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Entries in Canada (145)

Tuesday
Dec292015

Year End 2015

Approaching year end...with an eye on 2016 which will mark our 10th year of publishing Strada.

We could have the 10 of this or that, but its not our style, and if you are seeking anything in particular use the search feature and see what comes up.

The Colonel

Who is this guy? After almost 10 years some folks know who he is, other still know him has The Colonel. He remains the main guy at Strada. Yes...its a work of passion, which still burns bright.

The Business

What do we know about that auto business? Probably not enough, and perhaps too much. Is that vague enough for you. We just hope that if you are a regular reader, we have provoked your thought process on a few occasions, to make it worth your time.

Eyeballs

We are not in the eyeball business...lets leave it at that.

Reviews

We enjoy doing vehicle reviews, especially of vehicles that grasp our attention. Yes...they are all pretty darn good too.

Boutique Publication

We are a boutique publication, not for everyone, its appeals to folks that seek to be provoked, want a different perspective, an advantage.

Your Own Editor

Absolutely...there is a ton of stuff out there chasing eyeballs, and/or protecting interests, and/or promoting snake oil.

Cadillac

We are closet Cadillac fans, maiby not so much closet. Still waiting for Cadillac to emerge...we might just wait a long time

Mercedes-Benz

The Colonel has been driving a Benz for decades...lets leave it at that. Maiby not, V8, sedan, rear wheel drive.

Chevrolet

"You have bowties flowing in your veins" referring to The Colonel.

Hot Rods

Totally cool, right stance, a bigger than smaller engine, enduring, lasting

Motorcycles

A immense sense of freedom, a liberating, relaxing experience to go for a bike ride.

Heavy Duty Trucks

"Have you thanked a truck today?" Everything we consume was hauled by a truck at one point or another. Old school 2 cycle Detroit Diesels are very special. A Peterbilt with an aluminum hood/rivets remains cool

Pick Ups

In 2015 they are positively huge, and cool too.

Utility Vehicles

Its a station wagon from back in the day, in most cases it provides traction to 4 wheels, its the family kicker, its useful.

Flying

Its an hideous experience...while saving time. Everything is an option...

Driving

Another incresingly hideous experience...unreal, scary, frustrating especially in the GTA, or any major metro area.

Shoebox Chevy

Through the years you have heard talk about a "Shoebox Chevy" on a few occasions. Its this imaginary 2 door post 55 or 56 Chevy with 2016 performance. If you evr wondered what a shoebox Chevy would look like...take a look.

Gratitude

We are always thankful and appreciative for what we have, and wish the best to others.

 

Friday
Dec182015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, with a week to Christmas, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Its supposed to be a softer shopping season, its not cold, there is no snow, climate change. Interesting enough wherever we have been to shop...it was a case of full on shopping, wait in line to check out...go figure.

On a philosophical note, we are running out on 2015, is it the usual where did the time go?

In our case its we managed to do this, that, complete another, deal with change, and more unexpected change. While finding time to be appreciative and thankful for 2015. We hope its the same for you.

The other day we were reading a piece on older European cars of the luxury persuasion for less than $10,000...which got us wondering why anyone would even consider writing about older luxury cars for less than 10K. Its easy to write about it, not as easy to actually own one. As we often said in Project 200K its absolutely not for everyone.

An informative article "A Look Inside VW", if you are familiar with German auto companies, its a reminder of the old school German management system, which obviously is enduring at VW.

From the Globe and Mail "Canadians should be enjoying lower prices at the gas pump given the wreckage in the oil market, BMO Nesbitt Burns says". At Strada we have been telling you for months now that oil companies prefer to see gas at $1.00 a liter...anything less does not fit with their business model.

We expect December to be a record, or near record month in Canadian sales.

CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been powering the Canadian economy for the past several years, everyone has known that CMS empowered by cheap money is powering the economy. Now it seems that everyone is concerned. Perhaps its the answer to the question "How long can it last?".

Informative charts that describe Canada,

In the meantime the Federal Reserve has finally raised the interest rate in the US by 0.0025% (quarter point) ...yes it will have ramifications in Canada.

Our usual old race cars from the 1961 Sebring 12 Hours, and impressive photo gallery from way back in the day.

 

 

Friday
Dec112015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Eagle over a lake in CanadaIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable we have cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Yes...2 weeks to Christmas, we hope that you started your shopping and are progressing along. Its that time of year when we all get a little busier for a bunch of reason.

This week we connected a few dots with an old school perspective. Back to the days of mechanical cars. Agreed...mechanical cars have a nostalgic feel about them. Lets not even mention the folks that clearly remember these cars. Are they nostalgic, mature, or just plain old? No difference in somw ways its good that these guys are still around.

