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Monday
Jun082015

It Was A Ram Photo Shoot

Our usual photo shoot location notice the wet pavementIf you are a regular reader you have certainly grasped that most of the time we do our review photo shoots at the same location(s). For some reason photo shoots work well in those locations.

Usually mid morning on a Sunday its what fits best in our agenda.

We have the Ram, mid morning Sunday does not fit in the agenda, we have other priorities.

By the time we get around to the photo shoot, its early Sunday evening which is a good time of day to take photos, except its increasingly cloudy, and and it looks as if its going to rain.

Our standard photo shoot procedure is to hand wash the vehicle (when the weather permits). Agreed there is still a "zen thing" when you hand wash a vehicle, and you notice all sorts of interesting details. Yes...there is a lot of sheet metal on a Ram, the windshield and roof are high.

This Ram has plastic wheel covers that replicate an alloy wheel, not a bad thing if a wheel gets scraped replace the cover, from the other perspective its "imitation" alloys.

We get ambitious and decide to do a photo shoot under light rain just to see the outcome. Why in the rain, just for the fun of it, to see the outcome.

Under the tree notice the pavement is dryAt our photo shoot location, the rain is subdued, the natural light is not ideal, but lets try this. We are so focused on taking photos, then we notice that the pavement on the other side is dry. "Why is the pavement dry? Simple the tree is immense." Lets go under the tree too.

Its raining, now under the tree, you could call it call it a huge truck umbrella. This photo session is turning into fun, and interesting.

Different light conditions, and the auto focus on the Samsung camera is getting an extensive work out.

Lets give the technology a work out, and have a better understanding of how it all integrates together to take a photo.

The horse farm notice the pavement is wet its rainingStill raining, might as well go to our favorite horse farm and see how we can shoot there too.

Yes...there are horses in the pasture.

What initially started out as an almost "scrubbed" photo shoot. Morphed into a fun experience, under the rain, under a tree, and at our favorite horse farm.

 

 

 

Saturday
Jun062015

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Fascinating car, get a comprehensive walk around with Jay Leno.

 

Friday
Jun052015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its a new month, its Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Does climate change mean that we alternate from air conditioning, to heat, on a regular basis in the house? What do you think?

In case you missed it, we have done some vehicle reviews take a look...here. Really...how could you miss it.

You know that we don't follow, we lead, and we are not in the eyeball business either. Late last year we shared our thoughts on Premium Economy which was a continuation of The Merbimau Advantage. As you start hearing increased comments from a variety of individuals remember that you heard it here first.

In the world of business there is an ongoing constant, the population of Assholes does not diminish (perhaps its increasing). At times you have to wonder if the population would diminish, would we be in a better world. Agreed...its optimistic to say the least.

Canadian Sales for May:

Last year May was a record month, imagine trying to beat May 2014 this year. Its a done deal May 2015 is 1% ahead of 2014. As you can imagine with an increase of only 1% the month was a game of push and shove. With manufacturer bonuses based on sales objectives (usually surpassing them). There is a rumour that some manufacturers were calling dealers on an hourly basis on the last day.

Is there the possibility that some vehicles were called sold, and are still waiting for an owner? What do you think?

Still a huge accomplishment for the month...yes those guys again MerbimAu were way ahead of the game last month...

You will increasingly start reading and hearing about infotainment overload in vehicles. Where some or a lot of the technology in the centre of the dash (yes the screen) is not being used by customers. Do we still need a CD player in vehicles? Do we need voice recognition? Do we need a myriad of touch functionalities on the screen? What do you think?

Our usual old race cars impressive and extensive photo gallery of the Spa Classic 2015.

 

 

Thursday
Jun042015

Automotive Perspective 2015

An insightful overview from Strategy+Business

 

 

Tuesday
Jun022015

Confessions of a Capital Junkie

By now you have probably read that Sergio Marchionne of FCA has been knocking on a few auto industry CEO doors seeking at minimum collaboration deals.

Below is the presentation that is spurring the door knocking.

If you have an interest in the auto industry the presentation provides insight on the platforms that all manufacturers use in their quest to save costs.

 

 

Monday
Jun012015

Managing The Risk

We have read a gazillion thoughts, from a myriad of pundits, analysts, experts on the length of loan terms for vehicles. Usually with an alarming note of the coming doom, when looking at the antiquated "ownership" model.

Then the discussion gravitates to longer terms since vehicles last longer.

In Canada CMS (Citizen Main Street) has an innate sense of shifting the risk to the manufacturer and financial service provider, and upholding a near constant monthly payment. While the auto business as we all know runs best on a 36 month cycle.

