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Entries in Canada (47)


What's Going On?

We start a new year, we wish everyone love, health, prosperity. Suddenly BANG what is going on with prosperity when most financial stuff is playing against us.

Lets take a look...

From prosperous to poor - CDN Dollar

Yes...when the CDN dollar plummets as it has done, we are all poorer, and a lot of stuff especially groceries instantly costs more money.

We could all see this coming months ago, we felt the initial tremors last summer, now that its almost obscene its attracting a ton of interest from the mainstream media.

From prosperous to poor - Financial Markets

After everyone shares their thoughts, the bottom line is that financial markets are under performing (being subtle). Not the time to retire, the Boomers are getting short changed.

You don't have much of a choice you hang in there until it turns around which it will.


Agreed...Canada is being tugged by a myriad of forces outside of Canada. We knew that for years, we also knew for years that if the price of oil imploded the tar sand oil which is already discounted would be in trouble.

Lets ride the wave, and when the wave runs out we will scramble, and scramble some more. In typical Canadian fashion we have limited means of adding value to our oil, its refined to gas elsewhere (guess).

Real Estate

A bubble here, a froth there, a nose dive somewhere else. Real estate (construction) has been carried by CMS (Citizen Main Street) for the past several years. Everyone knew this, not a secret, but perhaps it was hiding in plain sight.


You know the saying  "You flush a toilet on one side of the planet, somebody on the other side will feel it". Its convenient to mention that "stuff" is beyond the borders and outside our control.

Some of the "noise" coming out of Canada is not productive.


When was the last time you saw "Made in Canada"? What manufacturing will return to Canada with a low dollar? Then you will hear that productivity is low for lack of investments because of the low dollar.


It was insecure from a while back, now its even more insecure, and with everyone talking about it magnifies the insecurity. need more money to do the same things. Will we eat less, buy less clothes, get less cars to name a few?


In the meantime we all need to keep on living, fullfilling our obligations, and try to better our situations. CMS in Canada holds several immense levers of influence if not outright power. We see it in real estate, we see it in the auto business.

The Auto Business

Did you think we would not get to the car business? If you are CMS (Citizen Main Street) it will be a great time to do "deals" especially if you perform a reasonable level of due diligence and are prepared to close a transaction. take a moment and review our Tip of the Day for additional insight. If you are a dealer seeking an advantage, consider the price of used vehicles at auctions to close deals.




The Challenge Of Closing A Deal

Once all the technology, Internet, social media, or a ton of software settles. An interaction between a seller/buyer must close to do a deal, to sell/buy a vehicle (move metal).

Its easy to get lost in the fog of technology, enhanced by a myriad of acronyms, and lose sight that you have to close a deal.

In Canada deals are increasingly challenging to close in the showroom, accompanied by an increased level of churning with customers/prospects. With all the churning both customers and dealers are frustrated. While in churning mode for some reason its always the exceptions that stand out. We could offer a gazillion examples.

Lets bring it closer to reality, and the showroom. How come the deals are not closing? Yes...2015 was a record year in Canada, someone must have closed deals. Sure they did, accompanied by increased churning from the previous year (2014).

Perhaps Showroom Craftsmanship is lacking on the part of the dealer. Perhaps a lack of due diligence on the part of the customer becomes an obstacle.

A simple rule of selling both the seller and buyer must be in a position to make a decision and have the financial ability to execute the decision. Simple...perhaps its too simple. Perhaps its hiding in plain sight. Keep in mind that with a trade in both parties are sellers and buyers.

Buyer (customer/dealer): Are you in a position to make a decision? Do you have the finances to execute your decision. If its worth 10 and you owe 25, perhaps you don't have the finances to execute a decision.

Seller (dealer/customer): Are you assisting the buyer to finalise a decision that meets your parameters? Do you have the capability to deal with the finances of the buyer to execute the decision?

Finances: As financing terms have extended for the past several years, the incidence of negative equity has also increased. Is it how much the trade in is worth or how to deal, and package the negative equity?

