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Saturday
Feb212015

Cutlass Banshee

An off road Cutlass...

 

 

 

Friday
Feb202015

Vroom Room

Good Morning

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

Yes...one week to go and its month end.

Another yes...its been frigid this week.

In case you did not know the Strada mission statement "Passion in everything that we do. We don't follow we lead..."

This week we inadvertently noticed that we must have disrupted some sort of insecure established order in the Canadian autospehere. It probably started with our review of Canadian Sales 2014 which garnered appreciable attention last month. In hindsight we must have rattled and disrupted a few "sand boxes", while inciting some folks to raise the level of their game.

Fascinating to see the perspective of some folks when it comes to thought leadership.

If you are of an age that you remember Isky (Iskenderian) camshafts take a look...here.

When the price of oil and gas dropped like a rock all the talk was of how much money consumers were going to save. It was a shortsighted perspective. At the time we mentioned that consumers would save money at the pumps, and would have to spend it for other items primarily food.

In the meantime, the CDN dollar has dropped like a rock, while prices at the pump are at $1.02 a liter (oil companies are comfortable at >$ 1.00), and prices for food with the lower dollar are heading for the roof. Save it at the pump, spend it for food.

Not to brag but we were saying that from the outset...while everyone else was focused on the savings at the pumps; and what it would do for the economy.

Our usual old cars from the Kuwait Concours d'Elegance 2015...impressive photo gallery.

 

 

 

Thursday
Feb192015

Cold and Cars

At times you have an epiphany of sorts...the other day we had one.

If you remember mechanical cars, with carburetors, ignition points to name a few. You surely remember the colder it got, the more challenging it was to start a car (vehicle) in the morning.

With advances in technology, be it fuel injection, improved ignition systems, we have quickly forgotten the challenges of a cold start, and the initial effects of cold on a vehicle.

Some things never change, and when its appreciably cold (minus 25-30 C) for a few days and you pay attention, cold continues to have an impact on a vehicle.

In no particular order:

Aluminum Engine Block: Contracts a bit more than steel, creating more friction on a cold start.

Oils: Even synthetic, still increase in viscosity from a good cold soak, be it motor oil, transmission, power steering.

Plastics: From decades ago, they crack and groan, a good reminder that its cold.

Starting a modern vehicle is much easier, as well as letting it warm up...the engine stays on fast idle for a shorter period of time, and obvious makes a few additional sounds.

Once you start moving its the same decade old experience.

Automatic Transmission: the oil is thicker the transmission shifts are slower.

Brakes: The brake fluid is cold, the brakes take a moment longer to apply, and release.

Power Steering: If its an old school hydraulic power steering, its stiff, its only half power for a while.

Thermostat: Once the thermostat open the engine temperature sinks like a rock.

Sounds: The familiar cold sounds of creaking here, cracking there.

Block Heater: Even with modern cars if temperatures are lower than minus 30 C, a block heater will be useful.

Technology: Interesting that the technology behaves quite well in cold temperatures.

Warm Up: We still believe that wen its minus 25 C its a good idea to warm up a car for a few minutes, to put some initial heat in the engine, and get components turning. What do you think?

We could keep on going...it struck us that when it comes to cold and cars some things simply do not change.

 

 

Wednesday
Feb182015

Dare Greatly

A compelling Cadillac video...Dare Greatly.

With quotes from "The Man in the Arena"

Is this the "reset" moment for Cadillac?

We sure hope it is...

 

Monday
Feb162015

Auto Show Media Days

Most folks do not attend the media day/s of auto shows which are held prior to the public opening.

As you can appreciate some auto shows and media days are more prominent than others, although they are all important to provide exposure and visibility for the product.

In case you did not know there are a myriad of agendas being played out by various stakeholders during the media day. There are the prominent figures from the manufacturers, the handlers, the production folks, the show organisers, the main stream media folks, and other media folks. Its a wide spectrum of media that is in attendance.

A ton of actual in person "social" activity going on, at a time of social media here are folks connecting in person, commenting, glad handing, while everyone is busy with their specific agendas.

Its a fascinating experience.

As you can appreciate with the bulk of the auto business being conducted "online" whatever is unveiled at a press day was seen "online" a few days/months prior. Customers do their due diligence online prior to making a purchase decision. You can just imagine the level of online media activity that goes on.

In most instances the unveiling that support the manufacturer specific press conference are an exercise in unveiling "deja vu" from a media perspective. Manufacturers that are keenly aware of customers doing their due diligence prior to visiting a dealer; these same manufacturers remain confused when it comes to media days at auto shows.

Interesting enough the manufacturers that actually sell more iron often do a better job than the manufacturers that are behind the 8 ball...go figure.

Will it change? What do you think? Too many folks are set in their ways, adhering to the same "media" play book.

Should it change? Absolutely...by now the media playbook is tired, the product being unveiled is mostly a case of "deja vu", the comments during the press conferences are manufacturer specific self serving. Every manufacturer tries to convey a message that they "get it" when in most instances they stick to an old tired play book.