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Entries in Oil (5)

Friday
Oct142016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Have you noticed the propensity of hatchbacks lately? Do you remember how unpopular hatchbacks were a few years ago? Agreed...a hatchback is an off shoot of a utility vehicle, reflect on this for a moment. Agreed too its more useful than a trunk.

It reinforces the movement towards "utility". Are folks really clamouring for so many utilities? Or is it manufacturers offering an alternative to keep sedans on the map? From our perspective its a bit of both, you don't want a sedan with a trunk, and you don't want a boxy utility...here is the hatchback.

The price of oil is slowly, creeping back up? Keep an eye on oil, while the Canadian dollar remains in the dumpster, and CMS (Citizen Main Street) pays more for gas, food, and has to raise more cash to buy a house.

Ever notice the "flat" paint on some mostly German cars? Back in the day it was "flat" today its "matte". The paint has a look, and a constant reminder of a flat black 1949 Mercury coupe, or a hot rod that is not completed yet. A few weeks ago, we saw a flat grey German hot rod sedan, that was dropped, black diffuser in the back, black vents on the hood, modified exhaust system, and hopefully a tweaked engine too.

In case you did not know, Strada uses Squarespace our publishing platform...yes its 10 years that we are on Squarespace, the servers are somewhere in New York city, and possibly somewhere else too by now. We are reluctant to update the design, and migrate to another version of the platform since we would lose some of our content.

Obvious that keeping all of our content (10 years) published, and searchable is a higher priority, than having a slicker design.

Our usual old race cars from the CSRG Charity Challenge 2016.

 

 

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...

 

 

Friday
Apr152016

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

As you have probably heard Ed Welburn is retiring as head of Design for GM. A few years back we had the opportunity to be a participant in a presentation from Ed Welburn. Yes...it struck us that he was a cool car dude.

Some individuals in the auto business exude coolness, and Ed is one of those, upholding a tradition started by Harley Earl, and continued by Bill Mitchell. Did you know that a few decades back The Colonel had the unique opportunity to visit the Styling building at the GM tech center.

By now you know...we are firm believers that "styling" sells.

Have you noticed how folks in the auto business in Canada have a tendency of mixing up US information / data / opinions with Canada. We are a different country, and if the old times 10 rule would apply they would be close to 20M not 17M new units in the US. What do you think?

If you are in Canada and are just becoming aware / focusing on Certified Pre Owned, that has literally been around for at least a couple of decades. You have to ask yourself where you were hiding.

Have you noticed that the price of gas, a barrel of oil, and the CDN dollar are creeping up lately. Gas we know in the GTA gas companies have an issue with gas below $1.00 a liter. The barrel of oil from our perspective some folks on this planet are realising that market share, and low prices are a costly experiment. Although a compelling wake up call for everyone. The CDN dollar is tied at the hip with the barrel of oil.

Our usual old race cars from HMSA LSR Invitational 2016...impressive photography.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jan202016

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.

Oil

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.

Global

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.

Manufacturing

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.

Insecurity

It was insecure from a while back, now its even more insecure, and with everyone talking about it magnifies the insecurity.

Agreed...you need more money to do the same things. Will we eat less, buy less clothes, get less cars to name a few?

Prosper

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.

 

 

Friday
Jan152016

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 look...click.

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. Yes...cars 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.