What does Thanksgiving mean to the Jaffarians?



For many, Thanksgiving is about eating, a lot of eating, followed by a lot of shopping on “Black Friday.” And I want to say that there is nothing wrong with this, spending time with family and stimulating the economy, especially with Small Business Saturday this week!

We are so fortunate to have a holiday to pause and take the time to give thanks. We have so much to be thankful for: top of mind for me are my grandparents and parents (who I often write about) who started out years ago. My brothers Paul and Mark, my kids, friends, customers and employees.  Without all of you—there would be no Jaffarian Volvo Toyota.  I especially want the employees to know how thankful I am for their dedication, loyalty and hard work.

One of the hallmarks of Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion is actively participating in community events and proactively giving back to our local community. This holiday season, I am pleased and proud to announce that we are supporting Emmaus in Haverhill whose slogan is “Where Everybody Matters.”  Emmaus helps people rebuild their lives by creating and renewing a sense of community by providing both immediate assistance and long-term solutions through emergency shelters, affordable housing, job training, and more.

According to the Emmaus website, there are 3,500 homeless families in Emmaus house and tag (3)Massachusetts needing emergency housing every night. Emmaus’ program has helped 3500 homeless people rebuild their lives each year. Since 1985, Emmaus has helped more than 25,000 men, women and children out of homelessness and onto self-sufficiency.

From now through December 18, we are asking the local community to join Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion by donating items needed most by local children—socks, diapers, mittens, winter hats, pajamas and  toothbrushes and toothpaste (all new please). Our goal is to fill up a Toyota Tundra in the showroom with loads of these new items for local children. If you would like to help us give back to the Emmaus House, please bring such items for children to our showroom any time from now until December 18th.  It is astonishing to think of the impact on children.  We hope we can make the holiday season more merry and bright for these children.

We have much to be thankful for and giving back to local families in need is our way of giving thanks and giving back.  From all of us in the Jaffarian Family, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! And please — drive safely!


Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What vehicle do you recommend for a growing family that is both roomy and safe?

SiennaFallWhen it comes to shuttling around families with maximum comfort and safety, there is no better vehicle than the Toyota Sienna. It has an impressive amount of style and technology. Toyota is devoted to safety and dependability, and proper vehicle maintenance is important to both. That’s why we include ToyotaCare, a no-cost maintenance plan with the purchase or lease of every new Toyota for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first; and 24-hour roadside assistance is also included for two years, regardless of mileage.

U.S. News and World Report gave the highest ranking for mini-vans in 2015 to the Toyota Sienna. When it comes to safety, the most accurate and objective rankings are from the IIHS (Institute for Highway Safety) Highway Loss Data Institute and they ranked the Sienna a Top Safety Pick +. Edmunds.com praised the updated Sienna saying “ this mid-cycle refresh includes substantial improvements to the interior’s quality, ergonomics and design. Taken together this round of upgrades to the Toyota Sienna further elevates its position as one of our top-recommended minivans.”

Sienna comes standard with the Star Safety System™, a suite of six active safety features that include Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology. ® Sienna’s Automatic Locking Retractor seatbelts help you securely install child seats without the need for a locking clip.

For added safety, there are eight standard airbags and has a special radar to help determine if a frontal collision is imminent, and automatically applies the brakes and retracts the front seatbelts to help reduce the effects of a collision. Providing further protection in case you’re in an accident, the Sienna has side-impact door beams that help prevent vehicle intrusion into the cabin.

The Toyota Sienna adds even more features for 2016, including the Entune infotainment system that has been upgraded with Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users, while the Entune Audio Plus brings a low-cost navigation option to customers.

The 2016 Toyota Sienna is stylish and functional family transport, but is anything but boring. The narrow headlights and wide stance give the Sienna its distinctive look, while its low step-in height and generous proportions make it practical and flexible. If that isn’t good enough, the Sienna SE even has a sporty look with a lowered, sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, smoked headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights. Inside the Sienna SE, Toyota adds more exclusive touches including sportier gauges and black leather seats.sienna-red-family-bikes

There’s nothing “mini” about this minivan. The versatile cabin features easy-to-use folding seats allowing the Sienna to quickly transform from an eight-passenger family transporter to a weekend hauler offering up to 150 cubic feet of cargo space. It may be a long vehicle but it is not hard for passengers to communicate from the driver to the rear seats. The cabin is extremely quiet and there is a unique system that uses a microphone and the audio system to amplify the voices of front occupants to rear passengers, so the children can’t pretend they didn’t hear you!

