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Global Sales 2010

Seeking the big picture of how did vehicle sales around the world fared in 2010....

 World...(click on the charts for larger view)






Looking west on Chabanel from St.Laurent The other day we were reading an article that Chabanel in Montreal is being redeveloped from the "needle trade" to accomodate hopefully technology businesses. Since the name was familiar we approached The Colonel to get his input and thoughts on Chabanel. To be specific its the Chabanel between St.Laurent and going west to the railroads

Here we go....

Q: Colonel what do you know about Chabanel?

A: Guys I grew up very close to Chabanel on one of the streets that goes north/south with Chabanel going east/west. 

Q: Its a busy street with all those huge needle trade buildings they are trying to redevelop, and the underpass, and now some sort of commuter train stop.

A: Guys if you go back a few decades (lets say a few to make it look recent, and I was a kid) the only buildings on Chabanel were the rectangular buildings behind/in the middle the huge boxes, and there was no underpass. 

Q: What was Chabanel?

A: The restangular buildings were known as 9500 St.Laurent (still are) it was some sort of arsenal during WWII, everything around were Crown lands (belonged to the Federal Gov't), and here there was a extensive maintenence facility to repair military equipment. Chabanel is a boulevard with the east/west side going along a barbed wire fence at the time (notive how far the rectangular buildings are from the street).

Q: Probably as you got older the west bound direction along the fence was convenient...tell us us its not the case.

A: Lets just say that the stretch from Clark to Esplanade/Meunier is a convenient lenght. Keep in mind that back in the day there was a fence along that stretch (no buildings).

Q: You mean to say that you lived with a your back yard (sort of thing).

A: Yes...sort of thing.

Q: Street racing?

A: Never did that...but a convenient place to test don't street race in your back yard.

Q: What happened?

A: As more of those huge square buildings went up where the fence was, Chabanel became progressively busier...that was it. 

Q: You must have gotten in a situation?

A: Situation?...Yes...big time once...just once! 

Q: Anything else...

A: During the golden days of the needle trade, the underground garages of those huge square buildings, you can let your imagination roam as to what was parked in those garages, and on Chabanel during the day.

Q: Things change, the needle trade has moved elsewhere....

A: Yes...Chabanel has gone from being a boulevard going nowhere with a fence, ideal at one time to test cars, to the hub of the Canadian needle trade, to now having an underpass, a train station, and being redeveloped again.

Q: Any other interesting bits....

A: During the October crisis the maintenance facilities were still on Chabanel, you can imagine the level of military vehicle activity, and armed guards. During the 1976 Olympics in Montreal the last building on the north side between Meilleur and the railroad track was used to store the athletes food, countless trailers with reefers, and again armed guards.

Q: The fire station?

A: Yes...its a constant its been on the south/west corner for countless years...never changed.









The Car Guy

Yes..its the last day of the month, yes...January flew by...we know!

This morning The Colonel is a little "rankled" here we go...

For years we have heard about the "car guy" in auto companies / auto business, compared to the numbers guy, or the corporate guy, or the career guy, or the make the mortgage payment guy, or the write about the industry guy.

If nothing else the real car guy has at least a modicum of passion for the product and the business while actually works in the industry. 

The folks with passion for some reason instantly resonate, its a "silent language" that immediately connects. If you are a car guy with passion for some cosmic reason you immediately resonate with the other car guy (gal) the moment might last only a few seconds while leaving a lasting enduring impression.

There are still a whole bunch of car guys (gals) out there, while there are also a whole bunch of the other varieties of guys (gals).

Back in the day of the consummate car guy with passion, that we read about today as individuals with bigger than life personas. These folks would literally put their behinds on the line to achieve a goal, create a new product, start a business and so on...its the stuff of legends, and books.  

Prior to all the technology, and massive downloads of data, and analytics, the decision process was with your head, your heart, your gut...yes scary by today's perspectives. 

Now its the leadership team here, the leadership team there, data, PPT presentations, and when "yogurt happens" everyone ducks, and runs for cover. No wonder leadership is a rare and scary commodity these days.

What is really encouraging, the folks in this business that have passion, that are car guys (gals) for some reason still resonate/connect immediately the old fashioned human way person to person. Think about this for a moment after all the dust/smoke/debris clears these folks still connect and resonate same as it was decades ago.

Imagine for a moment when there is dissonance at various levels....(need we say more)...or when there is a revolving door...

