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Monday
Feb142011

Canadian Sales 1-11

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, January results were all over the place. One could sense a jockeying for position, while getting an initial glimpse at competitive tactics and strategies or lack of the same. 

Manufacturers can deploy a few quick tactics from the starting line, either go soft to see what the competitive environment will deploy, or start aggressively to get an advantage, and obvious every other strategy and tactic in between those. 

The market segments with established competition offer a revealing perspective and benchmark of how manufacturers deal with competion, in a very competitve segment.

Lets look at the pick up segment with the Detroit 3 being the major players, and competitors. Ford is the undisputed king of the hill when it comes to pick ups in Canada and North America. If you are the king of the hill logically you come out of the gate strong, to immediately send a forceful message to your competitors. Lets see how it developed in January.

.....................................2011...........2010

Ford F150.......................5,374..........4,255

Ram...............................3,833..........3,079

GMC Sierra......................2,866..........2,636

Chevrolet Silverado..........2,528..........2,366

These folks will not concede a millimeter of market space, they start out aggressive with an increase from the previous year...the competition is expected, the increase is a bit of a surprise. Ford signals that they will remain number 1 starting less flat footed that the previous year, GM signals that they will give Ford serious competition, Chrysler signals that they are in the game too. 

Looking at entry level luxury where MerBimAu (Mercedes-BMW-Audi) rules the segment, while the others are close to a lap behind...what happened in this segment with established competitors.

 

.....................................2011............2010

BMW 3 Series..................443..............448

Audi A4...........................385..............312

Mercedes C Class..............378..............398

Buick LaCrosse..................215.............155

Cadillac CTS.....................199..............202

Infiniti G..........................142..............229

Lexus IS..........................115...............116

Acura TL............................87................76

Volvo 60 Series..................70.................0

One expects BMW to be ahead, Audi starts strong (they were presumably short of cars late last year) with Mercedes giving up one track position. What happened to the Infiniti G giving up 2 track positions from last year, and where did the Infiniti business go? Volvo will continue to make its presence felt in the segment.

Moving to the "little car" segment with new entrants/models, and a fascinating start to the year. Are you surprised that Honda immediately gets blown away (stretching hard to keep the Civic #1 last year), Toyota gets aggressive, and Hyundai makes its presence felt in a convincing fashion.

.......................................2011.................2010

Hyundai Elantra...............2,643.................1,313

Toyota Corolla..................2,146................1,630

Mazda 3...........................1,689................2,938

Chevrolet Cruze................1,471...................0

Honda Civic......................1,142................2,334

Mazda 2.............................450....................0

Ford Fiesta.........................426....................0

Toyota Yaris........................383.................1,055

Honda Fit.............................72...................469

The Cruze gets impeccable track position from the start. Do you get the feeling the Civic (older model) is in trouble from the get go, along with the Mazda 3?

Toyota with the Corolla and Yaris 2011 = 2,529...2010 = 2,685  very close

Mazda with the 3 and 2 2011 = 2,139.....2010 = 2,938 reasonably close

Honda with the Civic and Fit 2011 = 1,214....2010 = 2,803 takes your breath away

 

The manufacturers that play to win secure a good track position from the outset. In this business if you stumble one month with a poor track position you can through various tactics and strategies improve your postion. 

The "little car" segment is the "wild west" with some folks taking advantage of the disruptions, and others losing track position.

It will be fascinating to see the incentives "kick in" in the following months.

 

 

Monday
Feb142011

Valentine

 

Saturday
Feb122011

Ducati Diavel

A video is worth...

 

Friday
Feb112011

Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Yes...Friday and another Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable.

Agreed its been chilly most of the week...it is winter!

The complete Ferrari Opus take a look...here.

Have you noticed that although a few years ago we were mentioning that the horsepower race might be over and done with...or so we thought. A few days ago at the Chicago Auto Show there was a horsepower revival from Chevrolet with the Camaro ZL1, Hyundai with the 400 HP+ Genesis, and a wicked looking Charger SRT8 with a Hemi.