Running down the option list, the 2016 Toyota Sienna is in a class by itself when you consider that it is the only minivan still on the market offering the added convenience of all-wheel drive for safer winter driving. We do the work for you to compare Sienna to many other minivans. (Click here to learn more.)

Thanks to the 2016 Toyota Sienna, the days of the mundane minivan are over. Stop by Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion to see how much style, space and safety features the new Sienna offers, and be sure to take one for a test drive today.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary, Jaffarian Toyota

What can we do to recognize our Veterans?

It is so important that we recognize the veterans in the U.S., not only on Veterans Day held on November 11, but every day. It has become more socially acceptable and encouraged by society to thank a veteran or active military when you see them in uniform, whether you know them or not. There are a lot of charities collecting packages for our armed forces and charities targeting veterans who suffer from homelessness, unemployment, physical and mental health issues including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Just thanking a veteran can be uplifting and it is as important, or even more important, to show appreciation more than anything else. It will make their day special and honestly, it is the least we can do for their sacrifice to protect our freedom. I often see seniors, sitting on a bench, coming into the showroom or at various places proudly wearing a cap, pin or other accessory identifying them as a veteran.  I know they’ve  interesting stories to tell, but too often, with our busy schedules, we don’t have make time to sit and listen.  This Veteran’s day, take the time to learn more from a Veteran you know.

Many veterans are honored through the “Honor Flight” program. I’d like to highlight this program that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. daily to visit memorials built to honor their service to the nation. Honor Flight Network was created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport America’s heroes to visit and reflect at the memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.male Veterans

For our senior veterans and their spouses, there are some wonderful and little-known government benefits, such as the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Programs, which enable veterans to live at home with help or in assisted living, partially funded by the Veterans Administration. There are other great benefits as well for disabled veterans, spouses and widows, including home loans and educations and training listed on the Veterans Administration website.

Homes for Our Troops in Taunton, Massachusetts and Nashua, N.H. are top-rated charities by watchdog groups and there are many more. (Click here to see the list of A-rated charitable organizations serving our veterans.) The USO is another organization that help supports veterans and their families. There are many good organizations committed to helping our Veterans and the needs are great.

There is a Pat Tillman Foundation where they fund scholarships in memory of Pat Tillman—one of America’s greatest heroes. Pat Tillman is the only NFL football player to walk away from a multi-million dollar contract to join the military and was killed during “friendly fire.”  New England folk artist Ellis Paul wrote a tribute to him: Kiss the Sun (A Tribute to Pat Tillman). There are so many great causes serving Veterans if you are so inclined to donate today or any day throughout the year.

It is so unfortunate is that our veterans risked their lives each and every day they served, with minimal pay, away from home and family, making so many sacrifices for our country and the ideals of democracy, yet they come home to face many more challenges than the average American.

Another way of honoring our nation’s veterans is to offer free or reduced meals or other services on Veterans Day and beyond. Money Magazine produces a national list of where veterans can get specials or free meals on Veterans Day. Jaffarian Toyota Scion is offering a $500 rebate to active military, inactive reserves and recent military

We welcome and encourage veterans to apply to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion  as we continue to grow our team.  We are always looking for  talented men and women to join our team and encourage veterans looking for a career opportunity to consider joining our family. We offer a benefits package unlike what most companies offer.VeteransDay

All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion wish our veterans a Happy, Healthy Veterans Day and please, thank a veteran today for their service.


