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Entries in Canada (124)


Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

We are officially in the Strada Dog Days of Summer, and encourage you to do the same.

Especially if you turned Canada Day into a long week end.

Did you know that Riviere Du Loup was a Dog Days of Summer hub several generations ago?

Is gridlock the appropriate name for traffic and congestion that is not moving fast, or going anywhere in a hurry. These past few days in the GTA its been a case of not going anywhere fast especially with folks taking a few days off to enjoy a long Canada Day week end.

There are moments when everything moves and flows, and other moments when its just snarled up.

The other day we had an opportunity to look at a Camaro Z28 up close in a showroom. It was black on black which for some reason does not work on the car. The thought flashes "Who would buy such a car?"...its barely streetable with those tires. Did we forget to mention 80K for a Camaro.

On a track it must be a ton of fun...and 80K might start looking like good value and a deal. But static in a showroom black on black...not so much.

Reminds you of the convertible on the used car lot in July..."its summer it will sell".

The other day we needed to convert a VGA outlet to HDMI which is the new VGA sort of thing. Here is the deal, you can get a VGA to HDMI converter which will not plug into your VGA outlet, you can get an HDMI coupler just in case, as well as an HDMI cable. 

You sort of make all of this work, or think its going to work.

From a mechanical perspective its like having a 1/4 inch drive connected to a 1/2 drive ratchet, connected to a 10 cm extension then an adapter to 1/4 inch 20 cm extension. If it sounds like its all going to fly apart the moment you apply some force...we would agree.

With the VGA to HDMI it becomes a case of "no signal" at a most innoprtune time. Which reinforces that "if it looks a little flimsy connecting all sorts of stuff together...don't think you have the final might just turn into a "no signal".



Canada Day

Have a great day with your family and friends...




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Have you noticed that when folks are in "prominent" positions they at times start believing their own "s**t" which often turns into a situation of not so good, and if you include a dollop of greediness on top it becomes even more interesting.

In Canada we have all sorts of examples of this stuff...

Ray Tanguay formerly of Toyota as the Canadian Auto Czar to attract auto business to Canada, that is a good thing, since lately its all headed south. Yes...Canada will continue to have to buy the business to keep it here.

As Cadillac "dares greatly" customers have no problem "regretting nothing" and opting for another make. Good thing the Slade is saving the day to show an increase in sales. Reminds us of a boastful press conference by some Cadillac folks at CIAS this year. Which begged the question, do they know something, or do we know something?

At times you get windows of smooth flowing traffic, a few days ago while returning the Ram pick up we hit an interesting early evening window in the flow of traffic. It just flows, everyone is on its best behavior, its a little faster too. Obvious that some folks with performance machines will attempt to take advantage of such a situation, or at least try something.

Agreed...smooth flowing traffic is an exception.

Tomorrow is the start of the Le Mans race, we are still Corvette fans, while keeping an eye for the GT-R LM.

Superlative photo gallery from the Modena Trackdays 2015 at Spa.




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 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.




The Canadian Comsumer is Smart

As you know we often mention the Canadian Consumer as CMS - Citizen Main Street.

We are of the opinion that CMS is not as dumb as some media and pundits would like you to believe. More important CMS is quick to adjust to the economic environment. 

The Canadian economy is powered by CMS having evolved into a consumer economy.

Looking at Canadian auto sales:

We mentioned sometime ago that free flowing money was powering auto sales. Sales records are broken on a monthly basis. 

Now presumably CMS is in deep yogurt with long term loans and rolling over deficiencies, and it begs the question how long can this last before it blows up?

If you remember in the good old days of leasing the question a few years ago was how long can it last before it collapses under the weight of residual risk?

The reality, free flowing money has raised auto sales to new heights that have shattered records forthe past couple of years.

While CMS is contantly evolving from an ownership to a mobility model when it comes to vehicles.

Consider the most successful manufacturers in Canada have improved, tweaked, calibrated, at times pivoted the mobility model. These manufacturers were not exclusively in the ownership model, and have successfully expanding their own mobility model.

While the pundits are waiting for the sky to fall. The Canadian Consumer is offered a myriad of monthly incentives, from competing manufacturers, is enabled to roll over deficiencies, all at a constant monthly payment.

The other Canadian Consumers that have been on the mobility model for a longer period of time simply replace one leased vehicle with another.

As the pundits have an ongoing discussion of "social media" relating to the auto business, and other pundits discuss the disadvantages of long term financing. The Canadian Consumer keeps on expanding the mobility model empowered and enabled by manufacturers and the financial services.

With increasing talk of autonomous vehicles, which consumer wants to keep any vehicle for any lenght of time?

We could keep on going...what do you think?




Canadian Sales - April 2015

An amazing month, the best April in recent history.

By now all manufacturers know the routine and increase the level of advertising during the second part of the month. April merely followed along...

The environment:

Gas is not that cheap.

The Canadian dollar no longer buys as much,

Money remains inexpensive and free flowing.

