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Entries in Business (13)

Tuesday
Jan032017

Expect The Unexpected

Do we have advice for 2017? Simple..."Expect the unexpected"

If you think its going to happen it might not, and if you think its not going to happen it just might develop; so expect the unexpected.

As we always say, be your own editor, and connect your own dots.

Does it mean that everything will turn into a surprise? No...a lot of plans, goals, will develop as expected, but anticipate disruptions from directions that perhaps you did not consider.

Canadian Sales:

Do we expect Canadian Sales to set another record in 2017?

Utility Vehicles:

We all expect utility vehicles to continue their upward trend in replacing sedans.

Mobile:

We expect a continued shift towards "mobile".

Housing:

Do we expect construction of new homes, and real estate to continue as a force in the Canadian economy?

We could keep on going, but you surely grasp our thought vector...

 

Monday
Oct312016

Connect More Dots

Do we start connecting more dots on the last day of the month?

At times its just a gut feel, and in an age of technology, big data, data mining, going by some sort of instinct could be foolish, and perhaps even dangerous.

On the last day of October we urge you to connect more dots.

Agreed...we are already connecting a bunch of dots, and seeking additional variables that might have an impact. Its already complex.

Take the time, make the effort connect more dots...agreed its not easy.

Which dots to connect?

The ones you glanced over, the ones that seemed "totally not important", the ones that appeared in the past few days.

Why you should consider/connect more dots?

Simple...at Strada we believe that in Canada we are at a pivot point in the economy. While every expert, pundit has an opinion (sound bite), true insight is well hidden.

Connect additional dots for yourself, perhaps even disrupt yourself to gain additional insight, and formulate a better strategy.

Who has the time to connect more dots?

Nobody...its easier to gather "sound bites", and repeat sound bites.

 

 

Wednesday
Oct262016

Forks In The Road

A thought provoking read...

 

 

Monday
Oct242016

Change and More Change

At a time when anyone can publish, how often do we read nuggets or longer sound bites about change here, disruption there, innovation somewhere else, often all in the same sound bite.

By now we should all be so proficient at it, they collectively we could get flipped over, turned 180 degrees, and it would be perfectly normal.

Somewhere in the various discussion, and conversations, the fact that we are humans, that we are an old classic model going back a few thousand years is overlooked.

At some point you come across a few hard questions, or choices, the image, the branding quickly gets diluted and you start seeing the "primer coat" of folks around you. Its a fascinating process, often filled with anxiety, stress, and a myriad of other human emotions.

These are not life and/or death situations, its merely being in business, being innovative, being disruptive, being prepared to change. Agreed...there is a difference between reading about it, and being an active player in the process.

At times a minor tweak or incremental adjustement that is barely noticeable. What starts as an infinitessimal ripple, can at some point become a tsunami of change.

We always urge you to connect dots, to be astute and connect your own dots especially the ones that resonate with you.

The sound bites are all over the place, the facades, the branding, the optics are a constant reality. Seek the insight that is usually hidden from plain sight, or is staring at you in plain sight.

What does this have to do with the car business?

Perhaps nothing, perhaps a whole lot...its your decision.

One thing is certain when change comes your way, if you are ill prepared, have not done your due diligence, lacked vision and boldness. At some point you will lose, you will be empowered to control the magnitude of your loss.

In the auto business...you play the game to WIN.

 

Thursday
Oct062016

Core Competence

We have all heard about core competence, here is a quick refresher. At a time when it makes imminent sense to focus on core competence, to alleviate the flood and sound bites of technology.

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Sep012016

An Ocean Of Opinions

As we slowly (you wish) progress towards reality next week. We can still be a little whimsical on these last few days of the Dog Days of Summer. Might as well take advantage of it...

Summer

Hopefully you had a wonderful summer with your family and friends, enjoyed the warm climate, sun, and activities that we all do in the summer. Created your own memorable moments. Agreed...there is little time to catch up. Is climate change a reality? What do you think?

Real Estate

In Canada there is a new opinion every day on the health, frothiness of the real estate market. Especially in Toronto and Vancouver. It seems that everyone is an expert, everyone quotes the other expert on various snippets of the market.

As per the opinion of experts an adjustment if not an outright crash is just around the corner. What do you think?

The reality is that the market is on fire and will remain on fire for the foreseeable future.

Mobility

Pent up demand, its just a blip, and so on. We have been saying for quite some time that the Canadian model has migrated from ownership to mobility and will continue to migrate towards mobility. Reflect on this for a moment...owning a vehicle is no longer the accomplishment that it was a few years ago..

Eyeballs

In an age of social media, everyone is in the eyeball business. How to attract eyeballs for a nano second to generate more views, hits, and whatever else it will take. When an insignificant event on the other side of the planet is covered by media for days running, complemented by opinions through Skype from some obscure expert.

Its the quest for eyeballs.

Simplicity

You are very good at what you do, it looks simple. World class athletes make it look easy, almost to the point that anyone can do it. A competent car makes it feel very easy. Inevitably we get embroiled with the technology, the complexity, and often forget the simplicity.

Needless to say that the various opinions merely obfuscate the simplicity.

Technology in Cars

Its the immediate battleground for most manufacturers. Its no longer my engine or transmission is better. Back in the day a Turbo Hydro automatic transmission was a global benchmark. Today its technology in the auto business, and especially the product. Lets not forget a bunch of disrupters on the side lines waiting for opportunities to pounce.