Ask Gary Jaffarian




Categories: Ask Gary

How do I determine if my elderly parent is ok to drive?

elderly manI’ve spoken with experts in the field of elder services on this topic. There is no age in which someone should stop driving. Reflexes slow down, vision and hearing may change, but that is not a reason to stop driving. In fact, there are studies that show driving helps older people stay healthy because it gives them a sense of purpose and continuing independence. Seniors equate driving with independence.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study of older drivers in conjunction with Columbia University and found that when seniors stop driving they are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression and they are five times more likely to enter a long-term care facility. Most seniors are good drivers and nearly 81 percent of the seniors over 65 still drive.

What you need to examine is if there is a real reason for your parent to stop driving and perhaps consult with his/her physician. If you determine because of changes in eyesight, mental status (such as Alzheimer’s or dementia), chronic condition or medications s/he is on that your parent should stop driving, there are two things to do. One is to have his/her Elder man visiontestphysician speak with your parent about the danger s/he may cause himself or others; and two, contact the local senior center or elder services (in Massachusetts, we have Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and a similar organization covering every town) for suggestions how to help him maintain your parent’s social networks. For example, can s/he afford senior independent or assisted living communities that have planned activities and a van to provide transportation? Does your town have a senior van service that will bring him or her to appointments, shopping or social activities? Nearly every city and town in Massachusetts has a Council on Aging and Senior Center. There are also senior centers in Salem, Windham and Seabrook, NH, and a regional senior center in Plaistow. Another greater resource in Massachusetts is The Ride, sponsored by the MBTA for those who are disabled or not able to use standard public transportation.THERIDEbus

We take driving for granted every day.  Once you take the keys away, there goes your parent’s feeling of independence and seniors do not like to be a burden on others. It also affects their ability to socialize, shop, and do all those things they enjoy. It  affects their entire well-being, according to the AAA studies.

I hope you can evaluate if your parent is a competent driver or seek out services from someone who can help make that determination. AAA Roadwise Review is a free and easy self-assessment program that identifies barriers to safe driving. In 30 minutes or so, this self-assessment tool helps seniors determine their mental and physical abilities they need for safe driving.  There are also special driving classes geared toward seniors offered by AAA’s Driver Improvement Program to help seniors stay on the road longer.

Elder womanTo stay mentally sharp, many seniors know doing crosswords or Sudoku, reading, exercising, volunteering, playing bridge and other card games and eating healthy can help maintain brain health. Any and all of these things will  help maintain their ability to drive (It is part of the “use it or lose it” theory!) Also, have your parent’s  physician evaluate any medications, as they may affect his ability to react quickly or feel alert.

If you parent is shaky from Parkinson’s Disease or other chronic condition, has poor vision or a health issue that requires him or her to drive less, it may make sense to limit driving locally and drive during daylight hours only. If you need to take the keys away, please contact elder service providers, speak to his or her physician and make a plan for alternate living or rides to help maintain his or her life as much as you can to continue the activities s/he most enjoys.

All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion wish you the best in making that decision and having that conversation with your parent. Balancing well-being with the safety of the roads is that ideal balance.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

What do I need to do to prepare my car for the cold mornings of autumn and slippery roads covered in leaves?

slippery-roadThe first thing to do is to check your tire pressure. When you leave your warm garage and go out into the colder weather, your tires can lose inflation pressure. Even if your vehicle is not in a garage, you will likely need to add air after the summer months. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, the tires will each lose approximately 1 psi. A symbol that looks like an exclamation point inside parentheses will generally show up on your dashboard to let you know the pressure is too low. Feel free to stop by Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion’s Service Department for us to check your tire pressure.tire pressure  monitoring symbol

Tire pressure is important because it can affect steering, handling, gas mileage, and the life of the tires. Every vehicle has its own ideal PSI. To find your recommended pressure, check the label on the driver’s side door jamb or your owner’s manual.

I’m glad you asked about the leaves on wet roads, because drivers usually don’t consider them as dangerous as driving on ice or snow. But when leaves accumulate on wet roads, they can get extremely slippery, making the driving conditions similar to driving on ice. If the temperature drops below freezing, the wet leaves will freeze and the roads become more dangerous.

Besides reducing the car’s traction, causing skidding and the possibility of losing control of the vehicle, leaves may cover the white lines, making it difficult to see lane markers.

