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Entries in Canada (95)


Auto Loans

Have you noticed when the mainstream media catches on to "something" everyone has an opinion, several did a study, and suddenly we are close to hitting the alarm button.

This past week auto loans have captured the imagination of numerous pundits, with a myriad of pedestrian opinions.

Sometime time ago we shared our thoughts on the entire auto financial services in Canada with Money for the Deal.

The picture painted today by the mainstream media is that CMS (Citizen Main Street) is highly leveraged and if interest rates increase auto loans will default before mortgages. In addition to the longer loan terms extended on auto loans.

Lets consider a few points:

Cash Flow: In the glory days of leasing in Canada over 40% of new vehicles sold were leased, and afforded on cash flow. Extended term loans are the replacement of leasing enbling CMS to still drive with cash flow.

Consumer Risk: CMS is astutute in letting manufacturers with their incentive programs relieve them of the value risk of the vehicle they "own" by trading it in on a new vehicle.

36 Months: Remains the magic number for the auto industry to function at its best. The loan might be 96 months but the trade cycle remains 36.

Loan Interest Rate: The low rates down to 0% are supported by the manufacturer, its always a cash incentive of "xyz" or a rate of 0%. In most instances CMS picks the rate.

Lender Risk: Have you noticed...since major Canadian banks are more active with auto loans more vehicles are sold in Canada. Are manufacturers supporting a "risk factor"?

Big Data: Permits manufacturers and financial service providers to calibrate the monthly offers, incentives, to maximise sales.

Dynamic Pricing + Incentives: Manufacturers and financial service providers make extensive use of dynamic pricing and incentives to increase sales and capture new customers from competing makes. This strategy will endure.

Technology: Permits the dealer and CMS to quickly and efficiently close a deal on the basis of a "monthly payment".

Maintenance: CMS has a limited appetite for performing maintenance on a vehicle beyond replacing the wear items. Yes...maintenance can quickly devour several months of payments, in addition to being unpredictable at times.

Paradigm Shift: From vehicle ownership to vehicle usage for a monthly fee. If CMS is in a "trap" of monthly payments, manufacturers are in a "trap" of constantly enabling CMS to trade, and roll over deficiencies.





Canadian Sales Third Quarter 2014

Our thoughts on Canadian Sales...for the 3rd quarter of 2014.




Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Our prayers are with the families of the slain Canadian soldiers this past week. 

The Colonel is back from his "fishing trip"...yes he is tanned, rested, relaxed, and getting back up to his habitual routine.

The conversation of low interest rates is now gravitating to auto loans. Its mind boggling to see folks talk around a few points with limited understanding, thinking that folks actually keep vehicles for 7 years.

Then the conversation turns to interest rates rising at some point, and the Canadian consumer not being in a position to tolerate even a 2% increase in rates.

Almost 2 years ago we did a comprehensive overview of auto financial services Money for the Deal, which is still timely and even more relevant today.

Our usual old race cars from CSRG Charity Challenge.




Warren Buffet Is A Dealer

Late last week we were pleasantly surprised that Warren Buffet is now a dealer, and in the auto business. This deal to purchase Van Tuyl was surely in the "works" for some time, and will close in the first quarter of 2015. 

Interesting that we publish our latest ebook Behind Closed Doors, and literally a day later its made public that Berkshire Hathaway is acquiring Van Tuyl. 

This morning we have The Colonel, lets get his thoughts.

Q: Colonel Good Morning, lookin' good as usual, what do you think of this deal?

A: Its GREAT, cool to have Warren Buffet in the auto business. Most probably only Warren Buffet was in a position to acquire Van Tuyl with terms that suited numerous variables.

Q: You always mention that you need a ton of money to operate a dealership. 

A: Absolutely, and even more today with dealers groups in a position to access public funds. Manufacturers love the idea of well funded dealers that cater to their imaging wishes.

Q: Berkshire Hathaway in the future can acquire additional groups.

A: Its a starting point...yes its easy to acquire additional groups in a building block fashion.

Q: Warren Buffet has interests in Canada with Heinz, Tim Horton/Burger King, perhaps....

A: Hold that never know what the future holds.

Q: Manufacturers have a stable of dealers, and dealers have a stable of franchises (manufacturers).

A: Interesting dynamics that will continue to evolve through the years.

Q: Will some manufacturers set their own clauses towards the Bershire Hathaway/Van Tuyl deal.

A: Obvious they will, its a unique opportunity, you can imagine that if anything hits a roadblock the optics are in favor of Berkshire Hathaway. Do you guys remember when Wayne Huizenga was assembling Auto Nation, it was interesting.

Q: Manufacturers are very good at developing programs to move iron, why nor to develop dealers.

A: Decades ago the Detroit 3 had programs to enable individuals to open dealerships, where they partners with the individual.

Q: Are you serious they had such programs? That would work wonders in Canada today to assist young people that have an entrepreneurial desire.

A: You guys are quick...although its easier for manufacturers to chase after big money, imaged real estate, and so on.

Q: In Canada manufacturers could make a compelling contribution towards young people.

A: Sure they could, go back to their roots where a dealer principle is part of the community, and so on...I could keep on going here...better to be brief.

Q: Perhaps Warren Buffet might do something like that in Canada?

A: That would certainly rattle a few cages...



Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Its a new month, we are back to fully engaged reality, with the expected increased turmoil in the world, and a ton of opinions on the Canadian economy, and the dollar.

Yes...we knew it was coming during the summer.

In case you missed our latest ebook "Behind Closed Doors"...Click. We are certain that you will find it interesting, captivating, and revealing.

As we move closer to "connected cars" and self driving cars. Old school mechanical cars are starting to look totally archaic, although easily restorable. You have to wonder about the challenges that these new cars will pose decades from now in the restoration process. By then the software to operate many of the features will be long gone.

Think about this for a moment.

Have you noticed how the mainstream media is increasingly in the eyeball business. Literally rehashing the same stories, photos, content, over and over in their quest to capture more eyeballs. 

In an atmosphere of diminished attention span, humans just "shut down" to ingesting the same s#&t over and over. 

Canadian Sales:

A record September, and a record 3rd quarter. Fascinating results when everyone fires on all cylinders, gets the game plan, and the money flows freely. Let's not forget new models too. It literally took years to arrive at this juncture in Canada. 

As expected trucks are increasing their popularity and market share.

Finally GM throttled up in September with a strong month...


We are increasingly reading opinions by pundits that Canada is falling behind. A couple of years ago we mentioned that Canadian companies were sitting on mountains of cash, while the conomy was relying on the Canadian consumer, and cheap money. 

We are seeing the results of a lack of "corporate leadership and innovation" in Canada. Cheap money from the banks has camouflaged a myriad of weaknesses, while increasing a wave of consumption. 

Canadian auto sales are one effect of cheap money.

The Corvette Z06 has a 0 to 60 of 2.95 seconds with an 8 speed automatic...impressive.

Old and new cars at The Maserati Centennial 2014.