What caught our attention:

  • GM decided to move iron in April and displace FCA for the month.
  • We continue to scratch our heads with Ford.
  • Lexus gaining additional momentum with the NX
  • Is it fair to say Porsche powered by Macan?
  • The Micra continues to make a difference for Nissan. 
  • MerBimAu as usual showing continued increases.
  • The endless migration towards SUV/CUV increases and endures.

One more thing:

Its very competitive and CMS (Citizen Main Street) is the big winner.





The Paradox of Older Cars

By now we are all familiar with the mantra that "Cars (vehicles) are better, the quality is up, they last longer, and the population of older cars is increasing."

The other often heard mantra "Cars last longer consequently finance terms can be extended." Which implies that CMS (Citizen Main Street) will keep a car for 5-8 year time frame. The lenght of the finance term.

As we often mention the auto industry runs on a 36 month cycle, always did, and always will.

With record new vehicle sales in Canada for the past few years, you have to wonder where all these old cars are hiding, who is driving them, who is maintaining them.

Yes...all manufacturers have access to immense computing power, and can deal with massive amounts of data. Which permits them to acquire market insight that was not available a few years ago.

In Canada MerBimAu (hate to always bring these guys up) has been doing a phenomenal job in selling more vehicles, adding new models, remarketing, increasing CPO sales. We also know that the bulk of the new vehicles they sell are leased.

Lets break it down...some components...

Lease Term: Ideally 36 months, with the occasional stretch to 39-40 month to better position the return of the vehicle, improve the residual risk factor.

The vehicle returns in 36 months, not 60 or 72 or 84, the magic number is 36. It has a remainder of factory warranty, can be reconditioned at a reasonable cost, can apply an addtitional factory extended warranty to CPO the vehicle.

Remarketing / CPO: The idea is to make money twice with a vehicle, dealers that leased vehicles 2 generations ago knew that when the lease reached its term the vehicle would come back offering an opportunity to lease another vehicle to the lessee, and remarket the lease return.

In many instances the lease return is remarketed as a CPO and the supporting financial instrument is a 36 month finance term with a balloon amount at the end of the term.

The Chain Reaction: In the auto business having a chain reaction, taking trade ins, retailing used vehicles has always been a key to generating additional business, and obvious making more money.

Think about this...where are all these older cars? Are they still with the original owner?




Vroom Room

Good Morning,


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


The ongoing Cadillac, and Lincoln conversation...Cadillac has been trying to garner a foothold in the luxury segment for the past decade...think about it, at least 10 years. They are great world class cars, and still in the starting blocks...go figure.

Lincoln...they have the MKC and MKX that are selling reasonably well in Canada, while they seek the true essence of a luxury car.

Imagine for a moment if Cadillac instead of showing the CT6 would have shown the replacement for the SRX.

Several years ago we concluded that utility vehicles are lifestyle vehicles, family kickers, and make a fashion statement, and fall out of fashion. We are of the opinion that folks have a different "luxury" expectation from a utility vehicle, than a car.

More forgiving towards utility luxury shortcomings.

Looking at Canadian Sales for the first quarter, its emerging that "premium economy" is superceding "luxury" for the Germans. We did say that they were engaging in a fine line. You know the saying water flows dowhill.

Looking at the big picture these folks have the top end covered, although selling less, and now are inexorably moving downstream with their product offerings.

A brilliant photo gallery from the Sebring Historic Races.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,


The Vroom Room in a Garage Complex this morning.

Its Good Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino this morning, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Not to sound redundant, we have been telling you about the impact of low oil prices and the impact on the Canadian economy for some time now. Take a look at an opinion poll of Canadian executives.

From Ferrari a cool infographic of the Sepang F1 race.

In case you missed 2015 Canada Digital Future, which we believe is a must read, scroll down.

In case you never noticed, please go to our Welcome page to see the various publishing platforms we use for Strada on an ongoing basis. Not to honk our horn, perhaps we are unique in using several formats and platforms to publish our content.

Canadian Sales

Challenging climatic conditions, thousands of vehicles snowed under at Autoport (Halifax), pradigm shift in the oil patch made for an interesting March and 1st quarter.

At first blush its almost like VW with a 2,24 unit increase in March saved the day, since March sales increased by 3,046 units in Canada.

Considering the myriad of challenges it was a great month, and an impressive first quarter.

Cadillac CT6

You surely know that we are Cadillac fans, their latest offerings are world class. The CT6 is surely world class as a car, lets see what it does for the brand, and more important in sales pitted against formidable competitors. What do you think?

Why the garage this morning? from a few years back...the Strada Garage.

Our usual old race cars from the HMSA Spring Club Races 2015...enjoy.




2015 Canada Digital Future

If you are conducting business in Canada its a must read.

From comScore...

This annual landmark report explores how the prevailing trends in in web usage, multi-platform engagement, online video, and digital advertising are shaping the Canadian marketplace and what these trends mean for the year ahead.