Good Car Ma

I often write about “The Carpool” and many might be tired of hearing about it, but it has been one of the most time-saving, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and personally helpful things about my life as a parent.

When I bought a new car in 2004 there were only me and my daughter, who was in second grade at the time, to consider. But I had high hopes of  forming a carpool to take our kids  from our home in Ko Olina to Kapolei’s IPA, such high hopes that I bought “The Pacifica” which seated 6.

The carpool did not come into fruition until 2 years later when I met Laurie Hanan (who is the best blog commenter I know) and began our long-term relationship in what we fondly call the Kapolei Carpool.

It never happened for regular school, but Laurie and I have been shuttling our kids back and forth from the Synagogue on Wednesdays and Sundays and any other chance in between  since 2005.

The Pacifica was on its way to a painful demise so I figured I would finally replace it. It turned out to be a more emotional experience than I imagined. I was pretty attached to that car. It had been my life for six years. We spent so much time driving places and had so much stuff in it that my daughter used to call it our mobile home.

But change was inevitable and it turned out to be all a matter of what I am fondly calling Good Carma. Weeks before I went to buy a car, a friend of mine proudly showed me her new Highlander. It is a very nice car and one that I had considered buying. She told me of her unpleasant experience at several dealerships and how it had influenced her final decision to purchase this Toyota.

I could not imagine how a salesperson’s attitude would be a deciding factor in such a major purchase such as a new automobile. Then I went car shopping one Saturday and learned first hand how right she was. After hours of web surfing and intense perusal of, I decided to buy a Chevy Traverse. We  rented one in California last August and enjoyed it immensely.

I test drove it again when I returned to Hawaii and confirmed my good first impression. That is until I went to three different Chevy dealers on Oahu and left the last one absolutely disgusted at their inventory, communication and manipulation to try to get me to buy something that I did not want.

I left the Chevy dealer on Nimitz Highway, turned right and saw the Buick dealer a few blocks down. I vaguely remembered seeing a Buick online kind of like the Chevy Traverse and impulsively turned into their parking lot.

Four hours and five phone calls to my husband for emergency online information later, I drove away in my brand new 2011 Buick Enclave and have been thrilled every minute since I bought it. That’s what I call Good Car Ma! Their salesman, Mike Chau, was helpful, honest and went out of his way to help me find what I wanted. And he bought me ice cream while we waited for the car to be prepared by these very nice young men.

The managers were reasonable at the negotiation table and the finance guy was straightforward and honest. I have to say that I never imagined I’d be a big ole’ Buick driving mama, but I float across Kapolei, right onto H1, straight into Honolulu with pleasure ever since my karma kicked in and I made that right turn into the Hawaii Auto Group and traded in my beloved Pacifica for my newly adored Enclave.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Dawson
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 21:27:18

    Lorrie, your car-buying experience had me laughing out loud…..I totally
    relate to what you described. After that accident three years ago, that
    rendered my Mazda minivan unrepairable, I really had to make a quick
    purchase and went shopping in earnest. At a Honda dealership, (I really
    wanted a CRV), an obnoxious salesman absolutely refused to even try to
    find a car that fit my description…told me he couldn’t get one with
    leather interior….a big fat fib! The next day, at Mark’s urging, I checked out
    a Kia Sportage and actually left the sales office after being reduced to
    obscenities directed at the idiot sales manager…(Does this sound like your
    Aunt Barbie??). Anyway, David found a pristine one-year-old Lexus and we
    are now wed forever…..(the car and I….David already has Sue.) Congrats on
    the Buick….it sounds great! Barb


  2. Hal W
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 21:27:58

    Welcome back-you haven’t blogged in about 3 weeks.

    Congratulations on your new wheels. May you have many years of safe, comfortable and happy motoring. When the girls are old enough to drive themselves, you can trade in for a sports car.



  3. Lorraine Gershun
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 21:30:08

    Thanks, Hal. It’s a good feeling not to worry about being in a safe car! The kids are making themselves right at home in the back seat and we have enough room for all our gear too!


  4. Laurie Hanan
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 21:46:32

    Congratulations on your great new car, Ma! This says a lot for Hawaii Auto Group. Most car dealers are a nightmare to work with (my own husband excluded, of course!). I rented a Quest in Idaho, when I went for my son’s wedding. It held two families, a total of 8 people, and all our luggage comfortably. I came right home and bought one. Now I’m on my second Quest and looking forward to getting a third (I want the kind where the back windows roll down, for the dog). I’ve also owned a couple of Buicks and was completely happy with the cars (but watch out for their service department!).

    Thank you for being the instigator and organizer of the Kapolei Carpool. It’s been a lifesaver – or at least a sanity saver!


  5. Martha Gershun
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 21:52:35

    I still remember going car shopping 20 years ago, and the salesman said “We don’t have that model in stock for you to look at, but… what would it take for you to commit to buying it today?” (!!!) Glad you found such a great car – drive it in good health!


    • Lorraine Gershun
      Oct 25, 2010 @ 02:47:01

      I remember the first time I ever went car shopping was with our father. When they did not give us the price that he suggested, he said that we should leave. We were almost to the car when the salesman ran after us and agreed to daddy’s price. I was amazed. I drove home that night in my new white convertible VW the happiest daughter around!


  6. Margaret Stiglitz
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 22:07:47

    Wow! Mazel Tov! I hope you continue to enjoy it. I do miss the Kapolei carpool!


  7. Barbara Gass
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 11:40:01

    Many safe miles in the new car. Enjoy it! You could even pick me up at the airport with it.
    I never knew women to buy cars without being accompanied by the macho guy. Kudos to you.
    Glad you’re back. Miss reading you.


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