Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Price or Miles?

I've been meaning to do a little more on this blog to help you with your car buying experience, regardless of whether or not you come to Bourne's. Today I want to talk about the relative merits of buying a newer car with higher miles versus an older car with lower miles.

There are two Ford Explorers on our lot,
one is a 2007 model with 74,000 miles and it's priced at $12,990, and the other is 2006 with 47,000 miles for $15,590. Seems like a no brainer, right? Well, I thought so, and when I talked to one of our salesmen, Gerard, and he said he thought it was clear which truck was the better deal.

I said the 2006. He said the 2007.

There's a bit of a debate going on here at Bourne's right now regarding whether you should buy price or miles. I have always sided with an older, lower miles vehicle over a newer, high miles car, and I have always had good cars with very few problems. Jason Bourne, patriarch of the Auto Center, has always bought high miles, newer cars for himself and his family, and he has always had good cars with very few problems.

The argument for a new car with higher miles revolves around a couple of key issues: corrosion/elemental exposure and type of miles driven. Everyone agrees that driving a mile on the highway produces less wear and tear on a car than driving in the city, due to a more consistent speed, fewer bumps, little to no shifting and hopefully no braking at all. City drivers are more likely to be involved in small bumper to bumper action, stop and go driving that stresses pretty much every system of the car, and definitely more cosmetic issues due to careless pedestrians and the close proximity of parked cars to one another.

Since newer cars are not as prone to rust as my beloved 1985 Chevy Celebrity was, I am less concerned about the corrosion issues, especially for cars less than five years old. However, there is no doubt that a new car with high miles is more likely to have mostly highway miles on it, which can make it a very good value, especially with the long lasting drivetrains in cars today.

However, if you are the type of person who keeps a car for a long time and doesn't drive much, then it may make sense for you to get a low miles car and keep it low miles. My favorite cars are the ones that are at least a decade old and with low miles, because they were usually driven by older drivers who are less prone to abusive driving.

What it really comes down to is the best car for you is one that fits your budget, has the options that you need and works for you in your daily life. All of our cars are inspected by our ASE certified technicians, so whether you take the years or the miles, you can't go wrong.

Do you find this annoying?

I was reading through the e-mails this morning, and at least 3-4 times a week we get a question that looks like this: "Hello, I am interested in the 06 Honda Accord. I would like to know if the $10,890 is the actual price of the car or reflects a $2000-$3000 trade-in or cash down. If so, what is the actual price the customer has to pay for the car?"

My typical response to this questions is as follows: Bourne's Auto Center DOES NOT use these deceptive advertising tactics. The price you see is the price you pay! No games, no gimmicks, no "let me talk to my manager", and no "what is it going to take to get you in this vehicle today!!"

Bourne's Auto Center agrees with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley that this is an inappropriate way market your vehicles. She stated, "A car may be one of the first and most-expensive purchases a consumer will make in his or her lifetime. Clarity and fairness in auto advertising are crucial." Many times our prices are so competitive that customers think that we have these practices!

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion (New Inventory)

(Except maybe that Black on Black E500 in the background)

It's no secret that the Chevrolet Corvette is the sweetest ride outside of Europe, and while this might not be the super high performance Zo6, it still packs 400 horsepower and 400 ft/lbs of torque. I took this car to the gas station to put a little premium fuel in it, and it just begged to be driven, but alas I could not go faster than the posted 35 mph limit between the lot and pump. The seats were surprisingly comfortable, and it certainly rode better than my expectations of such a high performance vehicle(though it didn't exactly ride like an STS, which we just so happen to have in stock).

The title of this blog refers to the color of the car, Atomic Orange Metallic. On a Cobalt or a Malibu, I think it would look silly, but on a sharp car like the Corvette, I think that offbeat color really accents the slightly exaggerated wheel wells and sleek lines of this true sports car. A lot of people will only buy black or silver cars, because black looks great all shined up(though it's difficult to keep clean), and silver is unassuming and always looks good, even when dirty. However, if you're going to buy a car like a Corvette, you can't play it safe and get a boring color, you've got to get yellow or red, or orange, something that stands out and is worthy of the performance under the hood.