For some strange reason acquiring a vehicle is still an emotional/human process, that has changed dramatically, and not changed in years. Increasingly to sell a vehicle requires an almost immediate resonance/connection....similar to when car guys (gals) resonate.

You can use your imagination here too....

Here is another rankle...

With increasing emphasis on Gen Y as the next massive wave of customers for the North American auto industry.

Simple question: Where does Gen Y come from? You got it Boomer parents. Where did Boomers come from? From parent that grew up during the Great Depression, perhaps fought in WWII....

Perhaps there is more than a subtle resonance between Gen Y and Boomers. 

Gen Y seeks that instant/immediate resonance between individuals.

Just saying....

Absolutely...share your thoughts leave a comment its always appreciated.




Headshots in Hockey

What do headshots, hockey, and cars have in common? Not much except The Colonel played hockey with his work buddies for several years. 

Lets get his thoughts on headshots:

Q: You played hockey for a few years...

A: I was a little younger, we were playing year round in winter it was Sunday nights.

Q: What level, how good were the players.

A: Most of the guys were pretty good.

Q: Physical contact?

A: Not really purposely wore enough equipment not to get hurt, and not enough to encourage contact.

Q: You guys were playing hockey for the fun of playing the game.

A: Yes..but occasionally it would get out of hand.

Q: Out of hand?

A: Young men, ice, fast, hormones, competition, desire to win, an inflammatory comment.

Q: Its aggressive...

A: It can get very aggressive, in our case everyone was watching out for everyone else, the word would spread quickly to chill out, it was not worth it, we were not professionals, or trying to build a career playing hockey.

Q: So hockey at the professional level can get aggrressive...

A: Absolutely, and then summer we played a few games with a fellow that had just returned from the training camp of an NHL team. This guy is a few years younger, a few centimeters taller, and when he had the puck it was not very easy to stop him to say the least (if you were playing against him).

A: A fellow at that level of the game is coming down the ice like a freight train. 

Q: Exactly...and if he hits you, or you try and stop aggressively there might be the possibility that someone might get hurt. Where getting a slap shot on a skate, or on a thigh is nothing at all compared to how hurt you could get. 

A: At one time we heard that some folks that play hockey do it on purpose to hurt another player. 

Q: We had a fellow playing with us that had a leg broken getting slammed on the boards. Training camps for NHL teams are an ideal place to inflict damage, both physical and intellectual. 

Q: The equipment is better...

A: protect you better while playing the game, and it might incite to feel invincible.

Q: Race drivers wear a Hans device not to have their heads thrown around.

A: Exactly...the G forces in hockey are not the same as racing (might not kill you) but there are enough G forces (back to the freight train) to inflict damage.

Q: Seems there is no need to give anyone a headshot.

A: When you play hockey you do not expect anyone at any time to give you a shot on the head...what for?Unless there are deliberate intentions that have nothing to do with hockey. 

Q: Perhaps folks that evolve in a system where inflicting physical damage is normal.

A: Valid auto racing the entire system is directed towards alleviating/eliminating physical damage. 

Q: In auto racing when someone gets hurt, there was a failure in the system. 

A: Exactly...something failed for a driver to get hurt badly or killed.




Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Yes..another Friday the last one of the month , and another Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, the usual is served.

Its a good thing that Barrett-Jackson raised money for charity, and people made an effort to make compelling purchases knowing that it was going to charity. Yes...totally a good thing.

The sale of the 1963 Pontiac Bonneville ambulance on the flip side was an exercise in utter poor taste. Kudos to Jalopnik for taking the high road on this Pontiac. 

Another point we found interesting a few cars (usually expensive) were represented with "re stamped block" if you are familiar with collector cars think about this for a moment...its like saying "its not numbers matching, but we re stamped the block to make it seem its numbers matching". At some point the question will be "Is it real or re stamped?".

Is it an indication that the Barrett-Jackson business model is "tired" and "opaque"?

Yes...the Rolex 24 is tomorrow!

If you are an MV Agusta fan may we suggest that you spend a few minutes browsing The MV Agusta Collection.

Almost the end of the first month of the year, are you in the direction of your vision for the year? Are you on track with your resolutions? This week end besides watching the Rolex 24 is an ideal time to calibrate, and perhaps recalibrate for 2011 to achieve your visions.

The 2011 Trust Barometer

The results of RM Auctions in, yes the 300SL Gullwing did very well at 1.375