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Entries in Cadillac (33)

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

 

 

Thursday
Sep182014

Thoughts on Cadillac

The Colonel just joined us for a coffee, and since the latest price revelation on Cadillac we are anxious to have The Colonel share his thoughts. Lets get going.

Q: Colonel, you look prepared and aggressive this morning.

A: Thanks guys, its my usual persona, perhaps a little too aggressive.

Q: Cadillacs were "The Standard of the World" at one time.

A: That was a few generations ago, when I was a kid a Cadillac was the standard of the world.

Q: What happened?

A: I had an epiphany in the mid 1980's when Mercedes-Benz launched the 300E and Cadillac launched the Cimarron. One car became a world class benchmark, the other became the subject of jokes.

Q: Anything else?

A: In the same time frame or a few years earlier, the old folks of that time coming out of the recession of the early 1980's were trading in their Cadillacs in droves for German cars.

Q: At that time not only were they losing existing customers, they did not have a product to attract new customers.

A: Precisely, here was Cadillac pounding itself into the ground.

Q: Today Cadillac has a good product.

A: In 2014 we can say that most Cadillacs are phenomenal cars, they are literally world class.

Q: That good?

A: Absolutely, you don't expect it, but they are that good, if not better.

Q: You are saying that anyone that did not get close to a Cadillac in a while if they would experience an ATS or a CTS would be totally impressed with the cars.

A: Yes, they would even wonder why it took them so long to catch on...that they are good cars. 

Q: Such good cars and their sales are sporadic.

A: Isn't that a challenge, good cars and not selling enough of them to secure a position in the segments.

Q: The SRX does reasonably well in Canada?

A: Yes...its getting old since the resouces were placed on the sedans.

Q: What is the problem? 

A: Simple, PRICE.

Q: Are you implying that they are too much money? 

A: At times its bewildering to watch GM deploy their pricing strategies, and the market conveying a blunt sledgehammer message to GM. Its the same with Cadillac, its a clear message from the market.

Q: How about the Cadillac leadership which has gone through a revolving door of late.

A: That did not help, and this latest leadership is not helping either reinforcing the surrent pricing strategy.

Q: You had misgivings about this latest leadership move.

A: Absolutely, huge doubts, and now its totally scary. Cadillac just told their competition that they are going to sit on the sidelines for the next decade until the market comes to them. 

Q: Its the story of superb cars with a flawed selling strategy, and now encouraging its competition.

A: Its scary in its simplicity.