We also got a few more Altimas, a Murano SL with leather seats and a moon roof, and a 2008 Hummer H3 that is an absolute blast to drive.

Monday, September 28, 2009

EVR Coming to Bourne's!!!

We are excited to announce Electronic Vehicle Registration will be provided at Bourne's Auto Center. Electronic Vehicle Registration(EVR) was designed by the Registry of Motor Vehicles to allow large to midsize dealers and insurance agents to provide new and transfer registrations at the DEALERSHIP! This program will allow us, in conjuction with the Registry, to streamline all registration processes! Our scheduled install date is October 1st, we hope to be live and distributing plates in the first couple of weeks of October.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What is this?

I think it's a Honda Civic, maybe an '03 or so. Anyway, this next one is a bit more Bourne's style, anyway

We see so many Volvos with more than 200k on them, that I'm not too surprised to see that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gearless transmission?(New Inventory)

I've been working here at Bourne's for nearly three years now, and so I've seen a wide variety of cars with various strange and interesting technologies. BMW's ridiculous SMG transmission, the super efficient hybrids, adjustable suspensions, and the CVT that replaces regualr old gearboxes for the 2007 and up Nissan Altima and various other Nissan models.

I'm not exactly sure how it works, to be honest, but it doesn't have shift points like a traditional automatic transmission and as a result it gets slightly better fuel economy, and even better performance because there's no lag in between gears. When you drive one, you won't hear the engine rev up and down, but rather a steady drone that smoothly increases as the vehicle accelerates, and you have good control over acceleration because there's no downshifting. It's a neat technology that's becoming more and more widespread, and just another reason why the Altima is probably the best value among Japanese sedans.

We've also got an Infiniti G35x and FX35, two of the most exciting vehicles in their respective classes, and a great deal on a Ford Fusion for those of you looking for a comfortable and efficient sedan in the $200-a month range.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Radio knobs beat buttons every day (New Inventory)

That's not to say that I don't love pretty much every Saab 9-3, but the 2007 had some pretty cool upgrades that make it a great value if you don't want to shell out the extra money for the 2008 redesign. The new interior is trimmed with some neat-looking silver accents, they firmed up the suspension, quieted the cabin down a bit and installed a radio that was substantially more usable, mostly because you can scroll through the stations with a knob rather than by pressing a button.

OK, that last bit might seem like I'm nitpicking, but I absolutely can't stand radios that don't use a knob to scroll through stations, and I have always loved the 9-3(I own a '99), but the radio has been a major sticking point for me. Look at the comparison!


That little knob on the upper right hand side makes all the difference

In addition to a few of these Saabs that seem to get all the details right, we've also got a couple of BMW 5-series sedans, a 2008 Toyota Avalon and another model that went over to the knobbed radio route, the 2007 Volvo S80.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The British are coming!

Well, Briton, at least. I was going over some of the new inventory we had coming in, and when I checked out the VIN(Vehicle Identification Number) on a Honda CR-V, I noticed the first letter of the VIN was an S. "S?" I thought, quizzically tilting my head to one side. "But the first letter of a VIN code indicates country of origin, and S indicates a car was assembled in England!"

That's right, apparently Honda built some CR-V's in Swindon, England for the North American market. It's not uncommon for a manufacturer to build cars outside of their comfort zone to cut down on shipping or for more favorable tax and labor conditions. Check out the VIN on your car, 1 is USA, 2 is Canada, 3 is Mexico, 4 and 5 are both USA, though usually by a foreign manufacturer, J is Japan, Y is Sweden, W is Germany, K is Korea and S is England. So, check out your supposedly domestic car, your ostensibly Japanese vehicle, admire your Mexican-German sedan, and you'll probably be surprised at what you find.

(If you own a Land Rover Discovery and want a stupid little laugh, check out the first five letters of the VIN)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bourne's Auto Assists DUI Investigation

Many of our customers may not know that one of the services we provide is 24 hour recovery with the Easton Police. The Enterprise News reported today about one of the recoveries we did for the Police on Early Friday Morning. It was this gentleman's fifth offense for DUI. It certainly makes us feel good to help the Easton PD get this driver off the road. Good work by our Driver Rob.