If styling sells individual models, then horsepower halo cars sell the entire model line...or lets hope they do. If nothing else these HP cars sure generate a ton of buzz...

If you have been following the progress of Robert Kubica after his crash and we know that you are wishing him well. A pictorial of how it happened...here. Perhaps you have been wondering about the guardrail and how he could be so hurt...this photo tells the entire event...here.

If you have been following the events in Egypt, and wondering how Social Media/Social Networking played a part, this article from NYT gives additional information...here.

Think about this for a moment: While at NAIAS with a Canadian phone, a stone's throw from Windsor, its intelligent enough to generate roaming charges...making a call to individuals that are less than 200 meters away generates roaming and long distance charges. Pretty cool calling from an Ontario to a North Carolina phone 150 meters away and generating all sorts of charges. Fascinating what technology can do...now imagine if they meter the Internet in the same fashion they meter electricity with a smart meter.

Informative interview of Sergio Marchionne by Joann Muller of Forbes...here.

Our usual old cars from the Kuwait Concours d'Elegance...here

 

 

Thursday
Feb102011

The Paper Route

The other day we came across an interesting article regarding the demise of the paperboy, and it got us thinking about the popularity of paper routes at one time. 

Since The Colonel was also involved, and he is here this morning its an ideal time to share some thoughts on paper routes / paperboys.

Q: Good Morning Colonel...how did the paper routes start?

A: Probably like most routes start...at some point for some reason the kid wants a paper route.

Q: Were the parents concerned, the kid is usually younger than older, the route is usually father than closer, and the money is simply a token...literally easier to give the kid the money.

A: At first blush most parents dont want their kids doing a paper route.

Q: The money is not the point.

A: Exactly...its not about the money, its about having a paper route, having the responsibility of a route.

Q: What happened...???

A: The first route was just Sunday morning...and covered a fair distance, I inherited the route with the kids, isn't that what parents do?

Q: Are you saying that to make a route possible for the kid you pitched in?

A: You got it...that first route was like 5 kms altogether...in winter early Sunday morning...easier to give the kid 5 bucks than pitch in for the farthest places. 

Q: Any anecdotes?

A: A few...imagine the folks seeing a kid deliver the Sunday morning paper in a luxury car? Folks not wanting to pay for the paper since they saw the kid deliver the paper in a luxury car. 

Q: Folks are mean spirited?

A: Some folks had no clue how hurtful they could be to a kid, giving him the run around to pay for the paper. At the same time its a good experience for a kid, to get a flavor of human nature.

Q: How did that first route develop.

A: I called the newspaper guy, told him the route was too distant, and worse its was a nightmare to collect payment for the papers. Me Sunday morning helping (driving) to deliver, the mother during the week helping (driving) to collect often going to the same house 2-3 times. 

Q: That was the end...

A: Not at all...finally got the other paper with a shorter route, and no need to collect money. 

Q: That was easier...

A: Absolutely, I no longer had a route, easier for the kid, especially not having to collect money.

Q: Stories....

A: Sure...its the neighbors..they know the kid...they would call that the paper was not just right at their door, or the kid made noise, or one time the kid presumably cracked a window...

Q: Takes all kinds to make a world...

A: Precisely...

Q: What did the paper route accomplish?

A: Instills a sense of discipline, a sense of obligation, a work ethic....to this day it would have been easier not to be involved with a route...its the kid's undertaking, its their route, its their initiative.

Q: Perhaps for a kid its a badge of honour to say that they had a paper route.

A: Agreed....at that point and time..its a big thing for a kid. 

Q: What about today?

A: Guess kids don't want routes anymore, the same paper is dropped at the end of the driveway by someone in a vehicle...used to be dropped at the front door by the local kid. 

Q: Perhaps parents don't want their kids to have routes....

A: Perhaps...but it might still be a good thing for kids to have a route.