An informative white paper from NADA and although it pertains to the US, there are numerous similarities to Canada. You can almost feel that some form of a Vehicle Risk Score (VRS) will become an intrinsic part of the credit decision in the near future.

 

 

 

 

Saturday
May302015

Honda S600

Its a diminuitive car, this is a cool version with a "patina", get a walk around and ride with Jay Leno.

 

 

Friday
May292015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Its almost month end, it will be interesting the see the Canadian sales results for May next week. You can anticipate an aggressive and competitive June to close the first half of the year.

Think about this...

Way back in the day when the showroom knowledge base, skill set, craftsmanship resided in an individual's head. Many dealers tolerated all sorts of behavior not to lose an individual. Fast forward to today, when there is software available to deal with a bunch of  knowledge bases, and tasks. Dealers tolerate the inept use of the software...go figure.

In the auto business many folks are talking about transparency especially when a customer is involved. The need to be transparent here, there, and everywhere. Back in the day it was known as being honest, up front, ethical...has anything changed? Mind you its always been a trait of human behavior to perhaps tend on the side of being opaque.

What do you think?

An impressive photo gallery from Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2015...enjoy.

 

 

Wednesday
May272015

Buick Riviera

Some cars are enduring, and the 63-65 Buick Riviera has been capturing The Colonel's attention for a few decades.

This morning The Colonel is with us, lets see what it is about the Riviera.

Q: Good Morning, you look well tanned.

A: Yes...working outside on week ends will do that.

Q: What is it about the 63-65 Riviera?

A: Lets start with Buicks of that vintage that have always fascinated me for a myriad of reason.

Q: Do you have a few reasons.

A: The nail head engine with the spark plug covers, and marine green was always of interest.

Q: The Dynaflow transmission

A: Not so much, it was hideous at the time compared to an Hydra Matic in Oldsmobile or Cadillac.

Q: Back to the Riviera

A: The 63-65 Riviera's were totally cool in their day, and they still are. Brilliant styling, with a European look about them.

Q: The styling was the first thing.

A: Absolutely, those cars were cool, they looked cool, European, flowing lines, a luxury coupe by today's perspectives. The grille, hidden headlamps, small tailights.

Q: The nailhead

A: Obvious the nailhead, ideally with dual quads merely enhanced the coolness of the car. Remember that 50 years ago nailheads had a hot rodding history too.

Q: The interior

A: The dash for its day was stunning with the center of the dash and console, wood paneling, and an almost 4 bucket seat layout.

Q: You could almost put a center screen like today's cars.

A: Precisely...really cool dash for the day.

Q: Its was not a sports coupe.

A: Buicks by their DNA were cruisers, and the Riviera was the ultimate cruising coupe.

Q: We heard rumours that at one time you were looking for a Riviera.

A: Yes...casually looking, and never landing on the right car, the right opportunity, the right deal. Its like the pieces of the puzzle never wanted to fit.

Q: Then life progresses, and other priorities take center stage.

A: Yes...and just imagine old Rivieras in Montreal, and corrosion, need I say more.

Q: But its still a cool car

A: Absolutely, a 63-65 Riviera from my perspective is still a a very desirable cool car.

 

 

Tuesday
May262015

Monthly Incentives

If you have been in the auto business for a while (decades) you hopefully remember when customer incentives were extremely rare to non existent.

The spread between cost including holdback and MSRP was appreciable, while appraising a trade in was often a form of cosmic guesswork.

The month started on the 1st and ended on the 30th or 31st.

It all worked, although many consumers had a presumed low opinion of auto dealers.

Today the spread from cost to MSRP is dramatically less, while software can appraise a trade in (almost).

There are ongoing consumer monthly sales incentives from various manufacturers.

Since CMS (Citizen Main Street) started playing out dealers waiting towards the end of the month for a better deal. The incentives gather an appreciable amount of momentum at the end of the month, to align with the waiting for month end mentality.

As you know the advertising for the incentives is widespread on all of the various platforms print, radio, TV, Internet, always with a sense of urgency, that its only good till June 1st this month.

The advertising makes it look as if its almost free, or close...only so much per month, bi weekly, or weekly, at such a low rate, for such a term. In a subdued voice (on the radio) the down payment is mentioned.

Its working every month...think about this for a moment.

The month end rush powered by incentives to close deals, and capture opportunistic deal seekers.

In addition to the myriad of e-mail and texting activity, and the usual one dealer making an additional effort to earn the business and close the deal.