Qualifying: Think about this, perhaps its a case that everyone is empowered (Seller/Buyer) and no one is qualifying. It should be easy, fast, efficient to qualify...every one is full of information and empowered.

Trend: A reason here, another there, they all make sense, they all generated a level of churning without arriving at a decision, closing a deal. Vehicles are inexpensive, with dynamic pricing, and full of incentives. Everyone can access a ton of information and data to empower themselves, and execute a decision.

Emerging Trend: Increasingly the finances are not aligned to finalise a decision. Its taking too long to acknowledge that the finances are not aligned.

Question: How can 2 empowered parties, with access to a myriad of information, not close a deal? Simple there is an increased level of asymmetry.




Canadian Sales - 2015 

Our thoughts on Canadian Sales for 2015.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Think about this...its already mid January...agreed time is precious.

The doom and gloom mill is turning at full force, as if it all happened yesterday, when in reality its been building for months, if not years.

The other day while driving around in our neighborhood we noticed that a Panera Bread will be opening soon. Its great to finally see one in our area. What does it have to do with cars...nothing.

Now that the NAIAS 16 buzz has subsided. What caught our eye? Buick Avista they might never build it, but its a cool Buick...Lincoln Continental finally a Lincoln that starts to look like a luxury car...Chrysler Pacifica agreed we don't like mini vans but its a refreshing design from the folks that invented the mini van...Mercedes-Benz E Class has a superb interior while the exterior is subdued the reason it caught our eye...Honda Ridgeline finally looks like a truck its about time...the Lexus LC500 is simply stunning.

Yes...all the noise about connected, self driving, autonomous cars by now is tiring, with an aura of its going to happen at some point (we are being polite). Snow, cold, imagine having to correctly clean the "lidar" on the roof to ensure the AV functionality works, let alone dealing with snow, ice, slush, salt, to name a few.

With models trying to cover every nook and cranny of the market, the reality is that 20% of the models, generate 80% of the sales. For some strange reason some things never change. Yes...its a product driven business, and when a product resonates with customers its enduring. But it remains 20% of the product, generating the bulk of the sales.

The Canadian dollar embarked on a dumpster voyage a few months back that continues and endures. Agreed...the pundits, analysts, commentators are having a field day attracting eyeballs. The reality is that we are poorer, its costing us more money...but we knew that several months ago. The difference now is that pundits are seeking a quick fix...really.

Ever wonder the specs and how may OD gears on the Corvette 7 speed Tremec manual transmission? Take a

If you missed our Crappy Cars, its a reminder of some of the stuff we all put up with during the past few decades. Some cars had several levels of crappiness which made it even more interesting. today are dramatically better. 

We started a Tip of the Day section this year, sharing our thoughts and providing advice on different aspects of the auto business.

The auction season will start in Phoenix, and the racing season will start with the Rolex 24 all in the next few weeks.

Out usual old race cars The Best Vintage Racing Photos of 2015.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation. Yes...somethings don't change...the Vroom Room is one of them.


Now that you have ingested several perspectives on how 2016 will develop. We hope that you have your own perspective, and strategy. A positive attitude with a healthy sense of humour is essential in a world that can literally change in an instant.

In case you did not know CES 2016 is on in Las Vegas...really how could you not know. Especially with all the buzz on self driving cars, as if they are almost around the corner. Engines, transmissions, brakes, tires, are so passe from a technology perspective at CES. week is NAIAS 2016 in Detroit, and the start of the 2016 auto show circuit.

This week you heard that GM is investing 500M in Lyft to take a position in Cloud Transportation as we called it a few months ago. Agreed 500M is an appreciable sum.

Every year Wards has the Ten Best Engine contest, comparison. A while back we were watching a Head 2 Head with a Z28 and a GT350R. The Z28 has a stout small block with a substantial displacement, and horsepower (looked like the winner to us from the get go). The GT350R has this new 5.2L engine with totally impressive horsepower, and rev capabilities.

These 2 cars going Head 2 Head on a race track, the power generated by the 5.2L is epic, while revving to 8,000 RPM. Here is The Colonel a die hard Chevrolet "fan boy" observing a Ford winning.