“The bad news is when crude drops, so does the value of the currency and we lose part of our purchasing power,” said consumer advocate and former MP Dan McTeague.

Remember when the price of oil came down, and all the pedestrian comments that billions of dollars from cheaper gas would make their way in the CDN economy. At the time we mentioned that with a lower CDN dollar the savings at the pump would immdiately go for food/groceries.

You have to wonder for how long the deals on vehicles will last? The deals will endure, the quality of the deals might be a different story. You have to wonder if folks are buying/leasing a vehicle that has emotional appeal, or offers the best deal?

Our old race cars...Shelby Daytona Coupe at the Goodwood Revival, superb photo gallery.

 

 

 

Friday
Nov272015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its also Black Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation, leave a comment.

The other day we again reinforced our position that you have to be your own editor at a time when many are in the eyeball business for the sake of attracting fleeting eyeballs for a few seconds.

Almost month end, we expect a strong November in Canada to uphold the 2015 trend, set new records and more important a new Canadian "mobility" model. While everyone compares percentage increases, month to month, and the exploding sales of trucks.

With the ever decreasing value of the CDN dollar, exporting used vehicles is helpful to many dealers. Its a perfect storm of mobility and ease of disposal of trade ins. Think about this for a moment.

You have to love it when CMS (Citizen Main Street) is increasingly moving towards utility vehicles. While Canadian auto pundits pick a station wagon as a category winner.

Or talking about "utility" vehicles, and which one was the first. From our perspective the first was the Suburban literally 80 years ago.

Perhaps we are repetitive in constantly wondering why deals are more challengin to close in 2015, than last year, and might be even more challenging to close in 2016.

From Humans are Underrated "A better strategy is to ask, What are the activities that we humans, driven by our deepest nature or by the realities of daily life, will simply insist be performed by other humans, even if computers could do them?"

Our usual old race cars from the SVRA Nationals.

 

 

Tuesday
Nov172015

Incentives - Revisited

We have often shared our thoughts on incentives, how they came about, the strategies behind the incentives, the monthly tactics deployed by manufacturers, dealers, and customers.

The auto business embarked on a vector of "dynamic pricing" several years ago, lets not be so naive as to think that big data does not have a powerful influence on the decisions that are made on a monthly basis.

Financial services are also an intrinsic part of the incentive strategy.

We could keep on going with a myriad of stuff. We urge you to use our search feature to access out previous thoughts on "incentives" and "financial services".

With Ford in the US initiating a strong incentive campaign till the end of the year, suddenly incentives are on the forefront, with every pundit, analyst sharing thoughts and their opinions.

Let's bring it closer to Canada.

1-

The moment most manufacturers relinquished leasing in Canada, and embarked on a longer than shorter term financing strategy. It was a brave new world, shifting the residual risk to CMS (Citizen Main Street), while CMS in the ensuing years has shifted the trade in deficiency to the manufacturer.

2-

Transactions across Canada are closed on the basis of a monthly payment, the magical $500 per month is the average. To deal with the lower CDN dollar, deficiencies on trade ins, incentives are an intrinsic part of doing business. Yes...CMS is keenly aware on how to use incentives to uphold his mobility model.

3-

The manufacturers that staid the course with leasing as well as financing have a substantial competitive advantage, which will become even more obvious in 2016.

4-

The "incentive" that is rarely discussed are the various volume bonuses from the manufacturer to the dealer for reaching monthly agreed upon new vehicle sales objectives. If retail incentives to the customer might skew the business strategy, volume bonuses add an additional layer of skewing.

5-

Back in the day when most dealerships were owned / operated / managed by an individual, the dealer had to make money to stay in business. It was the acumen of the dealer to be a consummate "horse trader" to make money. Incentives were rare to non existent. As well the business office did not exist yet to sell additional products.

6-

Fast forward to today with the "dealer group" phenomenon, hired individuals to manage dealerships, layers upon layers of technology, and several competing franchises owned by the same group. Its an additional impetus to uphold incentives and bonuses.

What do you think...

 

 

Tuesday
Nov032015

Too Much Oil, Debt, Cars - Revisited

Its fascinating to revisit perspectives from some time ago, and conclude that it was either prescient, brilliant, smart or just plain dumb. As you know we always say that "We don't follow, we lead" while our thoughts are often a little too far ahead.

We also mention to connect dots and obvious be your own editor with the myriad of opinions that are generated on an ongoing basis.

