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Entries in Cadillac (34)

Wednesday
Jan142015

Luxury Cars Are They Better?

The other day we were reading an article stipulating that luxury cars are in many cases worse, than mid market cars, especially in reliability.

As you probably know The Colonel has been involved and dricing what is known as luxury cars for a few decades, lets see what he has to say this morning.

Q: Colonel how did luxury cars, especially the German versions evolve through the decades.

A: Guys good morning, you are looking dapper this morning. By the early 70's North American luxury cars were known as land barges, similar to pick ups today. With a ton of conveneince features, and a ton of driving shortcomings.

Q: What got the ball rolling.

A: Car and Driver, David E. Davis, Mercedes-Benz 450SEL (W116) at the time.

Q: What was special about that car.

A: It was the opposite of the land barges, limited conveneince features, at best acceptable air conditioning, no power seats, extremely slow power windows. It had a V8, good power, incredible suspension compared to the land barges, solid body, robust brakes. Extremely poor fuel economy.

Q: You could drive it all day long at elevated speeds.

A: Precisely...they were engineered to perform on the autobahn.

Q: How about maintenance.

A: German car...what do you think...they required ongoing maintenance on a regular basis. Today it would be considered obscene.

Q: The better part was how they drove and performed as a car, and how they held together.

A: Exactly, the convenience features were archaic compared to the land barges, the automatic transmissions were fragile, differential were diminuitive. The radios were archaic, but the clunk of the doors, the interiors were solid, and the way they drove.

Q: We heard that back in the day 6.9 were incredible cars, and nobody wanted them as a used car.

A: Interesting that you mention 6.9, incredible car, and in many ways similar to today's cars that are full of technology. They require attention, when new everyone raves about them, when they are used you need obscenely deep pockets to keep them running. Some things never change.

Q: Today everyone raves about an S65 Coupe, which is similar to a 6.9 from a few decades back.

A: imagine for a moment an individual that pulls into an M-B dealer with an older S65 Coupe out of warranty with a few lights blinking in the dash, and requiring a brake job with worn out ceramic discs. Similar to a 6.9 from back in the day...some things never change.

Q: The repair invoice for the S65 would be obscene.

A: You can buy a new something else with the amount on the repair order. Again its does not change. In 2015 no one is inerested in those experience. The reason for extended warranties, CPO, and so on the provide peace of mind.

Q: A CTS today drives very well.

A: Absolutely, the feel and drive of a CTS is impressive and world class. We were all impressed by the V Sport a few months ago.

Q: That car had a V6 with twin turbos, magnetic ride suspension, Brembo brakes, and so on.

A: There you go...its in the 6.9, S65 territory when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Does it ever drive nice...

Q: Most folks today lease, and pay more attention to the brand, than the reliability, maintenence costs of the cars.

A: Absolutely...

 

 

 

Friday
Dec122014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Deuce with a Nailhead & Dual QuadsIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

What does the price of a barrel of oil have to do with the auto business?

Think of one thing, the 3rd largest auto market in Canada is Alberta, need we say much more. Oil is pervasive through the entire Canadian economy. The fact that many Canadian companies are sitting on mountains of cash, and CMS (Citizen Main Street) is well leveraged with loans. It will come back to haunt us in 2015.

A while back we shared our thoughts on Cadillac. Put it this way, even Mark Reuss who was profoundly involved with the ATS, is on the thought vector that the cars are better than the current sales figures. Go figure...someone puts together an incredible car, and someone else makes sure it does not sell all in the same company.

From Business Week...The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas.

This week you surely noticed that CMS (Citizen Main Street) in Canada is highly levereged with a variety of credit instruments, starting with mortgages. Regarding auto financce that we have been talking about for months. You have to wonder if someone from the Bank of Canada is reading our publication. Yes...we told you so.

The Deuce in the photo is a reminder of the early days of hot rodding, chopped top, steel wheels, baby moons, nailhead Buick, dual quads, even what looks like a generator, and black. It does not get much cooler.

Our old cars today...The Baillon Barn Find.

 

 

Friday
Dec052014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Its the Friday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which were subdued and for some dissappointing this year. If you start an event prematurely, start believing that everything will fly off the shelves because its market down...that's what happens.

When you start an event prematurely (the case this year) the level of expectation rises. These folks are retailing professionals/experts, relying on today only take another xx % off and spend money for the s$%t that is on the shelves. It does not impress the average consumer who does not see value from all the hype.

