Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 37
 
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors



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Iris Interiors


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Weather Forecast


It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton



Automotive Excellence: “I look forward to being able to say that every customer in New Jersey and nearby Pennsylvania is driving a Hamilton Honda! All we ask is the opportunity to earn your business. Let us show you what we can do for you.” MIke Saporito, managing partner of the new Hamilton Honda center, is very enthusiastic about his brand new dealership.

New and Pre-Owned Vehicles, Service and Repair Are Offered at State-of-the-Art Hamilton Honda

It’s brand new and state-of-the-art. It’s 65,000 square feet of gleaming showroom, customer lounge, and reception area — complete with refreshments and internet access — and a spacious, immaculately clean service center.

And that’s just the beginning! After visitors walk through the door, they will see all those shiny new Hondas!

Opened in May, Hamilton Honda is attracting large numbers of customers even in the midst of economic hard times. Located at 655 Route 130 North in Hamilton, it is drawing people from Hamilton, Princeton, Trenton, and Burlington, as well as other areas.

“It has been amazing,” notes managing partner Mike Saporito. “The second full month we were open, we were Number One in sales among 17 Honda dealers in the district. We sold 400 new cars and 60 pre-owned.

“Also, we have already given more than 7000 free car washes. Everyone who brings in a car for service gets a free car wash. And if they purchase a new car, or certified pre-owned car, they have free car washes and oil changes for the life of the car.”

Mr. Saporito, who has been in the automobile industry for 25 years, opened Hamilton Honda with his partner Jessie Armstead, former New York Giant line backer and 5-time Pro-Bowl player. Mr. Saporito is very enthusiastic and has very high standards and expectations.

New Boundaries

“We strive for perfection,” he states. “Our motto is: ‘Let us exceed your expectations.’ I believe a successful business comes from loyalty. We have loyal, happy employees, and that means loyal, happy customers. American Honda has given us a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating. But why not 100 percent? I think that way, and we continue to shoot for it. I like to test new boundaries. We pay attention to our customers, and continue to learn ways we can be better.”

And Hamilton Honda has a choice for everyone — all sizes, styles, and models, and as Mr. Saporito points out, all Hondas meet the highest standards of safety, fuel efficiency, and reliability.

“Our two biggest sellers are the Civic, which gets 36 highway miles to the gallon, and the Accord, with 30 miles to the gallon,” says Mr. Saporito.

Silver continues to be the most popular color, and there is growing interest in the very fuel efficient hybrid. Honda’s new 4-door Insight hybrid gets 43 miles on the highway, and is competitively price from $20,000.

If your preference is something larger, the 4-wheel drive Pilot SUV seats eight, and the 8-passenger van, the Odyssey is also very popular. In addition, Honda’s vans and SUVs lead the market in fuel efficiency, reports Mr. Saporito. “Honda has always been the most fuel-efficient company.”

Hamilton Honda will also have an SUV/station wagon cross-over available in November.

Service Capacity

The dealership’s very large inventory — more than 500 new cars and over 100 used cars — provides a plethora of choices, styles, and colors.

Then, there is the service. The large service center features 37 bays, as well as an express area. “I actually didn’t expect the service business to be so big right away,” reports Mr. Saporito. “We built a huge service capacity, thinking that in a couple of years it would be working to full speed, but it happened right away. There have been days when we have 82 customers.”

A big plus is that no appointments are necessary for service, and there is also the express service which gets customers in and out in 30 minutes.

“Time is very valuable today, and we want to get people in and out quickly, so we have extended hours. If there is a situation requiring a longer period, we have a fleet of loaner cars. But if it’s only for a couple of hours, many people choose to stay in the customer lounge and enjoy the TV, newspapers, and refreshments.”

Hamilton Honda’s service department is set apart by its outstanding staff, believes Jim Mann, service and parts director. “Our technicians undergo a very rigorous training program,” he points out. “Each must pass an extensive and thorough study program and class room training. The technology is so rapid today. This is one of the biggest changes, and you have to keep up-to-date.

“Our technicians are excellent people, not only knowledgeable but friendly and helpful to customers. We understand the personal, as well as the mechanical need. Also, in the express service area, you can actually watch the technicians work on your car.”

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is one of the best things you can do for your car, he adds. “This is so important, including oil changes, battery and tire checks, fluids, belts and hoses. A car purchased here can have free oil changes for the life of the car. Tire pressure is also very important for safety and fuel efficiency. Keeping the tires rotated helps them to wear evenly.”

Mr. Mann, who has worked in the auto industry for 20 years, still loves the hands-on work. As he says, “I still like to look under the hood of a car. And there’s no car that will win! I’ll solve the problem every time. Every car is fixable.

“I love the cars,” he adds. “For me, the Honda is outstanding, and I enjoy working with the people here, including our staff — we have a real team work philosophy. And helping the customers solve a problem is great. We want to be the best car experience anyone ever had!”

Used cars must meet the same exacting standards as new Hondas, he notes. “They are as close to new as possible, and they are all certified and carefully inspected. Also, even every new car off the truck goes through an inspection and is cleaned — a pre-delivery inspection.”

In addition to the customer lounge and soon-to-open cafe (the latter offering breakfast and lunch, including bacon, eggs, bagels, sandwiches, coffee, and other beverages), Hamilton Honda plans to feature a Honda boutique with hats, shirts, key rings, cleaning and other car products, etc.

“I want people to come and see us,” says Mr. Saporito. “Honda gives us the tools with the best vehicles, and we do the rest. We’re off to a great start and already enjoy a referral business. Also, customers are much more educated today — this is one of the biggest changes in the business. The availability of information, especially via the internet, creates more educated customers. There are a lot of different consumer advocate sites, and we love it. When a consumer is educated, they know what they want. In a study, 86 percent of people who purchased Hondas were influenced by the internet.

“Whether someone comes in for a new car or whether they entrust their car, their ‘baby’, to us for service, they can be sure they will receive the best care and attention.”

Honda’s showroom is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 to 6. Service: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 7 to 6, Sunday 9 to 4. (609) 528-2600. Website: www.HamiltonHonda.net.

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