The last Friday of 2011, and the last Vroom Room of the year. Come in we have cappuccino, and biscotti.
Agreed...we have all experienced compelling, emotional, heart wrenching, totally joyous, moments this past year. Must be our current society, globe, planet, where one gets "hit" with a myriad of "stuff" with some having a lasting, lingering effect.
A few years ago, we were telling folks that we are all interconnected, what develops on one side of the planet, immediately affects the other side. In 2011 we have seen / experienced the interconnectedness of numerous distant events that immediately had a local impact. While some use such events as a convenient excuse rationale.
We have seen several individuals depart this earth ahead of their time. You sort of get the feeling that being on the leading edge of innovation, creativity, audacity tends to abbreviate lives. Think about it for a moment.
As well during the past 12 months, we have seen a parade of pundits express their wishful thinking seeking old realities that are long gone. A few years back (3 years) we shared our thoughts that old realities were gone, with our New Reality series.
Its a brave world, at the intersection of democracy, capitalism, technology, interconnectedness, turmoil, insecurity, mass publishing, and always on. With a myriad of individuals on a gazillion intellectual vectors. Think about this...the person of the year is The Protestor, and there are a gazillion ways to protest.
If at one time everyone preferred to have their heads in the clouds, now too many have their heads in a darker place.
We can keep on going but you surely grasp our thoughts...now lets get closer to home.
Its no secret the Canadian CMS (Citizen Main Street), assisted by Canadian banks has been powering the Canadian economy for the past few years (what recession?).
Its no secret either that the Canadian CMS, had less options in 2011, and will have even less in 2012, especially with the inexorable escalation of food prices. Gas prices have been pitching in for a few months already. It will make for a fascinating 2012...
Customers are ever more demanding, with shorter time frames, accompanied by increased immediacy, while having an appreciation for craftsmanship, and hand crafted products. Flooded in technology, items / products / services that are handcrafted have a different/tangible value proposition.
Hopefully the vacuous exercises of wishful thinking (when will the market come back) applied to the Canadian auto industry, have reached their conclusions. The manufacturers that subscribed to the wishful thinking, while other did the selling (eating their lunch), will face a starker reality in 2012.
Reflecting on Canadian sales in recent history, the best year was 2002 with 1.7 M, then 2007 with 1.65 M, all the other years have hovered in the 1.55 to 1.6M range. With the exception of 2009 with 1.46 M, hit by the presumed recession or a lack of leasing?
This past year being the 100th Anniversary of Chevrolet, started by sitting next to Don Runkle, having a beer, and hot dogs at the Chevrolet stand at NAIAS, to spending a few days with a Volt. We mentioned our experiences with Chevrolet...here.
Through the years we often fantasised about a "shoebox Chevy" with a race 572 (720 HP), a 6 speed...the kind of car that would cost over 100 large to build. Its interesting that we conclude the year with a ZL1 at 58 large not only is it totally cool, its the ultimate "shoebox Chevy" at a reasonable price, offering a superlative performance value proposition.
After all these years, we are still passionate about the auto industry, we still enjoy observing the various strategies, and tactics deployed by manufacturers in Canada. Its a fascinating, competitive industry/business that remains captivating, invigorating, and fun.
Its a unique moment to experience the product, and to observe how its selling in the market. They are all good products, as individuals we are attracted to different products, but they are all good.
We are thankful, and appreciative for 2011, and look forward to another year of passion in 2012.