Are you getting the feeling that Cadillac with their move to New York is getting out of the car business? We have ongoing misgivings about the entire Cadillac adventure. In one way it sort of makes sense...if you can't sell enough of the product, get out of town go to New York, and tell the world that you are no longer in the car business. It all resonates...

Time flies...4 years ago we shared our thoughts on AMG engines as a fashion statement. This summer while experiencing a CTS V Sport the thought vector that it was a cool sophisticated car, compared to the hard core V version flashed through our thought process. Now here is AMG the fashion engine folks offering a sophisticated version of their models.

Is AMG admitting that hard core performance is good for videos, engine fashionistas, specification gurus, but perhaps not so good for sales? What do you think?

On a different note, in his day Jean Beliveau was a hockey super star, and we heard a rumor that The Colonel actually shook hands with Jean Beliveau a few years back. An informative photo gallery of Jean Beliveau.

If you are a drag racing fan you surely remember Dale Armstrong.

Canadian Sales:

Another record month, with a few incidents of trading paint while competing. Especially among the Japanese and Koreans. Fascinating to see sustained heads up competition, seeking increased market momentum, and perhaps even leaving a few bruises.

Our usual old race cars from the Old Timer Grand Prix.

 

Thursday
Nov272014

New President at GM

Since last week there is a new president at GM Canada.

As you know The Colonel has been associated in one fashion or another with General Motors in Canada for a few decades.

Q: Colonel assume you had an opportunity to have a relaxed lunch with the new president of GM at Fazio's in Oshawa (yes its  a far fetched thought)...what would you tell him?

A: Guys its an ambitious thought, although the food is very good at Fazio's. Here goes...

Sales:

Its shameful for GM to be in 3rd place, do we need to say more...just plain shameful and inexcusable.

Product:

Its good, its competent, in some cases brilliant, and others uninspired. Capitalize on the "inspired" models.

Financial Services:

Offer comprehensive financial services to facilitate selling the product, being innovative would help to increase sales.

Oshawa:

Imagine a "social media" campaign to boycott GM products in Canada if they alter downward the current level of employment in Oshawa.

Q: Simple enough...

A: Simple, but complex, and a real challenge for GM.

Q: Colonel, have you noticed that some of the car lines 50% of the models do well, the other 50% is non performing.

A: Yes...we have driven and reviewed most of them, great product, with poor market alignment.

Q: Poor market alignment, care to explain?

A: There are folks at GM that are paid interesting salaries for doing this...why are we doing this for free?

Q: 'Cause you're a good guy...

A: Lets look at Buick for a moment: Lacrosse is a great car even has the sweep spear, with no identity in the market to attract a younger customer base. Regal another great car without an identity. Verano, proves that Buick has a 30K ceiling in the market. Encore same thing reinforces the 30K ceiling. Enclave, it was inspired from the outset, and now its a mature model in a competitive segment.

Q: Colonel we thought you were going to start with Cadillac.

A: Guys you are sucking me into a lengthy discussion. we have driven most Cadillacs in the past few years, and we are Cadillac fans. They are cool cars, literally world class, in an hyper competitive segment

Q: Are you saying that its a world class car and GM for one reason or another does not connect all the dots and handicaps the market performance.

A: Precisely...

 

 

Friday
Sep262014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Painting by Jay KokaIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation, leave a comment.

Even Blackberry who at one time was the undisputed leader (think Cadillac) in smart devices, recalibrated their price (lower than the competition) with their new offering. 

Today we talk about safety, flaws, and recalls. During the glory days of muscle cars the one constant was that you could not stop them. These cars had 400 HP under the hood, and 200 HP in braking capabilities, and it was perfectly normal. 

Imagine the digital comments that would flow today "Little Johnny just acquired XYZ with a high performance engine, bench seat, lap belts, manual steering, manual drum brakes". You can finish the story that on a Saturday night Little Johnny and his friends were exuberant......

In hindsight it was a good thing that most of those cars had 3.55 - 3.73 - 4.11 gears in the differential and would run out of revs keeping the terminal speed somewhat lower, although the acceleration was constantly overpowering the brakes. 

We are on the cusp of our 8th anniversary of publishing Strada, stay tuned.

We often hear from a real estate perspective the glut of condos being built in Toronto as an example. Interesting that no one mentions the lack of parking facilities for many of these condos. Let's look at a simple example, a 500 unit condo with only 50 underground parking spaces. Of the 50 spaces many will be occupied by a car sharing service.

Last week Thoughts on Cadillac generated interest. This week Cadillac announced their move to New York City. What do you think? 

Impressive photo gallery of the Goodwood Revival 2014 Behind the Scene