My car has more technology than yours...

Canadian Economy

Still powered by CMS (Citizen Main Street) and will continue to be powered by CMS, and cheap money from Canadian banks. Lets not forget all the doomsayers that are predicting an imminent crash. There is too much skin in the game with CMS. Lets talk about a bunch of other stuff, and lets make sure CMS remains upright.

Oil

Reflect on this...decades ago there was the oil shock with prices sky rocketing, now its another oil shock with prices plunging. Obvious that Alberta takes a hit...

Interest Rate

You can see a mild rate increase coming on the horizon at some point. Imagine a 25 point increase, it will be depicted as an earth shattering event, generate ocean and ocean of opinions on the upcoming doom.

We could keep on going...

 

 

Tuesday
Aug232016

The Child In You

If you have an interest in cars, are an enthusiast, or perhaps are even involved in the auto business. You have hopefully realised that perhaps there is still a kid in you somewhere.

Especially today with all the technology that is used, and the social media that is constantly buzzing with anything and everything automotive. There is hopefully still a big kid somewhere.

What does "the child in you" accomplish? Simple it keeps the passion burning, and going, and going some more.

With time you refined your personal preferences, likes, dislikes, and your course of action.

Hopefully with time you also realise that your passion developed/refined the individual that you are. Obvious that with time you also refined your bullshit and ass hole detection mechanism. Its part of the evolution.

With time you also developed your own sense of what you would like to own, and more important what resonates with you. Since just having a vehicle for mobility never satisfied "the child in you". The vehicle must resonate, must pull at your heartstrings.

As the years go by, its just another car, been there, done that, sort of thing its easy to start losing the passion. Its the time to find a vehicle that fires up the emotions, passion, the child in you.

Today being part of a social media circle, participating in forums with die hard fans of this or that, and so on...it might be fun. But its no substitute for doing it yourself, generating your own experiences to keep the child alive and well while raising the fires of the passion.

If you are in the business, once the dust of the technology settles. You still need to move iron and service a customer, and you are still in the "people business through cars". You still need to perform in a showroom. Generations ago folks did the same...reflect on this for a moment.

If you are of a generation where you had to go to races since they were not televised you surely remember memorable moments that still capture the child in you years later. Agreed...some of those moments are brighter than others.

Perhaps you are of a generation where understanding where the product came from, visiting assembly plants, observing people and robots assemble the product, and watching it roll off the assembly line fired up your imagination...while keeping the child in you fascinated.

Yes...being there is a different experience than watching a video.

We could keep on going, and going. As the Dog Days of Summer are ending, nurture the child in you, your passions.

 

 

Friday
Aug122016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

With the ongoing shift from sedans to utilities, manufacturers that lose too many sedan sales, and don't gain enough utility sales are behind at the end of the month. Lost 10 sedans gained 8 utilities is still a loss of 2 units. Its a fine balancing act for any manufacturer to ideally gain incremental sales within the utility segment.

Mixed Signals

Have you noticed all the mixed signals we all get on a daily basis? One thing is going this way, the other that way, another in the middle. If journalism is part reporting, and part making sense of the news. At times it seems its easier to just report than make sense of the whole thing.

Again...you constantly have to be your own editor, and arrive at your own conclusions that are relevant to you.

Consider the following, real estate and auto sales are through the roof in Canada, jobs are diminishing, exports are dimishing, the CDN dollar remains in the dumpster.

By now its obvious that CMS (Citizen Main Street) is charting his own course.

Business Model

The Canadian auto sale business model is a few years ahead of the US...yes it is. In Canada we never had the "great depression" that everyone has been talking about for the past several years. In Canada we have progressed from ownership to mobility. In Canada we export used vehicles to the US which promotes additional new vehicle sales.

Cool Stuff

Take a look at Period Correct...it caught our attention.

Our usual old race cars from the HMSA Laguna Seca Invitational 2016...enjoy.

 

 

 

Friday
Jul152016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Most folks don't drive anymore, its a required activity to go from A to B with a vehicle, but they don't drive especially in big cities with congestion. Interesting the driving or lack of is adapted to the particular circumstances.The imagination and creativity that is applied to alleviate driving is a thing of beauty.

Autonomous vehicles might not come soon enough to resolve the lack of driving.

We always learn new things its part of life. Hybrids with small 4 cylinder engines, usually coupled to a CVT transmission, and assisted by an electric motor. In a recent drive with a Prius V the electric motor is comparable to a turbo, and alleviates down shifts of a conventional automatic transmission. Its seamless on the cruise control.

Some things are enduring, decades ago the idea of passing around the monkey was rampant. With some folks being very good at transferring a monkey especially if they are of the larger size variety. Be assured that the art of passing a monkey around is alive and well in 2016. Some things never go out of fashion, "Let me see what I can do to get this monkey off my back, and transfer the problem to someone else".

Fascinating what folks resort to...

Another thing that is enduring is folks that have a cursory knowledge of "something" and go around behaving as if they invented the wheel, with the limited breath and depth of their knowledge.

Our usual old race cars from the LeMans Classic 2016.

 

 

Monday
Jul112016

2016 Canadian CEO Outlook

What does it have to do with the auto business, perhaps not much, or a lot. You be the judge.

Its an informative and fascinating survey.