallon on the highway.”
  4. Use cruise control. “I tried to maintain a constant speed during our drive, while Beth’s fluctuated with traffic. Try using cruise control when possible, and maintaining a constant speed over time, which is much more efficient than speeding up and slowing down over and over again.”
  5. Roll up the windows. “One of the most common questions we get is ‘is it better to drive with the A/C on, or off?’ At slower speeds, turning off the air conditioning can save you a little, but I always roll up the windows on the highway. Beth was driving with her windows down, and the increased air pressure acted like a parachute trying to slow her down – consuming much more energy than air conditioning ever will.”

Five Vehicle Mistakes That Hurt MPG:

Here are things that contributed to Beth’s poor fuel economy:

  1. Low tire pressure. “All four tires on my car were five pounds under their recommended air pressure. That’s not enough to change how the Cruze drives, but it does make the engine work much harder to turn the wheels. Check your tires at least once a month, as a tire that is 10 pounds under pressure can cut your fuel efficiency by more than 3 percent.”
  2. Using roof ornaments. “To show support for my favorite sports team, I put up window flags on my Cruze for every home game. But when the team is on the road, the flags will come down. At highway speeds, up to a third of your fuel is used to overcome wind resistance, so even small changes to your vehicle’s aerodynamics will have a big impact on fuel economy. “
  3. Carrying extra junk in the trunk. “I had six bags of water-softener salt I bought on sale at the hardware store in the trunk. But according to EPA estimates, every 100 pounds of weight can reduce fuel economy by 2 percent. While I saved at the checkout, that 240 pounds of salt added almost 5 percent to my fuel costs for the trip.”
  4. Ignoring the “check engine” light. “I called OnStar to run a remote diagnostics check on my Cruze, because the check engine light was on. Turns out the light was on because the gas cap was loose. More serious engine problems can cut your fuel economy by up to 40 percent.”
  5. Not bundling errands. “An engine at operating temperature is up to 50 percent more efficient than a cold engine. So when possible, it’s much better to run five errands in an afternoon than running one errand every day of the week.

What are you doing to save at the pump? Any tips on where to find the best gas prices?!

Transforming a GMC Yukon XL into a “Dominator”

A few months ago, our storm chasing friends Reed Timmer, Chris Chittick, and the entire TornadoVideos.net crew, picked up a half-ton, four wheel drive 2011 Yukon XL SLE from our GMC store in what other color – Storm Gray Metallic! It has a Vortec 5.3L V8 SFI FlexFuel with Active Fuel Management, capable of running on unleaded or up to 85% ethanol. And, at just over 222″ long, the Yukon XL offers ample room for the team’s numerous computers and research equipment. Lovingly renamed the “Dominator 2″, this Yukon has since undergone quite a transformation!

Here is what a brand new Yukon XL looks like:

Here is what a Yukon XL looks like after being transformed into a storm chasing machine!

Want to see how they did it? Check out the video!

Todd Wenzel Chevrolet celebrates Military Appreciation Month

Did you know that May is National Military Appreciation Month? In honor of this, Todd Wenzel Chevrolet is happy to announce the expansion of the GM Military Discount Program – which will now include military retirees and active military spouses, in addition to active duty military personnel.

Recognized as the best program in the industry, it is available to the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard. The discount is available on most Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models with discounts typically ranging between $500 and $4,000 off the suggested retail price of the vehicle purchased.

Plus, those who utilize their discount this month to purchase, lease, order or take delivery of a new vehicle will also receive an exclusive Chevrolet Honor emblem at no charge!

We salute our Armed Forces and military retirees and encourage you to leave a comment to say thank you to the men and women that serve our country. Thank you for all that you do!

5 Hot Features That Make the Chevy Cruze So Cool

Console of the 2011 Cruze

As the saying goes, good things come in small packages. The Cruze may be a compact car, but it offers an outrageous amount of features. Here are five that we think are just brilliant:

OnStar MyLink

This mobile app lets you connect with your vehicle, giving you real-time information whenever you want it – like your fuel level, fuel range (how long can you really drive before you run out of gas?), and remaining oil life. It also gives you serious control by allowing you to lock or unlock your doors from any distance, start your vehicle remotely, even activate your horn and lights if you need help finding your vehicle.

MyLink Mobile App

Hands-free calling

How great is this? Synch your Bluetooth® phone with your car, and you can take all your calls with one simple touch of a button on the steering wheel. Standard in the 2LT and LTZ, and available in every other Cruze model.

USB Port

The USB port connects your MP3 player to the audio system. You can even plug in a music-loaded flash drive into the USB port. Love it!

Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Get upcoming turns and street names displayed on the Driver Information Center or hear directions from the automated voice, and keep your eyes on the road.

OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics

Have you ever received an email… from your car? Well, now you can, every month. Vehicle diagnostics is like a report card from your car. It updates you on the condition of your key operating systems – how the engine and transmission are doing, how much oil life is left, what your tire pressure is – and alerts you if there is a problem.

