The other day we were reading that Boomers are presumably rich, and snapping up luxury cars like its going out of style, one of the reasons MerBimAu sells/leases a ton of cars in Canada. You have to wonder how presumably knowledgeable folks arrive at such conclusions?
The succesful Boomers were driving luxury cars decades ago. Successful Boomers from back in the day, as they become "seniors" have other priorities in their lives, have moved on from the luxury car segment, and yes they might still be driving a luxury car.
Boomers that had luxury cars from back in the day, are surely not the one's snapping up "entry level" luxury MerBimAu's...today.
Agreed, Boomers are still hanging on to their toys, be it a car, a motorcycle, or anything else with an engine.
The dude that could not afford a luxury car back in the day. Be assured this same dude was "envious" of the Boomers with the luxury cars. Perhaps this dude today is driving an entry level MerBimAu.
Fascinating to see GM, Mary Barra, Michael Millikin get raked over the coals again, at a Congressional hearing in the US. While "doing the right thing" takes on new perspectives, and nuances. At the same time the benefit of the doubt dissapates.
Our habitual old race cars from "Sommet des Legendes" at Circuit Mont-Tremblant. As an aside its the 50th anniversary of Le Circuit.
Agreed during these Dog Days of Summer we are being eclectic, and spending some time with The Colonel (yes...who is this individual).
Lets get The Colonel's thoughts on the downsizing trend in the luxury segment.
Q: Colonel, good morning you look refreshed, and ready for action.
A: Thank You and the "smoke" is not a requirement.
Q: Is there a downsizing trend in the luxury segment,
A: The thought vector is that Millennials have less financial resources than their predecessors, and if vehicles are down sized they will increase their appeal to Millennials (Gen Y).
Q: Is there an element of ambition on the part of manufacturers.
A: Sure there is, on the premise of covering every niche and sub niche of the luxury market.
Q: You mentioned "premium economy" a few months ago when referring to the downsized vehicles in the luxury segment.
A: Yes...I did, at some point they are no longer luxury vehicles, its a luxury brand extending their brand in non luxury sub niches.
Q: This can easily become complicated, and fraught with varying opinions from a variety of pundits.
A: It sure can, any luxury vehicle be it a sedan or utility version needs a serious "f#$k you" factor to command a luxury price. Usually it was bigger engine, bigger size, more technology, and so on.
Q: When you down size you dilute the "F#$k you" factor, dilute the price, and extend the brand into uncharted territory.
A: Precisely, although everyone seems to have all the answers.
Q: Some of these new down sized luxury vehicles are selling very well, which reinforces the folks that have all the answers.
A: Yes, they are, there is always an initial pent up demand, and we are in the initlal phase.
Q: There are some manufacturers exploring the middle of the luxury segment.
A: Yes, there are the Koreans are a good example.
Q: Is it possible that a Millennial will lease a down sized luxury vehicle from an established brand, and subsequently progress to a Korean brand.
A: Who knows, when dealing with "premium economy" there is an element of uncharted landscape for all the stakeholders.
Q: The idea is to start them in "premium economy" and move them upwards with time.
A: That process was initiated by Alfred Sloan 100 years ago, lets start them with a Chevrolet, move them to a Pontiac, then to Oldsmobile, then Buick, and then Cadillac. Or lets start with a Ford, then Mercury, then Lincoln. Or lets start with a Plymouth, then Dodge, then Chrysler, then Imperial.
Q: Fascinating, that thought vector has been around for generations, and we all know that certain makes are no longer part of the automotive landscape.
A: Precisely, there are risks in filling every niche and sub niche. To alleviate some of the risks the premium economy models are assembled in lower wage areas of the planet.
Q: An established luxury brand that has the top of the market covered, and is now delving in "premium economy" has the entire luxury segment, niche, and sub niches covered.
A: Absolutely, on a spread sheet, power point, presented by MBA's it all looks good, and better yet invincible, its a win, win, win.
Q: We sense some skepticism on your part?
A: The premium economy, entry luxury, and mid luxury will become increasingly competitive, with diluting brand loyalty.
The other day while watching the drag racing video, the fellow using a speedwrench caught our attention.
Fascinating how an image immediately generates flash backs.
Obvious we need to get The Colonel involved, he is in a better position to remember speedwrenches...a nostalgia tool.
Q: When was a speedwrench used?
A- In most instances you would use a speedwrench to install a component with smaller than bigger screws or nuts.
Q- They were popular prior to the advent of power tools.
A- Absolutely, a speedwrench was the fast way of re installing components, and every individual probably had preferred uses for this tool.
Q- Did you ever use a speedwrench?
A- What do you think? Timing covers, oil pans, great components to reinstall with a speedwrench.
Q- Tell us about an oil pan, those were the days of cork gaskets we assume.
A- Precisely, back in the day most oil pans had 7/16" bolts which were reasonobaly easy to remove with a speedwrench, or initially loosen with a ratchet, and continue with a speed wrench.
Q- We are concluding that the motor is not in the car, its on some sort of engine stand.
A- Yes, the motor is out of the car, on an engine stand, turned over to easily get to the oil pan.
Q- The cork gaskets probably compressed a bit around the bolt areas.
A- You guys are good, compressed a bit? Usually it was more than just a bit, scrape off the gasket, re habilitate the oil pan around each bolt hole that had warped by the gasket crushing.
Q- Flattening out the oil pan around the bolt holes required some time.
A- Obvious, remove the pan, wash it, inspect all the bolt holes, a speedwrench gained time in removing and re installing the pan. In most cases an extension was not required.