Last year we had an interesting conversation with The Colonel on luxury cars...here.
This year again we have The Colonel who will share his thoughts on Canadian Luxury, lets start.
Q: Colonel what is developing in the Canadian Luxury segment?
A: You mean the dilution of Canadian Luxury!
Q: You caught on...
A: Caught on...yes...the democratization of luxury...absolutely. Especially with the established luxury manufacturers incresingly going down market to increase their sales volume.
Q: Canadians have responded positively, enthusiastically to the democratization of luxury.
A: The intellectual question had been around for decades "How low do you go for the sake of volume?" At one time the response was "We are not interested in the lower end of the market." With the increased use of business metrics, exploring the lower end of the market became tantalizing.
Q: In Canada MerBimAu owns the luxury market.
A: Yes they own the lower end, and are perhaps struggling with the higher end of the market.
Q: Struggling with the higher end?
A: Precisely...but lets blame it on challenging economic times that vehicle above $50,000 are not that easy to sell or lease.
Q: Sounds good...perhaps they are all drinking the same Kool Aid...lets focus on the lower end of the market to quickly increase sales volumes, while the higher end sort of takes care of itself.
A: Could not have said it better myself.
Q: Where is it going?
A: Imagine for a moment if other manufacturers with offerings in the lower segment really got aggressive, especially with CUV/SUV, instead of being passive.
Q: Are you saying that MerBimAu has it easy?
A: Its obvious that they have it easy, although they will make it sound as if its very challenging, especially when they do not have new product to increase sales.
Q: Some (manufacturers) have had good sales runs with vehicles that transcend winter.
A: Absolutely...and these vehicles that transcend winter are lifestyle vehicles, when a new version that strikes a note is launched it quickly tests the loyalty of many customers.
Q: It must be easier to sell vehicles in the lower segments, than the more expensive above $50,000...
A: When you can get an "entry level luxury vehicle" with exceptional brand recognition for XXX per month on a lease...obvious its easy...it moves a ton of entry level luxury vehicles.
Q: You would imagine that these vehciles have gone through a few cost saving processes...
A: A few...you know better...the entire industry is proficient at meeting price points.
Q: Could it be that the brand masks/camouflages hidden cost savings.
A: Interesting perspective...will we ever know...when they remove too much...how much do they put back in?
Q: At some point the individual spending 6 figures for their top of the line versions might see less value in his purchase.
A: Excellent point...would you rather sell 1000 high line or 10,000 low line luxury? The answer is obvious they collectively want to sell low line luxury.
Q: The competition has been timid...
A: For some inexplicable reason the Japanese competition in entry level luxury has been weak, and now the Japanese are concerned with Korean competition for their mainstream brands.
Q: As "Boomers" advance in age what will the make up of the Canadian Luxury market look like in a few years?
A: Good question, it would seem that the luxury market will increase in entry level and decrease in the higher price segments...the real question...will it still be luxury?
Its Friday...middle of the month, with 2 weeks to go until the 3rd quarter is complete, and its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable.
If you have been following the vehicles launched/unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, at times we get the impression that designers for some inexplicable reason push the wrong buttons, for perhaps all sorts of reasons. But who are we to have the defenitive opinion, espcially that styling is always a question of personal preference.
Lets just say that some vehicles have a look that only their designer would love...and some bastions of auto branding are beginning to look comical in their designers quest for change.
Are we all enjoying the global financial girations enhanced by a touch of politics? Closer to home (Canada) the message is constantly being reinforced to CSM (Citizen Main Street) to exercise caution in acquiring additional credit.
September is the final month of the 3rd quarter, fascinating to see Honda finally join, and play the game to keep the Civic at the head of the pack, and perhaps give Acura an opportunity to hopefully stop its retreat. One still wonders what took them so long...must have been some powerful Kool Aid. Lets see how it develops for them at the end of the month...and year.
In case you missed it...after a patient and long wait we finally had an opportunity to experience this car...here yes...we are working on the review.
It will be interesting/informative to see how the union talks/negotiations conclude with the Detroit 3. What do you think?
If you remember last month we had an issue with Air Canada with delayed flights and misplacing a bag. We did a quick entry "The Joys of Flying"...here...not expecting Air Canada to reply or comment, although our entry on their Facebook page generated interest and comments from everyone except the folks at Air Canada.
The other day we had an issue with our refrigerator, we again did an entry "The Joys of Kitchen Aid"..here to our immense surprise, Kitchen Aid "gets it" with an immediate response through Twitter, taking the time to look at our issue, responding and more important resolving the issue in a timely manner...here.
We took the liberty of forwarding the refrigerator case to folks we know at various manufacturers, hinting the questions..."if one of your customers had an issue with one of your vehicles...." would you, and how would you solve it through social media.
Today its a bunch of old Ferrari's....here