Oil:

Was it smart or not smart to ramp up the production of oil, to lower prices, to alter economies, to effect change.

Agreed there is already a good portion of a "cloud" (hard drives are so passe by now) somewhere full of opinions from pundits, analysts, experts on the impact of oil.

Oil has reshuffled the world order be it for the right or wrong reasons. As the current price of oil increases it will recalibrate the reshuffled order. With folks looking back and saying "we told you so" while others will look ahead and also say "we told you so".

The reshuffling has impacted Canada, created a new order, that will be recalibrated in the months and years to come.

Debt:

Another portion of a cloud is full of various thoughts on the recent federal election in Canada. Which campaign resonated, which one missed the mark. Who had momentum, who was disconnected, and so on.

At Strada we connected a few dots...

For years CMS (Citizen Main Street) was encouraged to increase the level of debt they carried to support the Canadian economy, that was powered by oil and consumer debt. Oil got reshuffled, while consumer debt had reached its rational (or is it irrational) maximum.

In the meantime the government is balancing the books, offering more of the same. While the oil situation is not really sustainable, and the debt situation is at the end of its rope.

We all know the outcome "real change" carried the day. When it came time CMS made a brilliant decision "we collectively have our asses on the line, we need a government that will also puts its ass on the line".

Cars:

Record year on top of a record year, its never been seen before in Canada. The 3rd largest auto market in Canada (Alberta) is struggling and its still a record year.

Yes...there is the surge in utility vehicles, and the continuing free flowing money from banks.

Lets not forget that "premium economy" is reshuffling segments of the market.

While CMS is inexorably migrating from an ownership to a mobility model.

From car (sedan) to utility, from ownership to mobility.

 

 

Friday
Oct302015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Retail sales are up in Canada, primarily due to auto sales. The auto  business in Canada is so good, to the point of single handedly increasing the results of the retail sector.

Used vehicle prices at auctions are higher too, a good thing for Canadian dealers not to buy, but to sell vehicles, and in many instances generate a profit. Agreed...not easy to source used inventory, but great to dispose of aged inventory.

This week we had another example that if the metal does not resonate. The deal is not closing, the sale is not happening. It was the classic case of "Lets generate numbers, values, monthly payments" first, and now lets see if the metal resonates...and it did not.

Dealers are in the people business, or they should be the NADA Dealer Workforce Study for 2015, notice the high level of turn over in sales positions. Which begs the question "How do you close deals?".

The various opinions on vehicle service and maintenance in Canada. The premise is that vehicles are not serviced, and there are missed opportunities with older vehicles. Always overlooking the reality that folks have little to no desire to service and, maintain vehicles especially older vehicles. In Canada its increasingly clear that folks do not want to be involved with older vehicles that require ongoing service and maintenance.

Think of this...old school dealers had a 5 car showroom, and 20 service stalls, today its a 20 car showroom, and 10 service stalls.

Should the folks in the auto business spend more time immersed in technology, or in being in the people business, and connecting dots. What do you think?

If you are still "sort of" following the VW diesel developments, an interesting article from Business Week "How Could Volkswagen's Top Engineers Not Have Known" its a good read.

An impressive photo gallery of the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V...enjoy.

 

 

Thursday
Oct292015

Global Sales - September 2015

When a table tells the whole story...

Click on image to enlarge

 

Friday
Oct232015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Now that the long drawn out federal election is a done deal, we can move on to other "things" to captivate the mainstream media. Although it was informative to see how the election was covered, and the various opinions from a myriad of pundits, analysts, observers, pollsters, editorials.

From our perspective CBC did a phenomenal job in covering different perspectives of the election, and more important the opinions of CMS (Citizen Main Street).

Yes...CMS wanted change in Canada, and made sure that it would happen...it was a clear message on Monday night.

The other day we came cross a Rolls-Royce Wraith, the car captures your attention, and then the styling truly captures your imagination and the question "Who buys/leases such a car?". The metal on that car does not resonate with the Strada Crew.

Have you noticed the various online ads from MTU for the old 2 cycle Detroit Diesel? Should we conclude that there is still a good number of these old Detroits around, and with new liners, pistons, injectors, and rebuilt blowers they are still going and going.

As an aside The Colonel at one time sold trucks with 53-71-92 series engines...yes the 2 cycle Detroits will always have a special place in the memory bank for a ton of reasons.

This month our editorial direction focused on people, at Strada we firmly believe that people make the real difference.

Vintage cars, racing, and photos from the 1955 Targa Florio.

 

Monday
Oct192015

Canadian Sales - Third Quarter 2015

Our thoughts on remarkable Canadian sales at the three quarter point...