Tips for driving on wet roads:
• Slow down if you are driving on a road covered with leaves, especially when driving around turns to avoid skidding or rollovers.
• Allow yourself plenty of room to stop in an emergency.
• Keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Leaves also make it difficult to see potholes and bumps in the road, which can ruin your tires.
• When driving in neighborhoods, keep in mind that a pile of leaves raked to the side of the road is an inviting place to a child. Children enjoy jumping into the leaf piles or burrowing down into them and hiding. Never drive through a leaf pile. Use caution going around turns and where children are playing.
• Keep leaves off of the windshield and wiper blades to maximize your visibility while driving. Be sure to replace your wiper blades if you haven’t in the past year.
• In order to avoid the possibility of a fire hazard from the exhaust system or catalytic converter, never park your vehicle over a pile of leaves.
• On foggy nights, please use your low beams. Drivers tend to turn on high beams in the fog and that could blind an oncoming vehicle. Keep your headlights clean and free of debris and be certain all lights are in good working order.

Some ideas for celebrating Halloween

Instead of “trick or treating” this weekend, you may want to take your children to one of the exciting Halloween events in the area such as “Witch’s Woods Haunted Hayride” at the Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford (www.witchswoods.com) which has six events in one place including a haunted mansion; or Canobie Lake Park’s Screeemfest (www.canobie.com/screeemfest). Of course, it is always exciting to be part of the biggest Halloween celebration city in America—Salem, Massachusetts! For events in Salem, go to www.hauntedhappenings.org or http://www.salemweb.com/calendar for more information.

If you want to take a ride down to R.I. this weekend, try the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger William Park and Zoo in Cranston. It is a nighttime display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns all along a beautiful Wetlands Trail, with more than 100 pumpkins carved into unbelievable individual works of art. More information is available at www.rwpzoo.org. I haven’t been there, but it is recommended by AAA as a worthwhile spectacular event!

With Halloween on the weekend this year, there will be many children out walking in the dark, and teens out late celebrating. This is one of the most important times to drive slowly and defensively on city/town roads and in neighborhoods. Let’s make this a safe Halloween, free of accidents.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

My Dad and Grandfather purchased their Volvos from Jaffarian. What does it mean to you to be third generation in the automotive business?

Second GenerationThanks for asking this question because I don’t forget for a single day that this business is a family legacy and so much more than just a dealership. My brothers and I knew we would follow our family into the business. We started with a fabulous foundation and we all want to improve upon the family dealership with the great reputation for personal service.

Jaffarian Service was started in 1938 by my grandfather, Fred Jaffarian, who leased a gas station on River Street in Haverhill, on the same street we’re on today. He and his wife, Alice, worked at a nearby shoe factory, leaving the gas station’s management to Cousin Charlie. Every day, Fred and Alice went straight from the shoe factory to work the gas station, eventually phasing out that grueling schedule when the station became successful. Starting as a service station, Jaffarian Service expanded to sell tires, lawnmowers, and Rambler and Hudson automobiles. This taught me that hard work truly pays off and showed me how well my grandparents worked as a team.

2ndGenDadTheir son and my Dad, Richard, worked there after school, learning on the job how to fix cars. The business grew with my Dad’s generation as he was unsatisfied with Rambler’s quality, and wanted to bring  a high quality vehicle to the local market. Haverhill at that time (1958) had enough domestic-auto showrooms, so he looked further. Hours of library research led him to a solution: Volvo of Sweden. Dad’s ability to handle everything gave his father, Fred, time to help the community that had supported Jaffarian Service. Jaffarian sponsored sports and other youth activities in Haverhill and Fred volunteered frequently.


Over the years, my late brother Paul, my brother Mark and I started working in the business after school. The two prior generations taught us that hard work pays off—they were exemplary role models. They also taught us the importance of community involvement and giving back to a community that supports our business. I’m proud to say Paul Jaffthis is a part of the business that I’ve expanded with high school athletic scholarships, taking children from the Boys and Girls Club to the Red Sox, speaking to auto school classes, participating in Andover’s Community Cares program focusing on the growing problem of heroin addiction held last week and so many more local programs, with an emphasis on programs helping our local youth.