Obvious that for 2016 Wards calls the Ford 5.2L the winner of the 10 best.

Canadian Sales

Did December lose momentum, or was it a case of sales management? We will see at the end of this month. In the meantime for the first time in history FCA is the leader in Canada...truly a wow moment. Among the MerBimAu gang, its Mercedes-Benz that had an appreciable lead.

Yes...almost hit 1.9M (1.8985) units never seen before in Canada.

Our habitual old race cars "To call the Righini Collection unique does not do it justice, as the setting alone — a 15th century castle set among Lambrusco vineyards — is incomparable as are the cars and the circumstances surrounding their addition to the Righini family"...impressive Click.




Break Another Sales Record in 2016?

It must be the question of the day "Are we going to break another auto sales record in 2016?" and really get into uncharted territory.

Its easy to generate spreadsheets with increases, have smooth powerpoints to support the spreadsheets and story line, while presenting a polished veneer of success. Its the stuff that is served at every auto show on press day. 

At the altitude every manufacturer was flying at the end of 2015, gaining additional altitude will require superb execution, several new models, and sustained competitiveness. Yes...some manufacturers are in better positions than others going into 2016. 

Some bumps in the 2016 road in no particular order.


The Canadian economy was not going anywhere in 2015, and will continue to do the same in 2016. Although auto sales and real estate was through the roof last year.

The level of economic confidence last year entering 2015 was higher that entering 2016 this year.


Citizen Main Street is more stretched credit wise this year than last year. Although CMS upholds a monthly mobility budget.

Canadian Dollar:

The lower value of the Canadian dollar will impact the cost of vehicles, and the extent of incentives / programs for manufacturers.

Obvious that most if not all manufacturers have run a few models to explore the impact of pricing and programs with a lower dollar.

Free Flowing Money:

We anticipate the trend of free flowing money to enable sales will continue in 2016, and perhaps with an increased level of boldness to deal with negative equity.

Winners / Losers:

There will be winners and losers among manufacturers, dealers, dealer groups, various models. New models that capture the imagination will assist winners, while incentives will prop up older models.


The trend will continue, with CMS increasingly preferring mobility to ownership. By now we should all know that the mobility model increases sales.


We believe that 2016 will be close, but not surpass the record sales of 2015. It will be very close with some segments of the market doing better than 2015. The no brainer is that trucks/utility will do better, as well as "premium economy".



Fresh Horizons

Its always exciting to start a new year.

You carry over "stuff" from the previous year, and look forward to "excitement" in the new year. Yes we can be sarcastic and merely say "same sh&t different year". There is always excitement accompanied by hope, and the thought that something if not everything will be better.

Its the human condition...

It keeps us going...


We are starting the year appreciably poorer that last year. At the start of 2015 the CDN dollar was at 85 cents, today its at 72 cents. Technology empowers us to cover the planet, we buy for less with our dollar around the planet.

Its a "fresh" challenge for 2016 that will have ongoing consequences during the year.


If you remember 2 years ago we started the year highlighting Assholes. Not much has changed since then, perhaps there are even more (the population increased).

Be assured that you need to deal with these folks on a ongoing basis...some things never change.

Gainful Employment

A reasonably well paying job, its a precious commodity in 2016. Folks gets creative, imaginative, to be employed. Fascinating to observe what folks will do to hang on to what they have.

In 2016 it might become even more fascinating.


We have a new government in Ottawa that will be challenged to keep their promises, adhering to their agenda, while dealing with an ever changing 2016 reality.

But its a fresh horizon for the country.


In 2016 you will need to ramp up your "editing" as we always say.


In 2016 "working with your hands" is a luxury...think about this.

Auto Business

Will be increasingly complex, and challenging in Canada this year (2016). Competitive too as usual. Will we break another sales record...probably not.


Increasingly the human aspect of a myriad of transactions will emerge in 2016. Technology is a given.

Have Mores

How do you become an "have mores" when technology empowers everyone to be an "have"?

Giving Back

Make it a point to give back, to get more.



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