Have a favorite? Let us know what features your vehicle has that you can’t live without!

Storm Chasers Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick partner with Todd Wenzel GMC

We are excited to announce our partnership with Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick, of Discovery Channel’s popular series, Storm Chasers and founders of TornadoVideos.net, as the research team’s official vehicle sponsor.

Todd Wenzel GMC provided the TVN team with a 2011 Yukon XL, which will soon become the “Dominator 2″ tornado-chasing and storm research vehicle. Timmer currently drives a modified 2008 Chevy Tahoe, best known as “The Dominator”.

Reed Timmer, Chris Chittick and the TVN team at Todd Wenzel GMC with their new 2011 Yukon XL

“We felt this partnership was a natural fit,” Todd Wenzel said. “Reed and Chris are from Grand Rapids, and they have had great success chasing extreme storms in a GM product. We are excited to be a local partner and keep them in another solid, dependable vehicle.”

Timmer and Chittick, together with their vehicle modification team, picked up the Yukon XL on February 3 at our Buick GMC facility in Grand Rapids.

Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick

Modifications to the vehicle are already underway, and include a state-of-the art armored shell to protect it, and passengers, from 100+ MPH winds and flying debris. In addition, they will attach various radars and probes to help them collect important data and insight into the destructive twisters they eagerly drive into.

The original "Dominator" is a 2008 Chevy Tahoe

We have special events planned throughout the year with the TVN team, including the unveiling of the new Dominator 2, so check back often for updates!

Detroit Auto Show Highlights

There are a number of exciting new GM vehicles making their debut at this years’ North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which opens to the public on Saturday. If you have plans to go, be sure to check these out!

Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevy Volt

This week, the much anticipated Chevy Volt was named North American Car of the Year, by a panel of 49 automotive journalists. Powered by electricity, the Volt can run up to 50 miles before the gas kicks in; and the 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is backed by an 100,000 mile/8-year warranty.

The dashboard is like nothing we’ve seen, with two LCD screens that display speed, battery power, range to recharge or re-fill as well as an efficiency gauge that gives you real-time feedback. The unique center console also has a seven-inch high-resolution screen with touch-sensitive control.

Volt dash with two LCD screens

Here’s a peak inside the Volt…pretty cool, huh?

Volt infrastructure

Buick Verano

2012 Buick Verano

The all new Buick Verano combines a compact, sporty profile with a wildly elegant interior. It has a powerful yet efficient Ecotec 2.4L six-speed automatic powertrain. Look for it later this year!

Buick Verano interior

Chevrolet Convertible Camaro

2011 convertible Camaro

What can we say? This is one HOT car! It features a lined canvas top, with a glass rear window (with defroster), and operates by releasing a single latch and pushing a power button. Available with the 3.6-liter V-6 or 6.2-liter V-8. It’s in production and will go on sale in February.

Chevrolet Sonic

The stylish little sonic will be available as a hatchback or sedan.

2012 Chevy Sonic

The hip instrument panel was motorcycle-inspired. Comes standard with ten airbags, traction and stability control, Bluetooth and is compatible with My Chevrolet Mobile apps. A turbocharged 1.4L will also be available. The Sonic will be made in Orion Township, MI beginning this fall.

Interior view of the all new Chevy Sonic

GMC All Terrain HD Concept

We saved the biggest, and baddest for last! At more than six feet, nine inches tall, the All Terrain HD is larger than life.

GMC All Terrain HD

GM borrowed power from the new Sierra HD pickups. So under the hood you’ll find a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8, that produces 397 horsepower and 755 pound-feet of torque. The All Terrain HD has a five-passenger crew cab with a five-foot, eight-inch bed that’s floodlit for nighttime convenience. WOW!

If you can’t make it to Detroit, remember the Michigan International Auto Show will be in Grand Rapids February 3-6. We’ll be there to show off what’s new and answer your questions. For show info, click here.

Luxury buyers choose Buick Regal over imports

We can’t say enough good things about this vehicle! It is loaded with luxury features, but without the luxury price, (starts around $26,000).

2011 Buick Regal

Modern, aerodynamic lines

It’s definitely catching the eyes of our customers, as it is currently one of our best selling vehicles! Is it any wonder why?

Buick Regal Interior

Available Harman/Kardon premium sound system with standard USB port

The list of standard features goes on and on. From heated leather seating, bluetooth, rear park assist, not to mention all of the performance and safety features. In fact, it’s a top safety pick from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Customers tell us the Regal “drives like a European sports car” and rave about it’s responsive handling. “Wow! I can’t believe this is a Buick!”, is what we hear most often. So we invite you to visit us (our Buick store is at 2727 28th Street) to test drive one and see for yourself! When you do, be sure to ask us about our exclusive Buick Platinum Program…