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Tuesday
Jul212015

Lunch Break

During the Dog Days of Summer at times its easier to schedule a lunch with an old acquaintance that is in the auto business.

As you can imagine the conversation ranges from catching up, the family, kids, to the auto business and issues that are on the forefront / top of mind for one reason or another. One individual sees the Canadian automotive landscape from one perspective, and the other from a different perspective. The conversation is always interesting, and a great rapid fire exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Some snippets of the conversation:

1- The Canadian dollar is down 10 points from last year / earlier this year it must be impacting strategies. Yes...its having an effect.

2- What is happening to Cadillac after all these years and billions of dollars? Great cars, really great cars, the price point is too high, the showroom experience is not aspirational compared to the Germans.

3- Close ratios are down on trade ins. Simple the customer is better informed than ever. Nothing new here, although there continues to be a churning of sales consultants. Which has a negative impact on closing deals. Remember Showroom Craftsmanship?

4- Buy and sell of dealerships, some deals are complete "head scratchers"...it begs the question "why would they do that"...and lets leave it at that.

5- CPO programs take time to fully develop, especially with consistent dealer participation...no kidding! Once its running well with strong participation the benifits are multifaceted.

6- New models in a segment provide opportunities as well as a down side of taking sales away from an established model. Some manufacturers are tripping on their shoe laces with new models.

 

 

Monday
Jul202015

Canadian Sales - First Half 2015 

Our thoughts on Canadian Sales for the First Half of 2015.

Want to see photos and reviews click on the links.

 

 

Saturday
Jul182015

Chevrolet Impala

If you ever owned a 1964 Impala this video truly resonates...

The shifter for the 4 speed, the tachometer on the dash, and so on...

The exhaust system on the coupe is too long the reason for the "blat-blat" when shifting gears.

 

 

Friday
Jul172015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Be well advised there is a growing number of assholes, its easier to simply overlook most of them, but at times its also essential to confront some. We hope that in your daily activities you don't waste your time with assholes, and when you have to deal with one, we urge you to be vigorous and decisive.

We often mention that in the auto business the product is raced, and its "heads up" competition in racing. If you play the game "heads up" when someone leans on you, be quick, and direct in your actions.

Have you noticed that Sergio Marchionne of FCA is finding everything expensive and non competitive in Ontario, from electricity, to pension plans, and everything else in between it would seem. You have to wonder what is the real agenda behind this thought vector. Here is a hint...click.

Yes...its the Pan Am games in the GTA, and Canada is doing very well on the gold medal count. Traffic not so bad if you pick right times to move around.

You have surely heard of Bruce Canepa, ever wonder what his shop looks like? Take a look...click.

From our perspective the technology behind "driverless" will be ready sooner than the infrastructure, ethics, liabilities behind driverless. Scroll down for an informative perspective by McKinsey.

With the Bank of Canada dropping the rate to 0.005%, if you have the feeling that the Canadian economy is further leaning on CMS (Citizen Main Street) we agree with you.

Our usual old cars from the Icelandic Saga Rally...stunning photos.

 

 

Thursday
Jul162015

High Strength Steel

You have to love this commercial...

 

 

Wednesday
Jul152015

Driverless Vehicles - 2

It seems that our Dog Days of Summer are taking a "driverless" vector. An informative article from McKinsey on what they call AV (Autonomous Vehicles) and how they see the driverless landscape develop.

 

Tuesday
Jul142015

Service Centers 

If you are of a certain age you probably remember the old school service centers on the 401 between Montreal and Toronto. In our case The Colonel is of an age that we think he remembers, he is with us this morning. Lets see what he has to say.

Q: Colonel Good Morning you are looking well, and we know you are a busy guy.

A: Guys Thank You, and yes very busy with all sorts of stuff.

Q: You surely remember the old service centers on the 401.

A: Yes...been travelling on the 401 for a few decades.

Q: What is the difference between the old and the new...not the architecture.

A: Guys...several decades ago it was a bit of an expedition travelling by car between Montreal and Toronto.

Q: Cars were not as reliable and service centers were primarily car oriented offering service for cars.

A: Precisely the service centers catered to people with washrooms but primarily to cars. They were big gas stations with service stalls.

Q: It was a car oriented stop, and probably Kingston (the mid point) was the busiest as a rest / car stop.

A: Go back enough decades, many cars needed gas to travel the distance, did not have air conditioning, were not as comfortable. Usually at the half way point the folks in the car needed a break, the car needed gas.

Q: Perhaps the car developed ailments and or strange sounds while travelling on the 401.

A: Yes...the reason the service centers had garage doors, service stalls, tow truck.

Q: Back then folks also brought their own food.

A: Absolutely...

Q: How about trucks

A: They were also a truck stop, with a good number of trucks idling away back in the day

Q: With time as cars became more reliable/comfortable the centers became more people oriented.

A: Precisely, now they service people, and sell gas.

Q: With better cars are folks travelling faster on the 401.

A: Imagine way back in the day with a 6 cylinder, windows opened (no air conditioning), wind noise, bias belted tires, going down the 401 at 60 MPH...it was a tiring, noisy, windy experience.

Q: So with better cars...

A: With better more comfortable cars the speeds ramped up, and the police activity also ramped up.

Q: Now there are bright people oriented service centers, reliable, comfortable cars/SUV's, and the speeds are not much higher than decades ago.

A: Precisely, folks are trading speed for comfort, and keep in mind that trucks are also going slower today than decades back.

 

Saturday
Jul112015

Jaguar C-Type

Go for a Saturday morning drive...

 

Friday
Jul102015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

HorsesIts Friday, its the Dog Days of Summer, its the Vroom Room. Enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti join the conversation, leave a comment.

You have to wonder if the Canadian economy is really "tanking" as the mainstream media would like us to believe. In the meantime our dollar persists on a downward spiral.

Did we forget all the media noise about China and the debt in Greece?

You know the saying...we always learn something new. It was informative last week to drive on the 401 with a conventional cruise control, and compare it to our drive with an adaptive cruise control. If you missed it just scroll down.

Don't you love it, reading that there is a pondering here, a mulling there, a possible somewhere else, and so on and on. Yes...you have to be your own editor.

Canadian Sales:

A record breaking first half of the year...what else can you say...spectacular, impressive. Are we destined to drive around in a "square" utility vehicle of one make or another? What do you think?

Behind the scenes at the Goodwood Festival of Speed...impressive photo gallery.

 

 

 

Thursday
Jul092015

Dodge Predators

Totally cool commercial with a strong tinge of horsepower "nostalgia" from back in the day...