Click Here to See the Article

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Partnership announced with DealerRater.Com

Bourne's has just signed a partnership with to become one of their "Certified Dealers." DealerRater allows consumers to share information about their dealership experiences, good and bad. We feel strongly that this forum will allow us to better service our customer by resolving any outstanding issues or misunderstandings that may exist. This partnership will go live within the next few weeks. We will keep you posted on the go live date and hope you will share the Bourne's Auto Center experience.

When was the last time we had a Murano?

Like the once-extinct coelacanth returning to the waters off the coast of South Africa, the Nissan Murano has made its triumphant return to Bourne's Auto Center. According to my extensive research, the last time we stocked even one of Nissan's hit crossover utility vehicles was in early May, which means that our Summer hours have come and gone, we've sold over 300 cars, and our dress code has gone from long pants to shorts and now back to long pants again. We've got three of 'em, silver, white, and black, each one All Wheel Drive.

If you look in the background of that picture, you can see the two Altimas we just got in as well.

Our new Tow Truck

We actually have a very nice tow truck, which you can see here.

New Photo Studio

If you've been on who hasn't?) and checked the pictures of our inventory then you know that sometimes I struggle with a too-bright sun which creates too many shadows, a blurry picture here and there(which happens when you take about 1,000 pictures a month while dodging cars and customers on the lot) and the occasional person in the background. Today, I took my very first set of photos in the new picture studio we just set up. Sure, it's just some tile and brighter lights off in a corner that used to have a bunch of broken down go karts and ATVs, but it ought to give us some uniformity, and hopefully a better look at our cars for our customers before they make the trip down to Easton.

As for how that first set came out, I have mixed feelings. I like that there's a good clean background(we have a large Bourne's logo for the wall coming in this week) and the outside pictures are good, but I think the flash isn't quite bright enough for interior shots in this new lighting system, but rumor has it there's an upgraded camera in my future, so that may be resolved without an elaborate system of flood lights.

Gerard Flaherty checks out the new area while Dave Olson does his morning calisthenics.

Race Day Drawing Near!!!

Bourne's Auto Center is Proud to be a sponsor of the 9th Annual Seaside Lemans. This brings European racing action to the Mashpee Commons in Mashpee, MA. Our fast and furious drivers are Russell Burnham, Jason Bourne and Tommy Duggan. We took down second place in the Brockton Fair Demolition Derby so we are certainly gunning for a first place finish! This is a great event that benefits the Cape Cod Foundation. This years beneficiaries include The Genesis Fund, The Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, and Children's Cove. So if you are in the area, stop by and route on our drivers.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Inventory

I remember a time when Bourne's was pretty much a Swedish car dealer, stocking nearly 100 Saabs and Volvos and not a whole lot else. We always had customers coming in looking for Japanese sedans, but we couldn't deliver because we weren't looking in the right places. Now, our buying agents scour a couple different websites that offer lease vehicles before they hit the auctions so we're competing with WAY fewer dealers and thus getting better prices. Check out this Mazda3 that we never would've been able to get before:

Now, it says "SOLD" on the windshield but it's available, just not quite cleaned up yet, so if you make the trip to Easton, give me a call first and I'll have my crack team of recon specialists give it a little spit and polish.

That's not the only new inventory we've got in, we've also got a couple of 2008 Dodge Avengers, a 2008 Nissan Altima, a super efficient 2008 Hyundai Elantra and a Volvo XC90 with third row seating. has all these and more listed, so if you want to see our entire inventory, head on over and check it out.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Hours

In celebration of the Labor Day Holiday, Bourne's Auto Center will be closed on Sunday September 6th and Monday September 7th. This marks the end of our summer sales hours. Effective Sunday September 13th we will be open Sundays for sales 11:00-3:00. Our Sales Team as informed me that after Labor Day, we are closed only two days for the rest of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas! I also wanted to wish all of our customers, parents and students, good luck as the new school year begins.

If you ever wondered what Labor Day was all about....