This growth and commitment to community has led us to be honored with a nomination for a Family Business Award, which will be presented later this week. They are recognizing contributions made by family-owned businesses to the Massachusetts community and economy.

in lobby (2)I am blessed to be able to maintain and grow the business that my grandparents started over 75 years ago.  My brother Mark manages our award-winning auto body shop, and my son continues his journey to learn all aspects of operations after managing each service department. He is Jaffarian’s fourth generation which is wonderful personally to have him with us continuing “The Jaffarian Way.” According to the Family Business Review, only 3% of all family businesses are operating at the fourth-generation level and beyond and we are proud to be part of that statistic.

What Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion means to me is carrying on a legacy; and paying tribute to  our family members before us who worked hard and made many sacriFirst Generationfices and took risks to build this business. While many people ask me why I continue to come in every day and work as hard as I do, I know it is because our name is on the outside of the building and I have that same DNA as Fred and Alice as they launched a filling station down the street.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Do teens or seniors cause more accidents? How do we make our teenager more safety conscious?

TeensWearSeatbeltTeen drivers are involved in more accidents than seniors. One important issue for consideration is that most senior accidents involve health issues that could not have been prevented, whereby accidents involving teens are usually related to risky behaviors and are preventable.

I’m glad you asked these questions because a recent survey shows that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. Parents need to take the time to talk with their kids about the dangers of driving.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there is a major problem for teen’s risk of accidents with the 16-19 year olds having the highest percentage of driving fatalities. That is why next week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to bring attention to this national problem. There are many tragedies that could have been prevented. The 2015 theme is “5 to Drive” with a focus on parents talking to their teens about these dangers and rules of the road:

1. No Drinking and Driving – almost one out of five (19 percent) of the young drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, even though they were too young to legally buy or possess alcohol.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. – 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 weren’t restrained. Remember—it’s the law to buckle up in Massachusetts.

3. Put Down the Cell. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. – The age group of 15 to 19 years old has the highest percentage of drivers who were distracted by cell phone use and involved in a fatal crash. In 2013, 156 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.DrivingTeen Cell

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You – In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

5. No More than One Passenger at a Time. – The risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional passenger.

For more information and tips about how to speak to your teens, visit NHTSA’s website, www.safercar.gov/parents. This site has detailed information and statistics about the five rules designed to help save the lives of teen drivers.

How big is the problem?

About 2,650 teens in the United States aged 16–19 are killed yearly and almost 292,000 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes. That means that seven teens (ages 16 to 19) died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Young people ages 15-24 represent only 14% of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30% or $19 billion of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28% or $7 billion of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females.

Who is most at risk?

The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16- to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. In fact, per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.

Among teen drivers, those at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes are:Teen texting
• Males: The motor vehicle death rate for male drivers and passengers ages 16 to 19 is almost two times that of their females of the same age.
• Teens driving with teen passengers: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. For example, those vehicles with four teens are twice as likely to be in a crash that a vehicle with two teens—because of the distractions.
• Newly licensed teens: Crash risk is particularly high during the first months of licensure.

What other factors put teen drivers at risk?
• Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations.
• Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and tailgate. The presence of male teenage passengers increases the likelihood of this risky driving behavior.
• Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were involved in fatal crashes in 2012, 37% were speeding at the time of the crash and 25% had been drinking.
• Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. In 2013, only 55% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else.
• High blood alcohol levels and the risk of involvement in a motor vehicle crash are greater for teens than for older drivers.
• In 2012, 23% of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes were drinking.

  • In a national survey conducted in 2013, 22% of teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Among students who drove, 10% reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.
  •  In 2012, 71% of drivers aged 15 to 20 were killed in motor vehicle crashes after drinking and driving were not wearing a seat belt.

Toyota has developed a website with resources and a pledge for teens and parents. They help you coach your teen and sign a mutual agreement for both parents and teens. I urge all parents to help prevent teen accidents by talking to your teens and explaining how risky behavior behind the wheel puts their lives at risk, something very difficult for teens to comprehend. (“It won’t happen to me.”) All of us at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion want your teens to be safe in their homes at the end of every day.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: