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Tuesday
Nov042014

Perspectives

This morning we have The Colonel enjoying a cappuccino with us, while we pick his thoughts on "perspectives". Lets get going...

Q: Colonel Good Morning as usual you look refreshed and still with a tan from your gone fishing days.

A: Thanks guys, the tan is quickly going away with the cold climate.

Q: What can you tell us about perspectives at Strada?

A: It starts with "We don't follow, we lead"..."passion"..."always seeking an advantage" to name the most obvious.

Q: We get the feeling that you are a competitive individual.

A: To thrive in the auto business you have to be competitive, you have to "win", you need an advantage.

Q: Do we conclude that through the years you have developed and calibrated a different perspective.

A: Precisely, often we all see the same thing, its what you do with the same thing.

Q: Could that make you an outlier, somewhat off the vector that most folks adopt.

A: Absolutely, it often becomes a question of "Who is this guy?"..."What does he do? How does he see things?"

Q: At times it might be simpler/safer to follow the common path, and reap results faster as an example.

A: I don't know about reaping results faster, and I'm not well versed in following, never was.

Q: With social media, perspectives can take many nuances.

A: Yes they can and will, but if you do the right thing, tell the truth, are polite, humble, generous, share knowledge. The perspectives remain constant.

Q: You are saying that "intellectual integrity" upholds a constant perspective. Even when its easier to do something else.

A: Precisely, and intellectual integrity is a precious/priceless commodity.

Q: How do you uphold your perspectives in an age of technology, social media, being on 24/7?

A: As we always say, you have to be your own editor, you have to be observant, you have to connect dots instantly. More important you have to be brutally honest with yourself.

Q: Experience, knowledge base, wisdom surely helps, being around this business for a few decades is a huge asset.

A: Yes it is, lingering on the past is futile. Focusing on the future, seeking an advantage is essential.

Q: Its easy with social media to quickly "fall in line" with a pedestrian thought process.

A: Its the tragedy of our times, lets fall in line, lets pump our ego, lets connect, and so on. Its dramatically more demanding to have a different, thought provoking perspective.

Q: Some folks might be "turned off" or might not understand a different perspective.

A: Agreed...the reason we say "Brain Power to Energise Your Automotive Experience" folks that are not seeking the brain power are not interested.

Q: In one respect its a narrow focus.

A: Its a wide focus, wide spectrum, but you need an ongoing intellectual curiosity that is not widely appealing. 

Q: Perhaps being in the business for a few decades compromises change.

A: Not at all, with intellectual curiosity, change is easy even if uncomfortable.

Enough for this morning...

 

 

Monday
Nov032014

Luxury Tools

Lets get the month going by connecting a few dots.

A few days ago we were reading a perspective from Seth Godin, which immediately started connecting dots for us. 

"Hundreds of years ago, Hermes and Louis Vuitton started out as luxury makers of tools. If you needed a saddle or a suitcase, they offered an extraordinary option, both elite and useful.

Over time, they shifted gears, no longer competing on whether or not their luggage was the most useful, or their saddles the most efficient. They competed on luxury, which is a fundamentally different promise than the optimal design of a tool."

A few decades ago a Mercedes-Benz was a luxury tool in North America, a W116 (450SEL) was the supreme luxury tool (sedan) it did everything well, was the ideal compromise, and you could drive it flat out for hours.

It had shortcomings, but the overall package was superlative for its time compared to other offerings. Yes...it was expensive, it was exclusive, and it did its job very well. It was the ideal tool of the time, with compelling street presence. In addition to having a serious f...k you factor.

The W116 morphed into the W126 (560SEL) which was a refined tool compared to the W116, and the rest is history as they say. 

The other day coming up to the rear of a novel CUV, yes there are a ton of CUV's on the road. What is this "thing" as the GLA250 appears on the tailgate and the immediate thought of "It looks Japanese or Korean" then from the rear view mirror the grille seemed out of place. 

The luxury brand (being optimistic) might be there, but the luxury tool aspect is long gone.

Swiss watches are luxury tools, no one needs an expensive Swiss watch to tell the time, when a smart phone is more accurate. The maintenance on a luxury Swiss watch buys several watches. 

Fine writing instruments are luxury tools. This mechanical pencil does a better job than most mechanical pencils, and its reflected in the price.

Its fascinating to watch the automotive migration from luxury tool, to luxury, to premium economy.

 

 

Saturday
Nov012014

1937 Ford Woody

Everything you always wanted to know about "woodies" with Jay Leno...

 

 

 

Friday
Oct312014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Painting by Jay KokaIts Friday, the last day of the month, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

In case you missed it (just scroll down) this week we published or thoughts on Canadian sales...the sales are off the chart...while our thoughts on Canadian sales are increasingly gaining momentum.

We're entertained by the coverage provided to extended loan terms. Again...its interesting to see how the mass media focuses on one aspect while missing the entire landscape.

Four years ago...times goes by, we published i-Dealer, its revealing that dealers are finally catching up to a digital dealership as an intrinsic part of their business that must be nurtured, developed, and protected. Pardon the sarcasm, the Internet has been around for 20 years.

You have to wonder what would happen if everyone "accelerated time" by only a few increments. Then you wonder why its not happening...time is the ultimate equaliser for everyone.

Approaching that time of year again, our thoughts on winter tires. Not which brand is the best, simply that you need winter tires, and you are the traction manager.

You could see this coming that FCA would spin off Ferrari to raise capital.

Can we say that 2014 is the year of the recalls? Can we also say that consumers are increasingly jaded with all the recalls? Cost savings? What do you think?

The Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction is this week end at the International Center.

Our usual old race cars from Thompson Motorsports Festival.

 

 

Thursday
Oct302014

Interview with Bill Ford Jr.

An informative, revealing, and thought provoking interview with Bill Ford Jr.